Each week, our resident underground and obscure film expert will highlight a new film each week a little off the beaten path that you may not have heard of. These are films that he feels have not gotten enough exposure and/or appreciation among genre fans.
Movie of the week #3: Chopping Mall
Recommendation for the week of April 4, 2016
Some of my favorite horror movies have come the 80s, including Waxwork, Slaughter High, Street Trash, Pieces, and many more. For me, there is just something magical about the awesome cheesiness of the 80s. And one movie stands out from all the others in this category. That movie is Chopping Mall, my second favorite horror film of all time.
Chopping Mall is a 1986 movie directed by Jim Wynorski and starring Kelli Maroney, Tony O’Dell, and the great Barbara Crampton. It’s about a group of teenagers working in a mall who decide to stay after hours for a little secret partying. Unfortunately for the teens, the mall has just introduced new high tech security robots. When lightning strikes, the robots become “killbots” and start killing off the young victims in the most sadistic and creative ways.
I mentioned this is #2 in my list of personal favorites, which may say a lot about the film. This movie is just so damn fun! There aren’t many movies that I can watch over and over again and not get sick of, but this is definitely one of them. Don’t get me wrong. This movie is certainly flawed, but that’s not what’s important.
If you can appreciate that wonderful cover art (my favorite cover art) and perfectly cheesy tagline (“Where shopping can cost you an arm an a leg”), you should really enjoy this movie. It’s pretty clear from the beginning what you’re getting into when you pop this movie in. If you walk into it expecting nothing more than a fun, cheesy (in a good way), and wonderfully gory movie, you should not be disappointed.
In other words, don’t expect a masterpiece. I don’t even know if I could call this a “good” movie by traditional standards. So, if B-movies aren’t your thing, then definitely steer clear from this movie. But if you’re like me and love movies such as Bucket of Blood, Sleepaway Camp, and Humanoids from the Deep, then you will have a blast with this one.
Fun fact: Chopping Mall was produced by Julie Corman, former wife of B-movie king Roger Corman.
Chopping Mall is by no means a perfect movie. But it’s packed with 80s cheese, creative kills, iconic killer robots, and gory special effects. It also boasts some pretty great cover art and a young Barbara Crampton. If you’re a B-movie fan, this is a must see for you.
Rating: 8 out of 10