In the world of horror, no name has created more thrills in literature than Stephen King. Since THIS for the brilliant, the level of creativity used to craft these stories has been no small feat over the years. Same with the Course, with every great book there have also been film adaptations that have been released over the years. While some have become certified classics like the brilliant and Pet semataryothers exist on the opposite spectrum, such as Maximum overdrive. That said, the film is probably Stephen King’s worst, but it did feature a cameo from a future fan-favorite voice from the long-running series, The simpsons.
Maximum overdrive was adapted from King’s 12-page short story titled Trucks. The film followed a group of survivors forced out of a situation where a comet turned all mechanical devices against humanity. Nothing was off limits in the film, from cars to clocks, which often resulted in hilarious and improbable deaths. An example of this terror was shown with the couple Curtis and Connie, newlyweds who needed to stop their road trip for a toilet break. Unbeknownst to viewers at the time, Connie was played by Yeardley Smith, who voices Lisa Simpson in The simpsons.
The scene she is most famous for saw Curtis walking towards a man who was killed by the machines in his restaurant. Shortly after, a huge truck tried to run over Curtis as he jumped out of the way, opening Connie up to utter his now famous line, “Curtis, are you dead?” Although Connie had a thick (and fake) southern accent, Lisa’s voice could also be vaguely heard at times. It’s since created a fun surprise for fans of the cartoon who didn’t know she appeared in the film. However, Smith’s on-set experience was nothing short of chaotic.
In an interview with Yahoo, Smith opened up about her time on set and how she had to deal with unbearable temperatures, a language barrier between the cast and the entire Italian crew, and King’s battle with drug addiction during that time. Smith also commented that she was unaware of King’s struggles with addiction; however, she noticed King was drinking at five o’clock sharp on every night shoot. Even though the set was random, Smith also mentioned that King, “couldn’t have been nicer, and he was incredibly humble.”
Smith also mentioned a certain scene where a tractor pushed another car into the restaurant the survivors took refuge in. Although she was told the car would be slow to enter the building, it actually came very fast on it, and she added, “That scream is so real,” which was another great account of the intensity of filming at the time. That said, even with all the ups and downs, the film managed to get out there and is now infamous among King’s catalog of book-turned-films.
Yeardley Smith has since made a name for herself as Lisa Simpson but never forgot her time on Maximum overdrive. As for the movie, while it’s now considered one of King’s worst adaptations, there’s a cult classic status it’s earned and made all the more fun thanks to Smith’s famous line. Nevertheless, even though the film was far from perfect, there were certain aspects that made it important in its own right. The best example of this can be heard on The simpsons since its first episodes.
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