Maximum Overdrive‘ is, by all quantitative measures, a terrible film.  Taking a Stephen King short story that never quite puts itself together and extending it to feature-length, it is full of scenery-chewing performances (Yeardley Smith stands out as particularly over-the-top), nonsensical plot points, and best of all an anticlimactic ending that wraps up the threat with a footnote.  Still, there is one good thing about it: The visual of the giant Green Goblin head on the front of the Happy Toyz big rig is legitimately chilling, a terrifying element that seems imported from another, scarier film, leading us to today’s singular query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) reminds Spoilerites that even the worst comic book ever made contains a really cool design for the main character’s costume,  asking: What’s one good thing that stands out as well-executed in otherwise unremarkable bits of pop culture?


About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. The one that jumps out immediately is the lightsaber fight from the end of The Phantom Menace. The music, the choreography, the setpieces… everything about that scene is great in an otherwise mediocre movie.

    For a less obvious one, I’ll say the sequence in Passengers where Chris Pratt’s character starts to consider waking up Jennifer Lawrence’s character to ease his loneliness even though it will doom here to a life alone on the ship with him. It sets up a great premise that the movie never manages to pay off in a satisfying way. It seems like the script suffered either from too many rewrites or too much studio meddling. That part of the movie sets up something that seems like it was meant to be darker in tone, but what we got instead was just tonally all over the place.

    It’s not so much that the sequence itself is great, it’s more about what the sequence promises that the movie never delivers on.

  2. Malone_hasco on

    I agree on Phantom Menace. Same goes with 2 round Jango vs Obi-Wan match. That disco stick galore arena has not aged well.

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