Two things made me love this film before I'd even seen it. First up is that gloriously puntastic title, and the second is the fact I worked in a shopping centre (mall to my American readers) for nine years, which makes the thought of gory mayhem in a mall oh so very appealing.
While the Beyond Terror DVD edition I'm viewing may look like it was ripped from a battered VHS copy, it's uncut and an absolute cheesy delight from start to finish. The story is nice and simple for late-night viewing: Security robots run amok in a shopping mall one night when a bunch of kids have hidden away in order to have a midnight party once the place is shut. Carnage ensues, at one point including the best head explosion this side of Scanners.
The characters are about as 80s-horror-teen-stereotype as it gets, and it's almost a relief when the INSANE SECURITY ROBOTS OF DOOM start butchering them with lasers and all manner of other methods of crowd control.
It should really have been quite clear what was going to happen as soon as the robots were unveiled to mall officials at the start of the film, considering the things look like a cross between Daleks, tanks and KITT from Knight Rider. One lightning strike is all it seems to take in order to send them mental and start laying waste to humans. I bet they were running Windows.
Chopping Mall stars That Guy From Deathstalker and a few familiar faces, but who gives a crap about the cast when there are robots making people's heads explode? The young cast get up to all of the naughty things that teenagers do in 80s horror movies, but with the added bonus of getting away with it in a closed shopping mall.
It's like Dawn of the Dead with robots and shagging. I mean, how can anyone fail to love a scene involving a very 80s girl in typical old horror flick knickers and t-shirt ensemble being chased by a marauding robot that blows her head to pieces and then says 'have a Nice day!' in a robotic monotone. It's great.
The film isn't quite as graphic as the cover art suggests, but Chopping Mall is just as much silly 80s fun as you would expect from the title and its reputation. It's a rubbish film when looked at in a critical manner, almost childish in its execution, but when viewed as I am doing now, with a couple of cans, some BBQ chicken wings and chips, I think it's fantastic.
It's been my birthday this week and as such my stash has grown rather a lot... New arrivals include:
CHOPPING MALL DVD
LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT 2 DISC DVD
NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD - 90S REMAKE- DVD
DAY OF THE DEAD VHS
THE EXTERMINATOR - BIG BOX VHS
ARCADE - BIG BOX VHS (Oh how I've missed owning this film)
FUTURE HUNTERS BIG BOX VHS
HARDWARE BIG BOX VHS
THE ATTIC BIG BOX VHS
DEATHSTALKER III BIG BOX VHS
ZOMBIE FLESH EATERS - EXTREME EDITION VHS
ICE CREAM MAN DVD
HELL ASYLUM DVD
SHE - BIG BOX VHS
THE HUNGER VHS
(and at least a dozen SF paperbacks)
...and possibly some I've missed out. Crikey.