Chopping Mall (1986)

Starring: Kelli Maroney, Tony O’Dell, John Terlesky and Russell Todd

Directed by Jim Wynorski

Format: Fullscreen DVD

Taglines: “Where shopping can cost you an arm and a leg.”

“At Park Plaza Mall the new security force isn’t just tight, it’s terrifying!”

“Some people will kill for a bargain…and at Park Plaza Mall they do!  Here, you can shop till you drop…dead!

High tech robots equipped with state-of-the-art security devices have been recruited as the new mechanical ‘night watchman’ for the Park Plaza Mall.  When a jolting bolt of lightning short circuits the main computer control, the robots turn into ‘killbots’…on the loose after unsuspecting shoppers!  Four couples are trying to make it after-hours in a mattress store.  They make it all right…in the morgue!

At Park Plaza, you can save everything but your life!  PAUL BARTEL and MARY WORONOV of the hit thriller EATING RAOUL are reunited, plus RUSSELL TODD, BARBARA CRAMPTON and TONY O’DELL. CHOPPING MALL…where they slash their prices and their customers!”

My Story:

I have a habit of going to the video store and buying like, five movies at a time.  Chopping Mall was purchased in one of these groups that makes me wish I remembered what other movies I had bought it with.  I wanted to see this movie because I thoroughly enjoy 80s horror.  I love everything campy and B-rate.  I figured I probably couldn’t go wrong with a movie called Chopping Mall.  Seriously, Chopping. Mall. What a clever but god-awful play on words.

I was going to save this movie to watch with my friends.  But this time never came because I don’t think any of them wanted to deal with my possible geekout over a movie we were more than sure wasn’t going to be any good.  I mean, ever since we watched Tourist Trap they haven’t been mentally prepared for another 80s B-movie.

My Thoughts:

  • I had always thought a robot harpooning a burglar was the best way to stop theft.
  • Okay, so the robot is shooting tranquilizers and lasers.  I’m not sure if that’s the best safety solution.
  • “Absolutely nothing can go wrong.” Especially in a film called Chopping Mall, you know?
  • Oh man, that kid’s ice cream melted all over him in the elevator! The WORST!
  • I’ve never been to a mall where there were bikini models advertising anything, let alone the mall you were already in.
  • “You’re becoming a real candidate for prickhood.” Ouch.
  • Tony O’Dell absolutely just ripped off his clip-on tie.  Tough break.
  • If I have to hear John Terlesky chew gum one more time, I’m gonna have to call those robots on him.
  • Robot security in the mid-80s was such a poor investment.
  • Is it bad to have so many comments twenty minutes into the movie?
  • Oh I’m SO glad that Kelli Maroney and Tony O’Dell are watching Them! instead of banging in a furniture store like everyone else.
  • Well, at least the robot was polite to the janitor.
  • I feel like there should be janitorial robots to accompany the security ones.  But of course, those security robots aren’t doing too much good…
  • I forgot they were called Protectors. I feel like if Number 5 from Short Circuit and R2D2 had an incredibly troubled child, a mall Protector would be it.
  • The office phone is dead, however the pay phone rang not even five minutes ago?
  • “They’re trying to french fry us.” No, no I don’t think that’s what they are trying to do.
  • I’m sorry, did Russell Todd just say “Rambogram?” I feel like I should turn on the subtitles to make sure I’m hearing all the stupid lingo correctly.
  • Brodie from Mallrats should show up out of the blue.
  • Protector 1 did NOT just come back to life. No.
  • I sure hope Black Friday wasn’t the next day.
  • I don’t understand how the men still feel that guns will stop the Protectors.  It didn’t work the first time.
  • Was this filmed in the Monroeville Mall? Where’s the Krishna zombie?
  • Throwing your pistol at the robot is not what pistol whipping means.
  • Seriously, you’re going to break into the pet store to hide? That just doesn’t seem productive at all.

The Verdict:

I guess I didn’t know too much about the film going into it.  I didn’t expect a Science Fiction movie about some killer robots; I actually was expecting a campy slasher movie.  I probably should’ve done a bit more research. I’m not huge into robot movies to be honest, they never really appeased me.  The title does throw you off a bit, because there is very little chopping involved.  But this movie was a fun one to watch, and I can’t say I’m unhappy I bought it. It took early sci-fi elements and combined it with the campiness of 80s horror and made quite the hybrid. At least now I know for sure what the movie is about and won’t misinform anyone who asks me about Chopping Mall.  But I have a feeling I wouldn’t ever be asked that question.


2 responses to “Chopping Mall (1986)

  1. Well, you know what they say, “Can’t tell a book by its cover”. Guess it is the same with this movie. Doesn’t sound like there were many body parts lying around. I wouldn’t give it many stars for horror.

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