director Jim Wynorski
From schlockmeister Jim Wynorski and produced by Julie Corman, Chopping Mall is some seriously Eighties biz. I mean, it’s set in a mall. It takes place almost entirely inside a mall (the Sherman Oaks Galleria). But Eightiesness is just one aspect of charm to this fun thriller about killer robots gone amok. In fact, it’s packed with charms.
Chopping Mall stars Kelli Maroney, a stand-out from Night of the Comet (1984) and one-time Ryan’s Hope star (my mom loved that show). Maroney plays Alison, a young mall waitress who meets up with some friends for an after hours party in a mall furniture store, only to become trapped and hunted by those killer robots. The film also features brief cameos by the always welcome Dick Miller, Paul Bartel, and Mary Woronov and Barbara Crampton in a somewhat “meatier” role.
Interestingly inspired by Gog (1954), the mall’s nouveau electronic security force are set awry not by an alien force but rather by mere lightning! Beating RoboCop (1987) to the punch by a year, it’s nowhere as ambitious but it is scads of fun, packed with references to Roger Corman movies galore, it’s a lot of low-budget schlocky fun, a classic of its own kind.
“I guess I’m just not used to being chased around the mall in the middle of the night by killer robots!”