As the Earth passes through the tail of a comet, previously inanimate machines suddenly spring to life and turn homicidal. In a pre-title scene, a man (King in a cameo) tries to withdraw money from an ATM, but it instead calls him an "asshole", and he complains to his wife (King's real life wife Tabitha). A bascule bridge inexplicably raises during heavy traffic, resulting in all vehicles upon the bridge at the point of elevation either falling into the river, or gradually colliding together as they rapidly collect towards the bridge base, resulting in multiple injuries and fatalities. Soon chaos begins as machines of all kinds come to life and begin assaulting humans. At a roadside truck stop just outside Wilmington, North Carolina, a employee, Duncan Keller, is blinded after a gas dispenser sprays diesel in his eyes. A waitress is injured by an electric knife, and arcade machines in the back room electrocute another victim. Employee and ex-convict Bill Robinson begins to suspect something is wrong. Meanwhile, at a Little League game, a vending machine kills the coach by firing canned soda point-blank into his groin then to his skull. A driverless steamroller flattens one of the fleeing children, but one named Deke Keller (Duncan's son) manages to escape on his bike.