Halloween horror marathon: Chopping Mall

poster-chopping-mallThere’s never been a movie party to go off without a hitch. Ever. Take into account the fact that this shindig’s after-hours, and you’re guaranteed catastrophe. New, untested robotic security guards guarantee not only catastrophe, but catastrophic bloodbath. It’s cinematic rule: if people drink and screw in a place they’re not supposed to, they will die. Always has been, always will be.

Despite adherence to a trope, it’s still surprising how quickly the situation deteriorates. One would think that there would be some kind of built-in redundancy for power surges and so on when you’ve created robots that have tasers, sleeping darts, and lasers built-in. Evidently, such a thing isn’t necessary for security robots. One lightning strike and they turn into deadly killing machines.

The way shopping malls in the ’70s and ’80s had everything simply amazes, when viewed in retrospect. Being as how most malls can’t even support a movie store like Suncoast anymore, to see malls that hosted sporting goods stores with an entire array of semi-automatic weapons, and specialty food stores with comestibles aplenty in order to feed those stuck within … well, the mind simply boggles.

At a breezy 77 minutes, Chopping Mall has the perfect balance: cheesy, ridiculous plot, excessive violence (including one exploding head), and gratuitous nudity. Interesting fact: if you take into account Re-Animator, From Beyond, and Chopping Mall, I’ve probably seen Barbara Crampton topless more often than a couple of my ex-girlfriends. That woman certainly has no issue doffing her blouse in order to further the plot of assorted ’80s b-movies.

Chopping Mall succeeds primarily because Kelli Maroney is so damned likable. While the word “plucky” gets overused, it’s applicable to the characters played by Maroney in her few ’80s films. She has a certain kid sister appeal that leads you to root for her to win.

Watch Chopping Mall in its entirety below.