in Shocktober

Shocktober: Day 19

Chopping Mall (1986)

First off, awesome title. Which is crazy because it wasn’t even the original name of this schlocky Roger Corman produced flick. The original title was “Killbots” which is even better. I don’t think anyone would guess this is a film about killer robots after hearing the title “Chopping Mall”. Not to mention these killer robots don’t actually chop anyone up, they use lasers. So not only is the title misleading but it doesn’t have anything to do with the movie, but hey, awesome.

In Chopping Mall, robots called “Protectors” are invented to replace mall security. Meaning, after hours they are programmed to pursue anyone without a mall pass with a series of built-in gadgets to ensure their success. These gadgets include sleeping darts, a taser gun, and lasers that can slice through anything. Wait a minute, killer lasers? Why would a robot that’s supposed to be nonviolent have killer lasers? Hmm, well I’m sure that won’t come back to bite anyone in the ass.

Our main cast is a group of horny teens that work at the mall planning to throw a party after the mall closes. There’s the naive but good-hearted chick, the macho guy, the slut, the nerd, all the usual stereotypes and I’ll be damned if I can remember any of their names. For whatever reason, the teens get trapped in the mall and the robots go rouge and start killing them. I can’t stress that “whatever reason” enough because I don’t know why they became evil.

What I loved about my experience watching Chopping Mall is that it’s quick to the point. They don’t pussy foot around trying to make this a serious or even competent story. It’s purposefully over-the-top and when there are so many b-movies that attempt to actually be good movies, it’s refreshing to see one that’s comfortable with being a b-movie. There are great kills and bizarre moments (finding automatic rifle’s in a store in the mall) it’s pure cheese and sometimes you just need to chow down.

Here someone put together a collection of all the death scenes, skim through it if you dare.

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