Chopping Mall - 1986
From the same mastermind that brought us the cinematic classics such as ‘Big Bad Mama II’, ‘The Devil Wears Nada’, ‘The Hills have thighs’ and the infamous ‘Busty Cops’ franchise, comes Chopping Mall. The movie plot can be described as a mix of The Terminator meets Aliens meets Porky’s meets Mall Rats. I mean wouldn’t you want to watch that movie over and over again?
So, the movie opening quickly sells you on the need for mall-security robots. Thank god somebody thought about finally protecting Auntie Anne’s Pretzels (not a sponsor, but always willing to align with such a great product). I only hope somebody is taking notes now that a robotic-security system is a possibility (have you seen Battlebots?).
We are later introduced to our protagonist that will go mano-a-mano with the rogue robots. We get all the classic stereotypes, the girl who is super good at fixing cars, a nerdy blonde and two blonde waitresses, two cool-dudes, that force the nerd-dude to throw a party in his uncle’s furniture store… you know classic teenagers. If I had a nickel for every movie, since Chopping Mall came out, that have the plot device of “Lets totally throw a party at my uncle’s furniture store that’s inside a mall”, I would have… something. I mean do you need to second guess why the mall owners would invested millions and millions of dollars, on having robots protect their mall? Teenagers are always throwing sex parties in the stores, how else could you stop this rampant epidemic among the youth.
One quick point I want to make regarding the robots, I think it’s fair to say that they are the loudest silent killers in movie history. Nobody hears them coming, despite every single move they make, producing a loud mechanic sound. They sneaked-up on so many people, it’s beyond impressive how effective they are at killing.
The gore in this movie takes you by the throat and never lets you go. Chopping Mall has one of the most realistic head-exploding scenes ever put to film. Let me set the stage for you, blonde #2 (after finding her lover murdered) is running for her life through the mall. One of the robots is chasing her down and the laser beams are flying around (yeah, they can shoot lasers). She finally reaches the furniture store and turns towards the robot (in front of her friends) and well I will let you enjoy below (*WARNING: Excessive gore below).
The writers of this movies knew that their audience would need a break from the none-stop action they produce in the first half of the movie. They have given their audience multiple deaths of characters (characters we have learned to love) and we needed a moment to mourn. So, how did they help their audience? Adding a classic math scene, yeah classic, the Girl who is good at fixing cars (after watching blonde #1 get burned alive), sits down with a calculator to add-up how much they will owned the mall in damages. I don’t think there is much more to say about the master class in writing the screenwriter gave their audience, I can only dream of being able to write such a tight script in the future.
Now we are down to the final survivor of our group, nerdy blonde. A strong-female-survivor following in the same steps of Ripley from ‘Alien(s)’, Sarah Connor from ‘Terminator 1&2’ and obviously, Kevin McCallister from ‘Home Alone’. Nerdy blonde goes into the paint store of the mall and sets up a paint trap for the last standing robot. As the robot is spinning his wheels on the paint covered floor, she lights a flare and says “Have a nice day” throwing the flare and destroying him and the store. The very same words the robots have said after each killing throughout the entire movie, making the story come full circle.
Before I wrap up my movie review, I want to recap what stores are inside of this mall. There is a paint store, furniture store, gun store / armory, locker-rooms (with showers for the ladies), fully stocked food-court, pet store, jewelry store, an arcade and freaking robots. While the closest mall to me, has a Chinese restaurant that only sells “teriyaki-flavored-meats” and a GNC… Hollywood only likes to make my life feel empty.
Chopping Mall is a hidden gem and one that should never be remade. I know Hollywood loves to remake classics, but this movie should never be touched, perfection can’t be replicated. The fact that somebody paid a lot of money to fund a movie in where mall-security robots go rogue and kill teenagers having sex in a furniture store… is why I love movies.
Chopping Mall is currently streaming on Amazon Prime, do I really need to recommend?
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