Chopping Mall (1986)

designed three state-of-the-art, stainless steel, enforcement robots programmed to stop intruders dead in their tracks. They are armed with disarming shock cables and a laser. The press was somewhat against this but Dr. Simon assured everyone that this plan was fool proof and nothing could go wrong. A group of friends: Alison Parks, Rick and Linda Stanton, Michael Brennan, Leslie Todd, Greg Williams, Suzy Lynn, and Ferdy Meisel, all employees of different mall shops, had made a plan to throw an after-hours orgy that night. Alison and Ferdy were reluctant to come but their friends totally insisted. But that night, there was an electrical storm that struck the laboratory generators which caused the three security robots to come to life. Number 1 killed lab technician Marty as well as his brother Paul. They then set out into the mall to do their patrols. Number 1 took level 1, Number 2 took level 2 and Number 3 took level 3. Meanwhile in the furniture store, the friends carried on with their party. Ferdy and Alison were introduced to one another and just hit it off. While their friends made love, they watched a movie about giant killer crabs. Soon, Leslie wanted a pack of cigarettes so she sent Michael to the machine. Meanwhile, janitor Walter was finishing up his cleaning when he ran into Number 1 who spilled his bucket of water. He then shot out his shock cable and rendered poor Walter deep-fried. Number 1 then met up with Michael and brutally killed him.

Leslie wandered out to see what became of Michael. She soon found out and that’s when she was chased by Number 1, laser firing. It finally blew off her head. Greg, Suzy, Rick, Linda, Ferdy and Alison ran for it. They planned their escape, but suddenly the large metal security doors around the mall closed. They were trapped. The girls went up the ventilation shaft while Greg, Rick and Ferdy ran to a sporting goods store and grabbed some guns. Unfortunately Number 1 was bullet proof. Ferdy chucked a propane tank at it, Greg fired and KABOOM! Number 1 fell over, deactivated. Meanwhile, Suzy, Linda and Alison left the ventilation shaft and landed in the hardware department. They grabbed some cans of gasoline and went out into the mall. They reach the second floor and fall prey to Number 2. Lighting the gas cans and chucking them at Number 2 did no good. It attacked poor Suzy. Meanwhile, Number 1 reactivated and continued his persuit. Ferdy, Greg and Rick had rigged some propane tanks to an elevator. They had a plan. Greg took Suzy’s death out on the guys but Rick said they had to stick together no matter what. Rick lured Number 2 into the elevator, the doors closed, Greg aimed, fired and KABOOOOM!!! The elevator as well as Number 2 were blown to smithereens.

Ferdy decrees they must find the master computer on the third floor and destroy it, thus putting the robots out of commission. Unfortunately when climbing the escalator, they ran into Number 3 who chucked Greg off the balcony to his death. They couldn’t go down because Number 1 cut them off. They run to a clothing store and hide out. Number 1 tries to get out while Number 3 patrols around the third floor. Alison has an idea to set up mannequins and some mirrors. When Number 3 fired its laser at them, it bounced off the mirrors and electrified Number 3. Poor Linda and Rick were killed in the process but then Number 3 was blown to bits. One to go. Ferdy and Alison split up. Number 1 found Alison and Ferdy was knocked unconscious. Number 1 eluded Alison to the first floor. She ran into a hardware store and began dumping paint and paint thinner all over the place. Number 1 entered. She took out the road flare she kept from earlier, lit it and KABOOOOOOOM!!!!! The store, along with Number 1 were completely obliterated. Ferdy showed up then and the two rejoice, but knew full well that when the mall opened in the morning, they would have ALOT of explaining to do. Like, why many of the stores were on fire and why they blew up the security robots.

This movie was pretty good. It’s a very original and creative idea. Teens being persueded across a large, empty shopping mall at night by killer robots. There was another movie released the same year called Short Circuit and they originally wanted the robot in that movie to be a killer, but they changed it so he was nice. Like all horror flicks, Chopping Mall could have a sequel: Chopping Mall II. Where they’ve locked Alison and Ferdy in the looney bin and rebuilt the robots, hence Numbers 4, 5 and 6. Pure horror movie justice. But, oh well. This movie stars a bunch of unknowns like Tony O’Dell, Kelli Simon, Karrie Emerson and Russell Todd. Dick Miller is here too. Anyway, if you like ’80s horror flicks or robot flicks or late-at-night-trapped-in-a-shopping-mall-chased-by-killer-robot-flicks, then Chopping Mall is for you!