After reviewing a high profile new release the other day in Ready Player One, I figured I would swing far in the opposite direction today & review a 1986 horror film called ‘Chopping Mall’. When a bunch of teenagers get trapped in a mall with a bunch of malfunctioning security robots, it’s officially a party. I’m giving spoilers in this review. You’ve had 32 years to see it!
The film takes place in a mall called Park Plaza. It must have serious crime issues. I say this because they installed a security system that could probably rival most military installations. It includes three robots that patrol the mall once it’s closed for the night. These bots don’t fuck around either. If you don’t have a badge for the bots to scan, they will tranquilize and taser your ass in a heartbeat. On this particular night, the robots go rogue when a lightning storm screws up the computer system.
Meanwhile, eight dumbass teenagers who work in the mall, decided to throw a little party in one of the furniture stores after closing. You can probably guess what happens next. The bots start killing the teenagers.
As these horror cliché teens try to navigate through the mall & survive, I couldn’t help but wonder what the hell these robots are made of. They seem almost completely indestructible. Even after the teens loot tons of guns and ammo from the sporting-goods store, it still isn’t enough to stop these murderous robots. Using a propane tank to blow one up didn’t work. Close range with a shotgun? Nope! How about firing entire assault rifle clips? Nope, not even a damn dent. These fuckers continue to roll on & shoot laser beams out of there viewers like Cyclops from X-men. Yes, I said roll. They’re on treads! Apparently, blowing those out isn’t possible? These bots don’t belong in a mall. They belong on a battlefield!
The teens originally planned to try and reach the third floor of the mall in an attempt to destroy the robot control center. That actually sounds like a good plan, but it falls apart. They do eventually find ways to destroy each one though. An elevator booby trap, electrocution, & mixing paint supplies to create an explosion. In the end, two teens survive. It’s a shame though. I truthfully found them all so annoying that I found myself rooting for the robots.
Admittedly, I have a soft spot for cheesy 80’s horror. With intent to scare or not, I usually always find myself laughing. ‘Chopping Mall’ doesn’t disappoint in this regard. If you take this movie for what it is, it’s not bad for a few laughs on a boring rainy Sunday afternoon.
+ With a runtime of only 1h 17min, you haven’t wasted your day.
+ Since the shopping mall is dying, it’s nice to remember the days when people hung out in them.
+ laughable at how ridiculous the movie is
– One character chews his gum in the most annoying way possible.
– We’ve all seen these types of characters before.
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