CHOPPING MALL (1986)
Chopping Mall is a fun 80s guilty pleasure that works because it knows it’s a silly film and just goes with it and has a good time…and so do we. Goofy horror tells the story of four young couples, including 80s B-movie icons Kelli Maroney and Barbara Crampton, who decide to stay and party at one of the mall stores where a few of them work, after the mall has closed. But there are 3 new hi-tech security robots on patrol and when a freak lightening strike hits the building during a storm, it reboots their directives and now these 3 well armed machines are out to kill anything that moves…ID badge or not. Now with the mall in high security lock-down, the young intruders are trapped inside with the mechanical security drones and must fight for their very lives as these robots won’t stop until they are all dead.
As directed by Jim Wynorski, Chopping Mall is a fun 80s movie that just has a plain old good time with it’s delightfully ridiculous story. The film plays itself just seriously enough so not to make an outright comedy out of it’s scenario, but has enough campy humor so that we know that at no time are the filmmakers trying to pass this off as a serious horror and we should just have a good time with it. The young cast serve their purpose playing the stereotypical characters that we expect to see in a film like this and that is intentional. They play their parts straight, but we can tell they they are having fun and that the tone of the material has not escaped them. The gore FX are fine though, except for an exploding head, are fairly limited and the robots built by Robert Short do the job as our villains and do have a bit of personality as well. There is a very 80s electronic score by Chuck Cirino and fun cameos by Dick Miller, Mary Woronov and Paul Bartel.
Chopping Mall is filled with 80s nostalgia to go along with the fun with it’s very 80s hair and fashions, as well as, it’s poking fun at the mall culture of the time. A really enjoyable B-movie that has developed a bit of a well deserved cult following. Also stars, Tony O’Dell, John Terlesky, Russell Todd and Suzee Slater. Actually saw this in a theater back in 1986 and it was a lot of nostalgic fun revisiting it.
3 mall roaming security robots.