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King's fans, tired of half-baked screen adaptations such as Cujo and Children of the Corn, expected a horror home run from Maximum Overdrive and instead got an old-fashioned drive-in movie filled with car crashes, cheapjack gore and fart jokes. Needless to say, they stayed away in droves; the film's failure helped ruin producer Dino De Laurentiis's DEG Films and forced King sheepishly to claim that he had created a modern-day Plan Nine from Outer Space. While the film is torpidly paced and often amateurishly acted, it's no worse than any direct-to-video thriller, and King's ear for dialogue occasionally shines through the gloom. Emilio Estevez and Pat Hingle register as a heroic cook and his black-hearted boss, respectively; the cast includes Yeardley Smith (Lisa Simpson's voice), Giancarlo Esposito and Marla Maples as a victim. --Paul Gaita, Amazon.com
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