Wednesday, May 12, 2010

It's the Mall Security of the future!

Chopping Mall (aka "Killbots") (1986)

Starring: Kelli Maroney, Tony O'Dell, Russell Todd, Suzee Slater, Karrie Emerson, Nick Slater, and Barbara Crampton
Director: Jim Wynorski
Rating: Five of Ten Stars

Eight typical teenaged slasher-movie characters (and therefore perpetually horny) hide out in a shopping mall to have an orgy in the mattress store. Unfortunately for them, they end up are trapped overnight with three heavily armed security robots that have malfunctioned and gone murderous due to a power surge.

Although "Chopping Mall" isn't as good as I remember it as being from when I was a kid, it's still a fun movie. It moves along at a brisk pace and it's got a goofy, upbeat tone (despite the flying laserbeams and exploding head) that makes it truly fun to watch. And while the movie is having fun with both the sci-fi and slasher genres, it still manages to make the viewer care about the characters. (Oh and the girls who take their tops off are girls who SHOULD be showing off their, um, assets.)

The acting over all is better than what is usually found in a film of this type, and lead Kelli Maroney is particularly good. The script is also better than what is often found in a film of this kind, although there really isn't anything surprising (aside from killer robots), and veteran slasher-movie watchers will know early on who lives and who dies. However, the jokes are actually funny, the action entertaining, and, despite my comment that the teens are typical slasher movie characters, they don't split up one at a time once they discover they are being hunted by killer robots. (In other words, they behave in far smarter fashion than most characters in this sort of film, and it makes the movie all the stronger for it.)

Finally, the robots are surprisingly well-done. They look pretty cool for the kind of movie this is, and for the period in which it was made. (Yeah, they look a bit like they came off the shelf at Radio Shack, but it was the 1980s for crying out loud! Macintoshes still booted off a single floppy disc that ALSO held a full working word processor on it, as well as the system software!)

"Chopping Mall" is the perfect addition to a Bad Movie Night line-up.

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