Old School Americana & Nostalgia


‘Maximum Overdrive’: All About the Green Goblin Truck From the Cult Horror Classic

‘Maximum Overdrive’: All About the Green Goblin Truck From the Cult Horror Classic

Stephen King’s 1986 film Maximum Overdrive has attained cult status over the decades, due in large part to its iconic truck. The film features Emilio Estevez, Pat Hingle, Laura Harrington, and Yeardley Smith. Inspired by King’s “Trucks” from Night Shift, it depicts machines becoming sentient after Earth’s encounter with a comet, leading to a global killing spree. The film’s main antagonist is a killer truck,

The film marked Stephen King‘s foray into movie directing, with himself adapting the story into the screenplay. King’s fingerprints are all over the film, including his favorite band, AC/DC, all over the soundtrack. The band’s 1986 album Who Made Who was the soundtrack for Maximum Overdrive. It featured songs that would become their standards like “Who Made Who”, “You Shook Me All Night Long”, and “Hells Bells”.

Maximum Overdrive was released in theaters on July 25, 1986, and unfortunately, it was met with both critical and commercial disappointment.

In the following year, the film received two Golden Raspberry Award nominations, with Stephen King nominated for Worst Director and Emilio Estevez for Worst Actor. However, they both lost to Prince for his work in Under the Cherry Moon. King distanced himself from the movie, viewing the experience as a valuable lesson, leading him to decide to never take on a directing role again.

Despite the Film’s Box Office Failure, ‘Maximum Overdrive’s Truck Remains a Memorable Villain

However, the truck from Maximum Overdrive remains a memorable horror villain. The Green Goblin truck is a striking black White Western Star 4800 truck, complete with a large grinning Green Goblin mask on its front. The mask’s eyes even tend to glow.

It pulls a black trailer bearing the words “HAPPY TOYZ Here comes another load of joy!” while the trailer’s rear showcases a slightly eerie image of a clown. Additionally, tucked behind red curtains in the back of the cab, there lies a concealed Green Goblin Jack-in-the-box toy.

The truck roars with authority thanks to its Detroit 8V-71 Diesel Engine, known for its distinct growl. The film crew reportedly obtained authorization from Marvel Comics to feature the likeness of the Green Goblin, a villain from Spider-Man, on the truck.

Where is the ‘Maximum Overdrive’ Truck Today?

Roughly a year following Maximum Overdrive‘s release, the Green Goblin truck found its way to Silent Rick’s Towing and Salvage in Wilmington, NC. Of course, the truck itself was essentially destroyed during production. However, the Green Goblin portion survived. Missing were the jaw, lower teeth, tongue, and tops of the ears, leaving behind a severely charred wreckage.

John Allison from Wilmington, NC spotted the memorable Goblin head and decided to buy the horror prop. He later sold it to Tim Shockey in Piketon, Ohio, on February 19, 1987. Tim showcased the Goblin head at his video store, Uncle Jim’s Videoland, in Waverly, Ohio for several years before selling the business. The Goblin Head then remained untouched in his backyard for nearly two decades.

In 2011, he relocated it to his garage and commenced the restoration process. Devoting 2 years to restoring the iconic Goblin head, he now embarks on journeys throughout the USA and Canada, showcasing it at horror and comic conventions.

Meanwhile, a working replica of the Maximum Overdrive truck is also making the rounds. In 2021, a dedicated fan named Nate Lawrence crafted a replica of the Green Goblin truck. Spending 14 weeks on the project, he transformed a 1977 White Western Star into a fully functional replica. The debut of this remarkable replica truck took place in Joplin, Missouri at the Guilty By Association Truck Show.