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Emilio Estevez Hilariously Rips on ‘Maximum Overdrive’

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A scary truck driving at night
Stephen King, killer cars, and lots of substance abuse. What could go wrong? Plenty, as it turns out…
Photo: Pxfuel via CC

Ah, Maximum Overdrive. This delirious, substance-fueled 1986 flick about killer vehicles has truly earned its cult status over the past 35 years. Generally regarded as one of the best so-bad-it’s-good flicks ever made, the film was directed by none other than the great Stephen King, adapting the story from his own novella. The results were patently ridiculous, and even the film’s star Emilio Estevez agrees.

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Emilio Estevez has regrets

In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Emilio Estevez sat down to discuss his long career. While most actors who’ve appeared in “bad” movies don’t particularly enjoy reminiscing about them, Estevez had plenty to say about a certain killer-car film.

When asked about any movie roles he’s regretted taking over the years, Estevez immediately brought up Maximum Overdrive. “I’m not speaking out of class because he knows it’s a terrible movie,” he said in the interview, “but Stephen King often talks about his one directorial experience on Maximum Overdrive, which I was in. The few times that I’ve connected with him over the years, he’s like, ‘Can you forgive me for that?’”

Estevez’s initial interest in staring in a Stephen King film is certainly understandable. In the 1980s, Hollywood went “King crazy,” adapting a variety of King’s novels and short stories into movies. While most of these movies made their money back and several have become cinematic classics, King remained unsatisfied with most of them. By taking over directorial duties himself, he believed he could create the perfect adaptation of his work. He was very, very wrong.

Nevertheless, actors like Estevez were desperate to appear in any film associated with King. Unfortunately for Estevez, the King adaptation that will forever remain on his resume is Maximum Overdrive.

Estevez even recalls getting teased by his own mother for appearing in the film. “I think at one point my mom said, ‘Why’d you do that movie?’ I said, ‘I wanted to work with Stephen King.’ And she said, ‘Couldn’t you have helped him paint his house?’” Ouch.

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Regardless of its quality, plenty of Stephen King and horror fans still have a soft spot for Maximum Overdrive. It might be bad, but it’s certainly entertaining.