Monday, December 29, 2008

Chopping Mall Review

Chopping Mall dvd

Unfortunately I didn’t get my copy of Silent Night Deadly Night 4 in the mail yet, and that’s what I get for paying for media mail, when I should’ve upgraded to something more expedited. Oh well. With only a couple of days left in the month of December, I’m going to throw in the towel on the whole holiday horror theme. I tried my best, but just didn’t do as much as I thought I would. However, to appease the crowds out there, enjoy this review of Chopping Mall. Yep…somewhat holiday themed…Chopping Mall!

Chopping Mall is one of my favorite movies from the 80’s. It combines a lot of elements that I love in regards to thrasher movies in general. The basic plot outline of this film is sub-standard. A bunch of mall employees want to stay after hours and have sex and fun in the stores. However, on this night the new security system has been unleashed, and this new system has gone rogue after a lightning strike. The kids now have to face the new robotic onslaught or get killed. What do you think will happen?

Here is a trailer for Chopping Mall:



Chopping mall has poor production value, teases some nudity, and really doesn’t do a whole lot to generate a great and promising story line. That’s right, the overall tone of this film is terrible, the pacing is somewhat generic, and the physics of robotics has been completely rewritten for this film to exist.

The actors are all no name stars, and none of them really remind me of anyone from other sources. This can either make or break a film and in this case they do an adequate job with the terrible one liners and interesting sequences. The women are from a different time. I swear that every time I see a movie like this the women are sexier than today’s supposed teenage love interests. Could it be that today we use actual teens bred for acting, and in the 80’s they used adult women to play teenage roles? Yeah, I thought so.

The main threat in this film is not just some random lunatic, it is a clan of robots. These robots use electricity to kill their enemies as well as lasers. These lasers really don’t do a whole lot unless they hit you in the head in which they cause it to explode! The best part of this movie has to be the deaths, including a head exploding in full view, the scene is so cool, that I have it here for you:



The movie is not possible in a lot of arenas. The kids are stupid too, thinking they can defeat a machine with ease because it’s a machine. They even go as far as trying to blow up the machines and then try to crush them with a falling elevator, all of which doesn’t really work too well. The only way to kill the machines was an elaborate plan involving, mirrors. Yeah, it isn’t elaborate or complicated. You even get the famous final girl scenario in this film, which is cool, but they had to bring back a nerd. Lame.

If there is a mall in America that acts like this one, we are all doomed. This mall is just easily laughable at the amount of security breaches that are not even related to the era of this film. Also, it appears that there were no smoke detectors in the mall because there’s a cigarette machine in clear view! Oh and not to mention the vents can easily fit three full grown women! This is laughable to say the least, and really stupid even for a horror film; sadly.

Why Chopping Mall is scary: Movies like Chopping Mall seemed to have proliferated in the 1980’s. The cover alone is hilarious are is reminiscent to the art style of a lot of different horror movies out there. The picture reminds me of artwork for Sleepaway Camp, Dead Alive, Fright Night, Salem's Lot, and many others that I won’t name at this moment. It seemed like the best way to get these movies rented were to just have a cartoon comic drawing on the front. The marketing departments at these companies were probably aiming them straight at kids, kids like me. (I was young in the eighties, sorry)

The horror of this picture is not so much with the movie itself but the ideas that are being spread within it. It seems like the robotic uprising is a sore spot in science fiction. In the United States you can not mention autonomous robots without getting someone worried about them becoming self aware and attacking anything that resembles a human being. This really makes for a lackluster robotics department and you know what? The rest of the world isn’t like that at all. Just look at certain robotics from Asia and even South America, they are light years ahead of anything coming out of M.I.T right now. It’s sad to think that every time you see a robot trying to help humans it automatically wants to start killing them. This is scary to me because if another country preys on our fear of robotic uprisings they can create a fleet of robots to fight the wars against us. Oh great, now I’m the one perpetuating fear. It’s scary to think that this great country we live in is so afraid of any advancement in robotics, and even the “roomba” is scary to some people, because if it becomes more self aware it will kill us all! Don’t believe me? Check out popular films that feature robotic uprisings like The Terminator, I Robot, Westworld, Red Planet, Death machine, and Exterminator City among other movies with this example of plot twisting.

If you’re not convinced that I’m right in regards to the stupidity and scary notion that a robotic uprising is just not going to happen, then consider step two in regards to why Chopping Mall is scary. Chopping Mall presents a very stupidbunch of teenagers and/or young adults. The people in this movie are complete morons. They start to shoot at the robots and see that bullets have no effect on them, yet they keep trying to hit the robots with as much fire power as they can get their hands on. It’s stupid to think that these humans are that dumb.

You know what would happen if I was trapped in the mall in the 1980’s? I would find a store that I can lock the door in and would just wait. I wouldn’t move until morning, I would go to sleep. If I saw the robots coming, I would go into the vent that was big enough for three women, and I would just hide out until the place opened up in the morning. That’s it. This movie shouldn’t be 90 minutes long it should be ten minutes long and feature me.

Alright, the real deal with Chopping Mall is that it’s a guilty pleasure. Sure it’s horrible, sure it doesn’t make sense at times, but it’s still worth watching, owning and laughing along. The cover is awesome and the 1980’s delivered yet another laughable piece of horror pie.

Here’s a bonus for you guys, since I’ve been flaking a little bit, here are posters from the 1980’s featuring some great artwork for you to enjoy.

Deadly Games

Children of the Corn

The Burning

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1 comment:

thebonebreaker said...

I have got to see this one... :-)

Great Review Jorge!