Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Chopping Mall

Using the taglines, "Where shopping costs you an arm and a leg!," and "Shop 'til you drop... DEAD!"... How could you refuse?

Unfortunately the title is actually a bit misleading, this isn't quite the teen slasher film it seems to imply that it is. The original name was "Killbots," and that's what it's actually about, a mall with crazed security robots. Not that that's bad, it's just a little unexpected.

The film starts off by showing us a demo reel of the robots and their uses for protection. We then get a pitch from the salesman about how installing security robots in the mall will make it the safest mall around. Also, we're assured that we shouldn't worry; nothing can go wrong.

Soon enough, we find out that the robots have indeed been installed at the mall. We're taken up to the "computer" room where the robots and excess mall scientists are stored.

The scientist doesn't really seem to have any particular task to do up there though, which is a fact that doesn't take him too long to figure out... so he promptly whips out the porn.

Too bad for him, a thunderstorm is brewing outside. The computers take 2 lightning strikes without consequence. But as anyone who knows anything about computers will tell you, once your computer takes 3 lightning strikes, it's may start acting a little funny.

Pictured: A little funny.

We cut back to the kids who we saw working at the mall, who have stayed late in order to have some sort of late night party after work in the Furniture King store.

Presumably, they pick the Furniture King because that's the store with lots of things to have sex on. The start taking advantage of this pretty quickly... but by now the killbots have noticed their presence and are making their way to them.

While they're on their way, one of the girls decides she wants some cigarettes from the vending machine. So the gum-loving jock gets sent off to buy her cigarettes as his prerequisite payment for sex. He does remember to bring his employee I.D. badge in case of robots, but these thrice-lightninged killbots don't care much about those anymore as he'll soon find out. When he does get down to the vending machine, he seems to take a while to figure out how it works for some reason, long enough to let a killbot sneak up on him and demand to see his badge.

His response is just great. "Klaatu barada nikto, OK?" a reference to the 1951 film, The Day the Earth Stood Still. In that film, the human must speak these words to the robot, Gort in order to keep him from destroying the humans. It's not quite as effective here.

Next, his girlfriend goes to investigate and abruptly comes to her end as well in a sudden surprising head explosion shot that is reused at the end of the movie when her character is credited.

Everyone starts to realize that something is wrong now, and the rest of the movie is pretty much them running to one room, stopping and waiting for the robots to make it to them again, and then running to the next room.

Some time during that, the most annoying surviving blond girl starts to really crank up the whininess.

Odds are, right about now you're thinking "I hope she dies next, preferably in a fire."

Well guess what!

Thanks movie!

After that, we have another 30 minutes or so of everyone running and all the guys firing guns at the robots, even though this has proven to be be completely ineffectual thus far.

Eventually, everyone bumbles around long enough that the first two killbots are actually taken out in ridiculous, almost accidental ways. The last killbot gets his dramatic Terminator 2 style, fiery thumbs-up death and the credits roll.

While Chopping Mall doesn't really bring anything new to the table (or any actual chopping for that matter), it's still a lot of fun and definitely worth picking up.

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