The King of Wilmington - Maximum Overdrive (1986): Uncle Stevie Grinds The Gears
As a strange comet envelops the Earth’s skies with a greenish haze, machines everywhere decide they’re done doing what we tell them too. For the patrons and employees of The Dixie Boy truck stop that means dealing with rogue electric knives in the diner, impertinent gas pumps, and worst yet runaway 18 wheelers. Parolee Bill Robinson (Emilio Estevez) works as the short order cook at the diner, but when the machines start to rebel, Bill is the only one brave enough to fight back. Despite the protestations of his boss, the surly Mr. Hendershot (Pat Hingle), Bill inspires the truck stop staff, newlyweds Connie (Yeardley Smith) and Carl (John Short), and hitchhiker (Laura Harrington) to band together armed with Mr. Hendershot’s private cache of weapons to fight back against the mechanical menace.
Night of the Living Dead which recasts trucks for zombies and the farmhouse survivors as patrons of The Dixie Boy. While the film features flashes of King, Overdrive belongs on your shelf nestled right between Troll 2 and Killer Klowns from Outer Space, and in my book that’s a pretty damn nice place to be.
I’ll be back next Monday with the next chapter in The King of Wilmington when I cover the Wheelchair/werewolf film Silver Bullet.