The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum

TRUCKS (1997) *

Movies made from Stephen King stories have been around for so long now that they are actually old enough to be considered remake candidates.  Most of ‘em go directly to TV, like The Shining, Carrie, Salem’s Lot and this flick.  Trucks is based on the King short story of the same name which was originally filmed by the master himself back in ’86 as Maximum Overdrive.  While that film is generally critically reviled, I always dug it and enjoyed the brain-dead unabashed fun inherent in the material.  Besides where else are you going to see Emilio Estevez battle an evil 18 wheeler with an oversized Green Goblin hood ornament? 


Trucks is basically the same movie as Maximum Overdrive only this time instead of having King behind the wheel, it’s Chris Thomson, who has directed almost exclusively nothing but TV movies.  Instead of Emilio Estevez being stuck in a last chance gas station fighting off trucks with a mind of their own, it’s Timothy Busfield from Thirtysomething.  Instead of the badass Green Goblin truck, it’s a non-descript meat packing rig.  Instead of killer electric knives, demented soda machines, and malevolent arcade games killing folk, its trucks and only trucks doing the slaughtering. 


Okay, so what the fuck does that leave us with?  Not much.  We still get the obligatory scenes of survivors waxing philosophically on why this is all happening, but this time by even worse actors.  We still get small town citizens getting ran over by killer trucks except the violence is of the watered down made-for-TV variety.  We still get scenes of the vengeful trucks circling the truck stop so that no one can escape; sadly minus all the excellent AC/DC tunes on the soundtrack. 


Most of the cast sucks like a Dust Devil, although it was nice seeing the underused, ultra-hot Brenda (Hot Shots Part Deux) Bakke in there as the slinky motel owner.  Like the acting really matters though.  If you find yourself watching a pale imitation of a movie that wasn’t exactly a classic to begin with, you deserve all the middling theatrics that come along with it. 


Thomson has a decidedly bland “point and shoot” directorial style that constantly reminds us that this is nothing more than a lame-o USA Network Original.  The fact that the budget looks to be about on par with a Walker, Texas Ranger two-parter isn’t exactly encouraging either.    


If you want to see trucks running people off the road, crashing through buildings and killing rednecks in a thoroughly bloodless manner, then go for it.  Add an extra star if you’re one of those people that love movies like Transformers or Knight Rider 2000 just because they feature vehicles that move around by themselves.

Tags: horror, horror remake, remake, stephen king, t
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