Chopping Mall (1986)

Movie Title: Chopping Mall

Year Released: 1986

Rated: R

Runtime: 1h 17min

Genre: Action, Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi,

Director: Jim Wynorski

Writer: Jim Wynorski and Steve Mitchell

Starring: Kelli Maroney, Tony O'Dell, Russell Todd, Karrie Emerson, Barbara Crampton, Nick Segal, John Terlesky, Suzee Slater, Paul Bartel, Mary Woronov, Dick Miller, Gerrit Graham

Review: When a group of promiscuous mall employees decide to throw a late night party after closing they get the shock of a lifetime. They not only get locked in for the night, but a trio of malfunctioning security robots decide to go on a relentless killing spree. Will they survive the night? Will they kill these 'Killbots' before these 'Killbots' kill them? Will they fear and respect that escalator? Hang out at the Chopping Mall to find out!

Chopping Mall is a time capsule of the 1980s. The big hair. Synth-wave music. Hanging at the mall. Murderous security robots hunting down horny 20 year old teenagers that have decided to have an orgy in a furniture store within said mall. All classic '80s stuff!

Chopping Mall is cheesy-good '80s horror/sci-fi B-movie mayhem! It's like a slasher version of Short Circuit (1986). We have our caricature characters - the nerdy guy, the virginal final girl, the dopey jock guy, the slutty girl, the party girl, the panicky guy, and the tough and handy married couple. Am not sure if that last one is a slasher movie mainstay, but it should be.

The cast is perfect for this type of cult classic. You have the the various on-screen talents of Kelli Maroney (The Night of the Comet), Barbara Crampton (From Beyond, Re-Animator), John Terlesky, Paul Bartel (Piranha), Mary Woronov (Hollywood Boulevard), Gerrit Graham, and the late-great Dick Miller (The Burbs) once-again playing his iconic character, in name only, Walter Paisley. All having fun. All building on their streak of starring in cult classic after cult classic.

This movie is just silly fun and could have only been made in the '80s. The murderous robots are not scary or very threatening, and are rather cumbersome for getting around the various stores within the mall setting, but I digress. They are more or less a cheesy excuse to have three villains under the "technology run-amok" category, and to keep our heroes on the move and the movie chugging along. The kills are not too memorable, well, except the the awesome head explosion, which it total worth the price of admission. The music is catchy and fits the film perfectly. The funniest thing for me is that if our protagonists just used logic and common sense they would completely avoid any kind of confrontation with the robots and just have to run out the clock until the mall opened up in the morning, but then if that was the case you'd have no movie.

So if you're looking for a cult classic that's fun, funny, and full of faulty-functioning security slaughter machines then get yourself a cup from Orange Julius, a slice from Sbarro, and catch Chopping Mall. And remember to "Have a nice day!"

Stars (out of 4):

Fun Fact: The movie was originally theatrically released in March 1986 under its original title, "Killbots." It performed poorly during its initial release. The producers felt the movie's title might have disinterested audiences, who might think based on the original movie poster that it was a "Transformers"-like children's cartoon instead of a violent exploitation movie. After some time, the movie was re-released on video under its new title, Chopping Mall, with over 15 minutes cut.


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