Saturday, 22 July 2017

Chopping Mall

Year of Release:  1986
Director:  Jim Wynorski
Screenplay:  Jim Wynorski and Steve Mitchell
Starring:  Kelli Maroney, Steve O'Dell, John Terleski, Russell Todd, Karrie Emerson, Barbara Crampton, Suzee Slater, Nick Segal,
Running Time:  77 minutes
Genre:  horror, science-fiction

Park Plaza Mall has installed a state-of-the-art new security system including three brand new Protector robots, designed to incapacitate and apprehend thieves.  However a lightning storm causes the robots to become homicidal and track and kill eight teenagers who are trapped in the mall after a party.    

This is the kind of film that if you watch it late enough, drunk enough and in the company of like-minded friends could be comedy gold.  Otherwise it's terrible.  The dialogue is terrible ("I'm sorry, I'm not used to being chased around a mall at midnight by killer robots", and a guy trying to seduce a woman:  "You smell like pepperoni... I like pepperoni"). The robots look like a combination of Johnny Five (from the Short Circuit films) and a Dalek (from Doctor Who) and about half as threatening as either.  They also move so slowly and so loudly, the characters could probably just keep out of their way.  Much of the script also depends on characters getting into trouble by doing very stupid things.  The acting isn't good, but it is about as good as the material deserves.  There is some fun to be had here with appearances from B-movie favorites such as Barbara Crampton (of Re-Animator fame), Dick Miller (veteran of many Roger Corman productions) and Paul Bartel and Mary Woronov (reprising their roles from cult favorite Eating Raoul), alongside many movie jokes and references.

One of the Protector robots from Chopping Mall  

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