Saturday, August 8, 2009


80S ARTIFACTS FOUND IN MOVIE: Izod polo shirts, Playboy panties, sweater scarves, and evil lightning.


ED 209's slow cousins, discount Willie Aames, non-Austrian accented killbots, Johnny 666, the curious absence of Ken Foree, Woody Allen, and Paul Blart, khaki camel toe, Crampton’s glorious boobs, and a glimpse back to the gilded Age of Orange Julius.

More details here.


We open to a demo inside an enormous mall of the new Protector 101 electronic security guards which will be deployed nightly to patrol and protect the J.C. Penney’s, Sam Goody, Miller’s Outpost, Merry Go-Round, Video Star, Florsheim’s, Hickory Farms, and that creepy organ and piano place that no one visits. These robo-mallcops are equipped with visual sensors, deadly tasers, and the charisma of a homeless Dalek, but as luck would have it, they are prone to lightning storms which inexplicably turn them evil. So one night, several teenaged mall workers decide to hold an awkward teen orgy after hours in a furniture store. Among the participants are good girl Alison (Kelli Maroney), nerd Ferdy (Tony O’Dell), slutty Suzie (Barbara Crampton), and insta-Rambo Rick (Russell Todd), amongst others. While the rest of the gang humps, Alison and Ferdy watch a terrible Roger Corman movie on the tube which at this point looked a trillion times more interesting. And because nerds can’t boink, they are the first to realize that they’re trapped inside the mall with killer robots on the prowl. After a few minutes fumbling around looking for the little man in the boat, fellow party-goer Greg (Nick Segal) leaves his soon-to-die girlfriend Linda (Suzee Slater) in bed and wanders the closed mall in search of cigarettes. Here we have victim number one of our kooky kill-bots, who somehow have attained deadly laser weapons. From here on out, the body count slowly mounts as our wacky teen gang arms itself to the braced-teeth and battle the robots around the mall. And so, teens die, robots blow up, paint is spilled, and pants are worn so tight I can see wart removal scars.


The indoor shopping mall has been around since the 1950s but mall culture didn’t flourish until the 1980s, when the mall-boom was in full effect and the damn things were popping up everywhere, eventually shaping our way of life, buying patterns, and how we wasted our day after Thanksgiving. It was during the 80s that malls grew into teenager-infested consumerist-cliqued city-states where the height of cuisine was a Hot Sam pretzel, the height of culture was a Max Baer Jr. signing, and the height of fashion was watching your high school jock-cocks buy a new pastel Polo at Chess King. Personally, I owe a great debt to the shopping mall as I discovered my sexuality ogling the dirty greeting cards and boobie beer mugs at Spencer’s. Since then, the mall has been central to the American way of life, from the suburbs to the cities to fading small towns, and has become a sacred place of consumer worship, a disposable income drain, and a great place to pick up a big-haired chick. Taking advantage of the mall phenomenon, director Jim Wynorski dreamed up the idea of a slasher flick set inside a mall, albeit with very little slashing, gore, or scary stuff. Initially titled Killbots, the movie was later changed to Chopping Mall and works better if you approach it as a goofy horror comedy where there’s a complete lack of anything getting chopped. Our teen victims are instead electrocuted, laser-blasted, and lightly knocked over. Self-conscious and silly, Chopping Mall is a wacky but all too brief look back at mall life in the 80s, which truthfully hasn’t changed much. There are a lot of funny moments in the film both intentional and otherwise from the weird Paul Bartel and Mary Woronov cameos to Dick Miller’s vomit mopping to robots flailing in hardware stores. Chopping Mall, despite its misleading title and poster art, is unfortunately not a slasher movie; it’s yet another evil-lightning-killer-robot -teen-choking- boobie-sex comedy-marketing-survey in slasher movie’s clothing.

But it’s still better than T4.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

this movie is terrible. can't you write about seomthing that was GOOD in the 80s?