Chopping Mall (1986)

   

Directed by: Jim Wynorski

Written by: Steve Mitchell & Jim Wynorski

Starring:

Kelli Maroney .... Alison Parks
Tony O'Dell .... Ferdy Meisel
Russell Todd .... Rick Stanton
Karrie Emerson .... Linda Stanton
Barbara Crampton .... Suzie Lynn
Nick Segal .... Greg Williams
John Terlesky .... Mike Brennan
Suzee Slater .... Leslie Todd

Special Appearances:

Paul Bartel .... Paul Bland
Mary Woronov .... Mary Bland
Dick Miller .... Walter Paisley
Gerrit Graham .... Technician Nessler
Paul Coufos .... Dr. Simon
Arthur Roberts .... Mr. Todd
Angus Scrimm .... Dr. Carrington

Release Date:
Theatrical: March 21: 1986

 

 

 

Rating:

 

A Park Plaza Mall mall invents a new device to prevent break in's and stealings from criminals and juvenile delinquents which are high tech robots that are unstoppable and are state of the art security devices as night watchmen.
Suddenly a bolt of lightning from a storm outside short circuits the main computer control and these robots turn into killbots as they have killed the technicians and some of the janitors working there too.
A group of teens employed at the Mall decide to party out there after hours thinking they are having a good time but they see two of their friends get killed by these robots and try to escape but they are accidentally locked in and unarmed.
They break into a gun store thinking they can stop them but it doesn't work and one by one they are being hunted down and slayed.

 

A very well done flick although it looks like it might fail it really picks up big time. Most of Jim Wynorski's work in films were bloody terrible with low production values offering lots of skin but he seems to pull his weight well and I found this film his best work ever. At times it is off but alot of the times he knew his stuff by doing with this one.
Shows a cheesy beginning in the film with a burglar breaking into a mall and then showing a nasty grin while trying to shoot a killbot which looks cheesily impressive.
However the discussion between the character's
Paul and Mary acting sarcastic at a conference meeting looked too tongue in cheek and uninspired.
We see a nice opening with people acting comedic at the mall showing harmless accidents like drinks being spilled and stuff like that almost giving it that similar feeling to the opening of Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
There's a good bullying sequence in the mall with two employees between as a dweeb being slightly picked on by Mike Brennan.
The characters hanging out and partying looks very bland but however we seem to have a nice disucssions between Allison Parks and Ferdy Meisel when they both watch an old black and white horror film on the TV together since their conversations looked fairly natural. Also a nice near romantic touch between the two of them getting into a deep discussion as this was a nice drawing card.
We spot a great shot on Walter Paisley as he is mopping up and a killbot is right behind him about to come in for the kill which looked perfectly done.
The lustful discussions between Leslie Todd and Mike Brennan was perfect as they play off terrifically well and are great making out together looking like two real horny teenagers. After all this is a Wynorski film as he has to offer some of this.
The camera shots on the killbots rolling around in the mall and killing people looked wonderful and the people reacts well while being chased by them. Plus nice low budget special effects on these killbots shooting lasers at other which kept me in suspense wondering if anyone will be hit by them as these moments looked perfectly deadly.
Terrific psychological feel when the teens try to hide and figure out the killbots locked up the mall all night till opening time starting in the morning which leaves a tension of panic wondering about survival through the whole night with those things roaming around which is a perfect touch for a horror flick.
We have a real powerful camera shot scene with all 3 girls trying to escape in heating vent as you wonder if they will survive as there's many close up shots on them nearly sweating and feeling uncomfortable as it sure looked struggling.
We spot a great shot of the camera rolling in on Suzie Lynn when the killbot is pinning her down as the situations here looked cringing and intense in which you get a sinking feeling that it's too late to save her. This scene looked strongly effective all the way through as well as a great deadly moment on her at the end offering a great horrifying touch.
There's a moment when Rick Stantion is electrocuted and nice shot with electricity flowing through him. The special effects looked cool to watch as it offers many 80's low budget values within this.
We see a great shot on a killbot cornering Allison and a nice shot on her screaming with frightened expressions. Plus a good moment when she tries to hide in a pet store and there are tarantulas crawling on her which is psychological wondering if she'll flip.
Terrific shots on the killbots crashing through glass in a certain store of a mall to try and track down their victim as well as nice explosive moments when she plans traps for these killbots which looked perfectly heroic when she outsmarts them and good shots on one of these robots breaking down.
Bottom line is that the film is full of your everyday teenage employees hanging out in the back rooms which is for employees only partying out which shows a nice touch for a teenage horror film and it look very exciting as well as nice looks on these robots with their laser shooting which looks very 80's oriented sci fi looking and nonstop fun while these teenagers try to escape from these objects which looked quite struggling wondering who will survive this madness.
The film was enjoyable and it really takes you back to the cult classic retro horror film land of the 80's although it may seem at first it's a sci-fi flick it does turn out as a horror film too.
A film worth watching if you like low budget teen horror's. This film was originally titled Killbots with a theatrical poster on it but the box office did poorly due to it's title so it was renamed into a better title to attract horror fans.
Jim Wynorski had made a ton of low budget horror films but 90 percent of them were direct-to-video crap showing tons of bad performances and lots of nudity covering a weak plot except for this film in which I found this to be his best work as a director and co-writer and even non fans of his will enjoy this cheesy 80's flick.

