Maximum Overdrive is a 1986 American action-horror-science fiction film written and directed by novelist Stephen King. The film starred Emilio Estevez, Pat Hingle, Laura Harrington and Yeardley Smith. The screenplay was inspired by and loosely based on King's short story, Trucks, which was included in King's first collection of short stories, Night Shift.
Maximum Overdrive is Stephen King's first and only directorial effort, though dozens of films have been based on King's novels. The film contained black humor elements and a generally camp tone, which contrasts with King's sombre subject matter in books. The film was nominated for two Golden Raspberry Awards including Worst Director for Stephen King and Worst Actor for Emilio Estevez in 1987, but both lost against Prince for Under the Cherry Moon. King himself described the film as a "moron movie" and stated his intention to never direct again soon after.
In a 2002 interview with Tony Magistrale for the book Hollywood's Stephen King, King stated that he was "coked out of [his] mind all through its production, and [he] really didn't know what [he] was doing." In spite of this, King stated in the same interview that he "learned a lot from the experience," and would "like to try directing again sometime."
In 1988, Maximum Overdrive was nominated for "Best Film" at The International Fantasy Film Awards.
The film has a mid-1980s rock and roll/hard rock soundtrack composed entirely by the group AC/DC, Stephen King's favorite band. AC/DC's album, Who Made Who, was released as the Maximum Overdrive soundtrack. It includes the best-selling singles Who Made Who, You Shook Me All Night Long, and Hells Bells.