Is Chopping Mall one of the good 80s horror movies?

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Answered by: Thomas, An Expert in the Movie Reviews Category
Gentle readers, before we get to the actual movie review, it's time to discuss a sad, sad truth: God hates you. Now, you may try to argue that God gave humans free will, dominion over all we survey, and, most importantly, life. However, you fail to notice that God is trying to kill life on the planet.

Consider lightning. Possibly God's most “metal” creation since, well, metal. As 80s horror movies have shown, lightning can incinerate the living and bring inanimate things to life like Frankenstein's Monster, Jason Voorhees (Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986)), sea monkeys, and robots. And what do these all have in common? They all want to kill humans! Especially the sea monkeys. They're just biding their time. As we learned in the seminal work on artificial intelligence, Short Circuit (1986), without the calming influence of Ally Sheedy, lightning-infected robots will rampage and destroy all living things. Such is the case with the security droids in Jim Wynorski's Chopping Mall.

Continuing the 80s horror movies trend of placing the plot of a slasher in new and exciting venues, three young, nubile couples hang out in the local mall after hours to have a pastel and big hair orgy in the furniture department. One can almost view this section of the movie as an 80s wildlife show: demonstrating the mating habits of the late 80s yuppie.

The mall has recently upgraded its security system with the installation of three security robots that resemble the bastard children of the Daleks and Vishnu. Unfortunately for our young lovers, lightning has struck the mall and set the robots on a kill-crazy rampage. Locked in the mall, the couples attempt to destroy the robots and survive until the doors open in the morning. Because the hallmark of any good security system is impenetrable doors that cannot be opened from the inside.

One of the real treats of the film is the cast. It's essentially the lost and found of 80's schlock cinema; featuring Russell Todd from Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981), Kelli Maroney from Night of the Comet (1984), Dick Miller from Gremlins (1984) and everything else, a blink and you'll miss it cameo from Rodney Eastman from A Nightmare on Elm St. 3: The Dream Warriors (1987), Mary Woronov from Death Race 2000 (1975), Gerrit Graham from Child's Play 2 (1990) and one of the greatest scream queens, Barbara Crampton. And where there's Barbara Crampton, there's gratuitous nudity!

And what goes better with gratuitous nudity than gratuitous violence? These robots pull no punches as they deliver possibly the best head explosion since Scanners (1981). I give the teens credit as they also take the fight to the robots in an attempt to survive the night.

Chopping Mall was nothing but action and cheesy acting. I loved it. While the running time comes in on the shorter side, this movie would pair up nicely with any other slasher of the era and, in particular, I got a distinct Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1998) 80s horror vibe.

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