5 Mar 2013

CHOPPING MALL

By David Lee Andrews   Posted at  07:30   MOVIES

Chopping Mall Cover Now don't you just love the smell of fresh commerce in the morning? It has that soft tinge of coffee wafting to and throw from shop to shop, sinking into your synapses like a rat up a drain pine. Huh? What's that? No! Oh! It must be just me then. Me and Director: Jim Wynorski; plus the Actors: Kelli Maroney and Tony O'Dell. Particularly in 1986, and for about 77-minutes.


Chopping Mall


THE STORY:
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.




THE REVIEW:
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.


Sleeping in a Chopping Mall


ADVANTAGE:
(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.


Robots in A Chopping Mall


DISADVANTAGE:
(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!!!


Dick Miller in Chopping Mall


Sexy Kelli Maroney
OK, so now that's out of the way with, let's have some filmic-facts. (1) 'Concorde Pictures' originally released this movie on the 21st of March, 1986, under the given name, 'Killbots'. However, because of it's poor showing at the box-office, and audiences associating this flick with the children's cartoon, 'Transformers', this movie was re-released to video quite some time later, and cut down from 95 minutes to 77 minutes. (2) The majority of this film was shot at the 'Sherman Oaks Galleria', Los Angeles, California. (3) Theatrically trained actress, Kelli Maroney, was so agile during production, that she actually performed most of her own stunts herself. (4) Through-out all of the scenes he's in, John Terlesky's character -- Mike -- is seen chewing gum. (5) Both Mary Woronov and Paul Bartel -- who have a small cameo in this movie -- are playing the same characters that they played in the Paul Bartel horror-comedy, 'Eating Raoul'. Moreover, Dick Miller is playing the same character he played in the Roger Corman horror-comedy, 'A Bucket Full of Blood'. (6) Coincidence or not: The book the Technician is reading is called 'They Came from Outer Space'. When this same book was made into a movie it was edited by the director of this film, Jim Wynorski. And one of the stories in this book was made into 'Death Race 2000', starring another actor in this film, Mary Woronov. (7) Did you know that the claws of 'The Killbot' were actually made out of grips salvaged from a plastic toy? Also, Jim Wynorski performed the voices for the these robots as well. (8) If you look very closely at the picture Allison and Ferdy are both watching in the furniture store scene, you'll notice that it was one made by Roger Corman -- 'Attack of the Crab Monster' -- who's the husband of this films producer, Julia Corman.


The Cast of Chopping Mall


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.

THE RATING: B

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