Review: Chopping Mall


This is one movie I just couldn't pass up. Just from the name you can tell its either going to have all the qualities of a classic or just one sensible sales team who know how to sucker people like me in.

I see the name, I'm intrigued, I see the trailer and I'm hooked.

Like a Robocop from a poorer dimension, 'Chopping Mall' features not one but three robotic cops, each with the combined responsibility of guarding a shopping mall from thieves after the shops have shut. Sadly for the group of lock-ins, the company providing the security cut some corners in the insulation department and with one unfortunate strike of lightening the robots go haywire intent on killing anyone on sight.

So for 80 minutes we are treated to some explosive set pieces and plenty of 80s cheesiness as those trapped try to escape the rather clunky, but resourceful robots.

The success of the movie lies in two areas. The first is that the movie gets straight to the point and once it kicks off the pace never lets up. The dialogue isn't bad, and the characters, completely clichéd of course, provide suitable fodder for the robots. They act pretty dumb, but in all honesty they too are pretty resourceful which means that the movies action is continually varied. This leads me nicely on to my second point. The action is pretty well done. When you consider the budget I'm genuinely surprised that there was as much action as there was. We see plenty of the robots and once the group of lock-ins raid the gun store there are plenty of pitched battles.

The effects department are owed a mention at this point. The robots are hilarious. Think of several boxes, each slightly smaller than the other, piled on top of one another, with laser eyes and arms made from a clothes horse. They don't seem particularly well suited to their role as they are certainly not the most dexterous of creations, but still they use what they have got, and the environment is their friend. They never miss an opportunity to explode a fire extinguisher or to fire salvo after salvo of laser rounds turning the malls narrow corridors into shooting galleries.

The gore effects too were quite a surprise. With all the effort gone into making the robots 'come to life' I was gob smacked when we saw not one, but two excessively gory scenes, including one immense head-shot. The rest of the violence is pretty tame in all honesty, but its still there, and the deaths are varied, from the mention head-shots, to standard firearms wound to one quite horrific burning alive you never really feel you have been sold short.

Overall this is a real gem of a movie. Perhaps overlooked through the decades, split between the titles 'Kill Bots', which suggests one pretty suspect sci-fi movie, to 'Chopping Mall', which suggests exactly what it is, a quirky 80 slasher. Don't go paying over the odds for it thinking its going to be mega gory or anything, but if you see it cheap it will take pride of place in your collection!

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