French Theatrical Release Poster

Maximum Overdrive is a 1986 film based on the short story Trucks by Stephen King. The film was directed by King from a screenplay that he wrote himself. The film starred Emilio Estevez, Pat Hingle, Laura Harrington, Christopher Murney, Yeardley Smith and J.C. Quinn as "Duncan".


The movie opens with a shot of Earth surrounded by green fog and states that on June 19, 1987, apocalyptic mayhem ensues when a strange radiation from a closely passing rogue comet, Rhea-M, causes all manner of mechanical and electrical devices from household appliances to vehicles across the planet Earth to become sentient, self-aware and genocidal for eight days, twenty-nine minutes, and twenty-three seconds.

Marauding big rig trucks trap a small group of people in a fictional roadside truck stop called "The Dixie Boy" just outside Wilmington, North Carolina. When the trucks begin demanding more than blood (they order the humans to pump diesel), the Dixie Boy survivors realize they will become enslaved by their own machines, and they must escape to Haven Island just off the coast of North Carolina, on which no vehicles or machines are permitted.

Bill Robinson rallies the survivors; they use a cache of guns found hidden under the diner. The trucks fight back themselves, at one point human fatalities result from an M274 "Mule" firing its mounted M60 machine gun into the building.

Eventually, the survivors escape to the docks where the featured Green Goblin semi kills one more trucker. The semi is destroyed and the humans sail off to safety.

At the end of the movie, a perfunctory title card strongly implies that extraterrestrials were behind the homicidal machines as part of a preliminary invasion. The machines are stopped and the invasion ends with the destruction of a UFO by a Soviet "weather satellite" equipped with nuclear missiles and laser cannons.


"Dixie Boy" is also the name of a truck stop in the Syfy television series Haven.


  • Emilio Estevez as Bill Robinson
  • Pat Hingle as Bubba Hendershot
  • Laura Harrington as Brett
  • Yeardley Smith as Connie
  • John Short as Curtis
  • Ellen McElduff as Wanda June
  • J.C. Quinn as Duncan Keller
  • Holter Graham as Deke Keller
  • Christopher Murney as Camp Loman
  • Frankie Faison as Andy
  • Pat Miller as Joey
  • Jack Canon as Max
  • Barry Bell as Steve Gayton
  • John Brasington as Frank
  • J. Don Ferguson as Handy
  • Leon Rippy as Brad
  • Robert Gooden as Barry
  • R. Pickett Bugg as Rolf
  • Giancarlo Esposito as Jerome Moore - ill-fated Videoplayer
  • Martin Tucker as 2nd Man
  • Marla Maples as 2nd Woman
  • Ned Austin as Bridgemaster
  • Richard Chapaman Jr. as Helper
  • Bob Gunter as Coach
  • Bill Huggins as Umpire
  • Stephen King as Man at Cashpoint
  • Jock Brandis as Driver of Orange Dump Truck
  • Evan A. Lottman as Driver of Gray Van
  • Barry Nolan as Newscaster Voice
  • Hal Fishman as Male Newsreporter Voice
  • Phil Adams as Dead Man Killed by Chainsaw
  • Gary McLarty as Dead Man on Porch Swing
  • Glenn Randall Jr. as Dead Ice Cream Man (scenes deleted)
  • Bernie Pock as Man The Face Stealer - Man in Drainage Ditch (scenes deleted)
  • Denver Mattson as  Camp Loman - 'Faceless' (scenes deleted)
  • Christopher Britton as Drive-thru Teller Machine Voice
  • Connie Smith as Dead Woman in Car


Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.