The acting is in good shape but sometimes it's very 80's cheese like. However, I like that in a retro film.
Kelli Maroney
(Alison Parks) is quite outstanding in her role as the lead character and seems to deliver alot of enthusiasm in her part as she reminds me of Linda Blair and briefly earned her scream queen status to top it all off.
She does well at trying to find a way of destroying these killbots when she goes on an adventure too. Offers a great courageous behavior rolling with the punches along with showing off a nice intelligent type of behavior.
T
ony O'Dell (Ferdy Meisel) played a perect dweeby and preppy type of character in the film as he seems to know his stuff by portraying it and it's suitable for the story in this one. Shows off alot of great energy and enthusasm throughout his performance. Does well acting a bit nervous when he spots his date too. Shows off a good decent attitude when the story is rolling. Also does well with his powerful attitude when trying to save others from the madness of the killbots.
Russell Todd
(Rick Stanton) stood out the most in this film as he portrayed a great tough like employee who seems to be courageous at battling the killbots. Perfomed very well at getting tough when he loads his rifle and goes in for the hunt on the killbots. There's a great reaction on him when he is electrocuted. During the beginning of the story offers a nice outgoing attitude and shows off a nice charm to his performance as well.
Barbara Crampton
(Suzie Lynn) worked perfectly with her whiney and scared attitude in the film and portrays her part believeable. She looked perfect by tripping out when the killbots are attacking her. She reacts terrifically with her screaming. Brings all of this to a hype as well as showing great uptight emotions. Seems to act like somewhat a bimbo with how she came across but not a typical one.
Nick Segall
(Greg Williams) really showed off his energy with his aggression and anger in his part which looked perfect. Offered a nice intensity as well as behaving convincingly emotional as well. Acted perfectly temperamental and upset after what has happened just acting obnoxious which seemed convincing. Offered an effective supporting role here.
John Terlesky
(Mike Brennan) was the heartthrob character in the film as a macho and sexy type of teenage employee and does it well with what he did even if he was only seen partway through this film. He does well at acting sarcastic towards an onscreen character when acting bullying like.
Suzee Slater
(Leslie Todd) also represented herself nicely as she had a perfect look for a teenage horror film and her acting is fairly okay too. Seemed to do fairly okay as one of those popular girl types as well as doing her job while trying to talk to her onscreen father on a situation he's not approved of and getting into a good mode while doing so making it come to life. Also does well with her loose behavior too while partying.

Barbara Craptom pulls down her lingerae and shows off her breasts
Suzee Slater
pulls off the covers of a bed in the mall and shows off her full round breasts

A guy's throat is slit
A woman's head is blown off by a killbot

The music was composed by Chuck Cirino who worked with Wynorski in many other projects too. He performed some nice cheesy 80's keyboard music for the opening of this film giving it a good low budget feel to a teen horror flick and seemed to pull through well with the story too although some of it lacked a bit. There's great adventureous sounds on the music for many of the chasing scene's with the killbots. Plus some icy sounds too which was catchy. There's the odd cheesy piano music that blends in which we've heard from his other projects but at the same time it always sounded entertaining nevertheless.

[repeated line after the robots kill someone]
Killbots: Thank you... have a nice day.

Mike: You always get your way don't you?
Leslie: When I'm happy, everybody's happy.
Mike: That's for sure... hand me my badge, would ya?
Leslie: What's the magic word?
Mike: Hand me my badge... please
[she hands him the badge]
Mike: Thank you.
Leslie: Oh, Mike...
Mike: What?
Leslie: [flashes him] Hurry back.
Mike: Count on it.

Greg: Computer, huh? Let's go trash the fucker.