In Volume 9 of Your Bad Movie Night Guide, we cover Chopping Mall, our first reader suggestion, brought to you by @TheLimoMaker. I nearly typed chopping block, as chopping mall makes very little sense, even after seeing the movie; it just sounds like someone’s pronouncing the real thing very poorly. Apparently, a janitor at a screening just suggested itand they ran with it, Chopping Mall being the most clever title they could come up with. And it tested better then original titles Robots and Killbots. This is the story of what happens when killer robots are designed to be non-lethal mall security blarts and their creator defies fate by uttering, “Trust me, absolutely nothing can go wrong.”
Directors: Jim Wynorski
Release Date: March 21, 1986
Bad Movie Grade: C+
Where to Watch: YouTube
COME FOR THE:
Here, I would normally make note of a ton of itemized quirky bits from the movie. Like, if someone experienced a nipple-twist gone too far, or if there’s dialog that’s beyond amazing. But really, I think the single funniest thing about this movie happens to be its intentional and unintentional commentary on the going-extinct socioeconomic entity and bastion of capitalism known as the mall.
There’s a great montage to start the film before the killer robots take over wherein you see what a mall looked like with actual throngs of consumers; sure, some malls still provide this type of experience, but it’s no longer guaranteed, and trust me, there are some malls that would make better wild west ghost towns. In one shot, a kid proudly stands at the entrance to a record store with a vinyl clearly stuck under his shirt, paying tribute to the low-tech security establishment that was the mid-80s American mall where a kid could steal like a kid. They acknowledge the respective hells that were the exposed elevators and food courts; disguised dens of iniquity where common courtesy and manners went to die. And it even provides a time traveller’s view to a period where girls wore Guess Jeans and Lacoste polos not because they were particularly cool or designer brands, but because they were functional hip-huggers or part of their pizza shop uniform. It was a simpler time. A better time. Also, a less forgiving and vastly less tolerant time. Thank Jebus for progression.
STAY FOR THE:
- Killer robots: these things truly are idiocy incarnate. Not as good as Johny 5 or the terminator, but they’ll make do in a pinch.
- Nerds who’ve watched Dirty Harry 23 times too many.
- Spontaneous mall bikini competitions.
- Sweaters tied around necks.
- The finale which is a straight up ripoff of The Terminator (released 2 years earlier) right down to the bad-perm Linda Hamilton-knockoff holding a ‘cyborg’ arm.
3 of our 4 teenage protagonist couples get it on, with varying levels of nudity and insinuation. Guess which couple lives?
Surprisingly, 1 of 4 party animal couples is already married to start the film.
You know some of the teenagers are doomed, obviously. But two witless scientists and one hapless janitor deserved better! They were just doing there jobs! And looking at porn! Harmlessly! Stop being so puritanical, killer robots! Just stop!
- “Trust me. Absolutely nothing can go wrong.” Thus ensuring that absolutely everything will go wrong.
- “Oh god. I should have known! That orca beaches here every night!”
- “Computer huh? Let’s go crash the fucker!”
- “I guess I’m just not used to being chased around the mall in the middle of the night by killer robots.”
- “Aww, fuck fuchsia, it’s Friday!” Obviously, the Friday YBMNG is going to love this line! It may become our mantra even.
- And literally the best two lines are from the intercom early on before things even take off. They’re subtle, so keep your ears open: “Attention shoppers, for the next half hour, everything in our drapery department will be marked down … 30%.” AND “We have a lost child in lingerie, answering to the name of … Steve .”