In both the trailer and in the opening credits for this movie, it wants you to know that Trucks is based on the short story Maximum Overdrive by Stephen King. Which is basically the only selling point of the film but then King already wrote and directed a movie version of Maximum Overdrive almost 10 years before this came out. Also, upon looking up the year, I am amazed that this was in the late 90’s because the film quality and effects quality looks like it was early 80s at the best.
The story of Trucks is about trucks coming to life and killing people which happens right in the very first scene. It all takes place near Lunar, a tiny town built in a meteor crater that is also right near Area 51 because apparently the whole “trucks gain sentience and bloodlust” thing wasn’t enough of a gimmick. The town is populated with characters like Single Dad That Wants to Protect His Son, Wise Old Man, and Two Idiot Rednecks That Will Obviously Die. Then some out-of-towners arrive to take a nature hike including Petulant Teenage Girl, Aging Hippy, and Yuppy Couple That Will Obviously Die. When the trucks have them all trapped inside, they will need to come together and argue incessantly about leaving even as they one-by-one attempt to do so and are run down. Note that unlike Maximum Overdrive, no other appliances are shown to come to life and it seems to only be affecting this one town.
There’s no reason given for why it is that the trucks are coming to life or why it appears to be only trucks that are coming to life and not cars or motorcycles. It certainly wants you to think that maybe it’s something to do with aliens or Area 51 but then there are no aliens to be found and even the Area 51 people seem to be getting screwed by this. Also it appears to be a local phenomenon since there are a couple times they are able to get the TV working and news reports are just saying that nobody can come into the area due to a chemical spill but aren’t freaking out because “Oh holy shit you guys trucks are killing people.” The trucks also communicate through honking to each other but don’t seem to give a shit about other trucks since at least twice in the movie a larger one will smash through a smaller one. I guess I’m just not really getting the deep mythology that is Trucks.
I’ll say that the acting wasn’t quite as horrible as it could have been. Except for Petulant Teenage Girl, who spends almost the entire movie just being an asshole and constantly bringing up how her dad isn’t around enough even while she is being attacked by killer trucks. And speaking of, the movie really rushes into the whole “murder truck” thing. It’s not just the first scene sets it up but right away we get trucks killing people and being trapped. The movie rushes toward what would be the second act and then just squats there for the next hour before moving on to the climactic third act which is “We run away from the trucks but don’t die this time.”
It’s a movie that is watchable but mostly pointless. The effects are kind of crap and there is pretty much no gore outside of one scene that is entirely unrelated to the rest of the movie. There’s no real suspense or scares since it’s just trucks doing donuts outside a café for an hour. I give the film a 1.5 out of 5 because it’s mostly just unnecessary.
Favorite thing in the film: Ok, so that scene that has some gore and is unrelated? A toy truck ends up killing a postal worker. It just rams into his shins until he falls down and then rams into his head until he dies. A toy truck. That you could just flip over. It’s so incredibly stupid that I couldn’t help but love it.
Least favorite thing: The end of the movie has a helicopter come save them and then it’s shown to be flying itself. What are the helicopters in a war with the trucks? Did it just save them so it could kill them? What the hell movie?