Chopping Mall

Nothing like this happens. Ever.
"Where shopping can cost you an arm and a leg."

Greetings from the dark underworld of movies, it's time for more Tagline! Today I decided that it was a fine time to explore the wide world of B-movie garbage, and so took to the archive. This brought me into striking range of the dross produced by Roger and Julie Corman, and eventually to Chopping Mall. You might suspect from the name that Chopping Mall is a horror movie about a serial killer or ax murderer in a mall killing people. Maybe you'd think it was about a mall where people are chopped up, in some sort of bizarre dystopic world. You would be wrong in both cases, as this movie is actually about killer robots! Originally released in '86 as Killbots, I guess that wasn't punny enough so they re-released it as Chopping Mall, and it did a bit better afterwards. The premise of the movie is not super complicated. There is a mall. Then there are robots. The robots start killing people in said mall. That's about all there is to it. I mean, I guess I can go into more detail about the highly scientific way that the robots get to this point.

Look at those special effects. Wow.
So in this bizarre mall, which is super duper 80s futuristic (it's the Galleria I think) new security measures are being implemented, presumably because in this world malls are routinely assaulted by standing armies. These security measures include closing heavy metal doors that are automatically operated. More importantly though, the mall has implemented three treaded robots with funny arms (4 of them pointing outward, and articulated really poorly). In addition they have tasers and tranquilizer darts. That seems reasonable right? Well how about also they have laser blasters (I mean they behave like plasma guns but they also have the burning kinds of lasers). That seems like more weapons than mall security robots are likely to need, but okay, maybe you want to be really sure right? OH BUT WAIT ALSO they can project pellets of plastic explosives, and then use their taser leads to detonate the shaped charges. Now I guess there are lots of situations where these weapons would be needed for a security robot. Like say a robber was hiding inside a hardened bunker, and the robots needed to "apprehend" him, by shooting him with lasers. it seems like they'd really need a way to blast open the bunker. Look no further then, than the Chopping Mall killbots.

The face of true terror.
The movie starts with these robots being presented. They are designed to read the IDs of any workers at night, and if the person has no id, they are to subdue that person. Again, I'm not sure why the robots have been given lethal future weapons, but there it is. I'd also think that maybe robotic killing machines are not the best means of protecting a mall, where people will be all the time. Looking back, they never described the robots as HAVING their lethal weapons during the demonstration, so I guess that was an unexpected bonus the company gave to the consumer. Things are all good it seems, and a bunch of rowdy teenage mall employees decide to hang out at the mall after hours and have a drinking and sex party. All but two of them end up doing the deed, and I'm sure if you've seen a horror movie ever before in your life this reveals to you who is going to suffer a horrible death before the conclusion of the movie. Anyway a lightning storm happens, several bolts strike the mall, and in typical movie fashion this causes the security bots to become merciless killing machines, instead of just doing... you know nothing, or perhaps making them not work at all.

From there on, it's kill kill kill all the time. Watch robots with funny treads chase kids around, watch those
This almost looks like a chop, but alas it is not.
kids get murdered, and experience the very best that '80s B horror has to offer. There are inexplicable explosions, people get set on fire, there's classically corny dialog, and surprise boobs around every corner. So like I said, basically everything you'd expect. Also I learned from the climax of this film that you should really be careful around housepaint, because it appears to have the same chemical makeup as a crate full of hand grenades. Also bear in mind that literally at no point in the movie, will anyone, at any time, endure any kind of attack that could be described as a chop. Exploding Mall I guess doesn't quite have the same ring to it, but it would by far a more accurate title. Maybe Laser Mall. I mean that sounds like a pretty cool movie that I would watch.

Anyway, if you have friends over and want to watch some cheesy horror stuff, consider Chopping Mall. It really gets the B job done. That's it for today! Join me again on Thursday, when I will take us on a surreal journey into a land of insanity and nonsensical garbage. That's right, THIS movie wasn't filling that slot for the week.

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