Director: Stephen King
Cast: Emilio Estevez, Pat Hingle, Laura Harrington
Release Date: October 23, 2018
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Disc Rating: 9/10
Get ready for the ultimate battle of man vs. bloodthirsty machine in this terrifying Stephen King classic! For three horrifying days, the Earth passes through the tail of a mysterious comet. The skies glow an eerie green as humanity waits to see what the fallout will be. But what they imagine is nothing like the nightmare they find — the comet’s magnetic fields cause all the machines on Earth to suddenly come to life and terrorize their human creators in a horrific killing spree. Now, it’s up to a small group of people trapped in a desolate truck stop to defeat the killer machines — or be killed by them!
Written and directed by the king of horror himself Stephen King, ‘Maximum Overdrive’ tells the tale of a group of various folks at a local truck stop who find themselves trapped within once the earth passes through the tail of a mysterious comet which inexplicably results in semi-trucks and nearly all other machinery suddenly coming to life and viciously attacking and killing all humans in sight. Initially released upon audiences in the summer of 1986 and featuring a cast that includes Emilio Estevez, Pat Hingle, Laura Harrington and many more, ‘Maximum Overdrive’ may not be horror movie perfection, but certainly still remains a wildly entertaining, goofy and over the top ride with a perfectly fitting soundtrack by AC/DC that still serves up the gory goods in its own right today.
While there have been a good few screenplays penned by King himself over the years along with other levels of creative involvement on his part, ‘Maximum Overdrive’ still remains the only film ever to be both written and directed by Stephen King. It’s a somewhat ridiculous, yet equally amusing good time that’s loaded with no shortage of gore and bloody chaos. King may not seem overly enthused about the movie himself these days, yet fans still can’t deny just how wildly entertaining it is even amidst its faults; many of which only end up contributing to the fun ironically enough. Hardcore fans of this incredibly 80’s cult classic (complete with a soundtrack by AC/DC and all) should find themselves rather thrilled with this overall impressive Blu-ray release which provides a gorgeous high definition video presentation and solid lossless audio soundtracks on the feature film, in addition to plenty of noteworthy extras, many of which were created just for this release including ‘2 New Audio Commentary tracks’ and much more (see the technical specification coverage of the review below for more detailed information). Altogether it should easily make this Vestron Video Collector’s Series release of Stephen King’s ‘Maximum Overdrive’ a definite must own for diehard fans who will almost surely find this solid release to be quite the treat.
Overall, the Vestron Video Collector’s Series Blu-ray release of Stephen King’s ‘Maximum Overdrive’ finally brings home this cult classic on Blu-ray in a definitive new release that delivers pretty impressive high definition video and audio presentations on the film itself, in addition to a healthy collection of supplements including Commentaries and Featurettes along with more, many created specifically for this new Blu-ray release. Stephen King’s ‘Maximum Overdrive’ definitely makes a noteworthy and tremendously welcome addition to the ongoing Vestron Video Collector’s Series Blu-ray lineup to say the least. Longtime fans of this cult classic will probably want to make a point of adding this one to your collection at some point if you haven’t already done so and most should be thoroughly pleased with this great overall Blu-ray release of the movie.
The Vestron Video Collector’s Series Blu-ray release of ‘Maximum Overdrive’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.35:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks pretty wonderful as a whole and provides a sharp and clean presentation from start to finish that also retains a fair amount of grain and other welcome artifacts representative of its source material. It holds up admirably even during the darkly lit and fast moving sequences and never suffers any noticeable problems throughout. Overall, this is a great high definition video presentation and likely one of the more impressive transfers I’ve had the pleasure of on the Vestron Video Blu-ray releases; it should have very little trouble satisfying fans of this cult classic.
The Blu-ray release features the option of both a 5.1 channel and a 2.0 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. These lossless audio presentations both sound quite solid in their own right, while the 5.1 channel presentation isn’t overly active in the surround department, it does have its share of audio effects bleeding into the rear speakers, although the most active aspect throughout is surely the soundtrack by AC/DC which blares throughout all five channels and sounds fantastic. Overall, these are highly capable 5.1 and 2.0 channel DTS-HD MA soundtracks that both deliver across the board, and even while not a huge upgrade I’d still encourage fans with surround capability to give the multichannel presentation a whirl for the enhanced musical aspect alone.
The Vestron Video Collector’s Series Blu-ray release of ‘Maximum Overdrive’ includes a great collection of bonus content, much of which was created specifically for this new Vestron Blu-ray release. Included are ‘2 Audio Commentary’ tracks, the first being an ‘Audio Commentary with Writer Tony Magistrale, author of Hollywood’s Stephen King’, and the second is an ‘Audio Commentary with Actor and Comedian Jonah Ray and Blumhouse Film Executive Ryan Turek’. Also included on the release are numerous new Interviews, Featurettes and more including ‘Truck Stop Tales with Producer Martha De Laurentiis’ (running approximately 16 minutes in length), ‘Rage Against The Machines with Actress Laura Harrington’ (running approximately 10 minutes), ‘Honeymoon Horrors with Actors John Short and Yeardley Smith’ (approximately 18 minutes), ‘A Kid in King’s Court with Actor Holter Graham’ (17 minutes), ‘Maximum Carnage with Special Make-up Effects Artist Dean Gates’ (16 minutes), along with ‘The Wilmington Factor’ (29 minutes), ‘Who Made Who? AC/DC Meets Maximum Overdrive’ (6 minutes) and ‘Goblin Resurrectus’ (10 minutes). We’re also treated to some archival ‘Behind-The-Scenes Footage’ (approximately 9 minutes), a ‘Still Gallery’, plus the ‘Theatrical Trailer’ (2 minutes) and a couple of ‘TV Spots’ (1 minute total) for the movie.
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They will additionally suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Disc Rating: 9/10
Stephen King’s ‘Maximum Overdrive’ is Now Available to Own on Blu-ray As Part of the Limited-Edition Vestron Video Collector’s Series from Lionsgate Home Entertainment