Couldn't you just imagine what it must be like partying at a shopping mall after hours? With Mike and Leslie (John Terlesky and Suzee Slater) testing the suspension of the beds in the furniture department; whilst Rick and Linda (Russell Todd and Karrie Emerson) make music by the side of a portable-stereo. Then there'd be those crazy-cats, Greg and Suzie (Nick Segal and Barbara Crampton); smelling the pepperoni in a very personable way. Plus lets not forget both Ferdy and Alison (Tony O'Dell and Kelli Maroney), huh? Watching an old fashioned horror movie on the old goggle-box.
Hey! Do you know who else is throwing a party at the same time as these fun-loving love-bugs? No. It's not poor, Walter Paisley (Dick Miller)! All this put-upon cleaner has to look forward to is mopping the dirty floor behind him. It's the newly purchased mechanized-defenders called 'The Protectors', silly. Well, they start off as protectors -- admittedly -- until a freakish accident inadvertently causes them to change their prime directive from 'serve and protect', to 'shoot and kill'.
Yeah. I'm not messing about. Post haste, these 'shinny bad-boys' zap, stab, maim, slice, and chop whoever crosses there path. Moreover, once they have the previously mentioned party animals in their sights -- ouch -- its game over -- even if some of them do manage to fight back.
But then again that's most probably why what next transpires all shifts gear when tits begin to wobble in a very meaningful manner. As malls get mashed - computers get trashed - I would rather shop on e-bay - plus please remember, do have a nice day.
Now if you take a smidgen of 'Robocop 2', a dash of 'Gremlins', and then mix them both together with a huge does of Roger Corman charm, I'd say that the end result would be 'Chopping Mall'. Yeah. Straight up. This b-movie classic is one of those good / bad movies which always gets my head in a spin.
Hey! And you do know I normally do when I am confused about a film, don't you dear reader? Yes. Correct. Its advantage / disadvantage.
(1) From my own perspective, one of this film's saving graces was the simplicity to it. Personally speaking, an adventure of this genre needs to be simple so that the action can have a chance to shine; advertently making things 'less confusing' as a whole. (2) If you're a film-nerd like me, you'd love the cameos in this piece -- especially Dick Miller. Honestly, I would have liked to have seen a lot more, just to give the overall production that additional b-movie edge. (3) Although I don't really know very much about any of the main actors in this flick, I have to admit, that they didn't do a bad job with what they had at hand. Granted, most of them did exhume a mannered yet bold quality to their performances at times. Yet, not to shabby if I do say so myself.
(1) As much as I did like watching all of the senseless nudity on show, in the same breath, it didn't really add anything to the overall story. It was like one of the makers in this movie said to the girls 'Oi! Strip! At least that way we have something nice to look at'. (2) The robots in this production didn't look remotely menacing at all, and came across like a rather large mechanical-toy that they usually made in the eighties. No detail to them and purely sheen. And I don't mean Martin. (3) Now if there ever was a movie that needed a heavy dose of cash injected into it, it would have to be this one. I would have liked the complete package to have that extra je ne sais quoi -- so to speak -- transforming it from a b-movie classic to an all time classic. Remake please!!!
All in all, 'Chopping Mall' is a rather so-so film. The pretext was pretty solid. The actors did OK. But it was let down greatly by some lapse special effects, and a dire need of some extra cash injection. A very diluted movie.
Say no more.