NEW YORK -- An Italian cinematographer who worked on the movie "Maximum Overdrive," based on a Stephen King thriller, is suing the author and more than a dozen others for $18 million for an accident on the set.

The 18 defendants, including King, who directed the film, and Dino De Laurentiis Productions, were "wanton and reckless" in precipitating the accident on July 31, 1985, according to the suit filed by Armando Nannuzzi, 61, of Rome.

Nannuzzi was the director of photography for the film, which starred Emilio Estevez and was about machines that come to life and attack people.

Nannuzzi said the crew was filming in Wilmington, N.C., shooting a scene in which a remote-controlled power lawn mower would come down a driveway by itself towards the camera with the metal blades revolving at great speed.

The camera was placed on the driveway to make the lawn mower look "larger and more threatening," and it was angled slightly upward with wooden wedges under its base, court papers said.

The original protective and safety equipment was removed from the lawn mower to expose the blade and special devices were installed to make the machine move faster toward the camera, the papers said.

The court papers said the blades of the lawn mower made contact with a wooden wedge, throwing off slivers of wood, one or more of which struck Nannuzzi, causing "severe and permanent injuries to his eye and face."

Lawyers charged that the injuries impaired maximum use of the cameraman's right eye, described as his "shooting eye."

They also said Nannuzzi suffered "severe and permanent physical pain and mental anguish," and asked the court for $18 million.

The suit was filed in state Supreme Court in Manhattan because King and many other of the defendants do business in New York.