Shitty Flicks is an ongoing column that celebrates the most hilariously incompetent, amusingly pedestrian, and mind-bogglingly stupid movies ever made by people with a bit of money, some prior porn-directing experience, and no clue whatsoever. It is here you will find unrestrained joy in movies meant to terrify and thrill, but instead poke at your funny bone with their weird, mutant camp-girl penis.
WARNING: I tend to give away major plot points and twist endings in my reviews because, whatever. Shut up.
Are you scared yet?
Well, you should be.
The robots are coming, people. Whether along the lines of that maid from "The Jetsons" who will strangle you with its metal claws, or even in the form of an advanced bathroom scale that convinces you you’re not overweight until you eat yourself to death, robots are going to be the human race’s undoing.
This is why Chopping Mall is so terrifying. It’s a robot killing teenagers. In a mall. A mall of teenagers and robots. Seriously, is there anything more terrifying?
The movie opens with a leather-clad thief smashing the display case of several jewels. The thief, having collected his night’s pay in the form of glinty rock, strolls through the mall.
And then the hum of little robot feet soon cuts through the air.
|Security robots? What's next, a black president?|
“STOP. RIGHT. THERE,” the robot demands. “SURRENDER. YOUR. WEAPON.”
The thief shoots the robot, not at all put off by the fact that he is being pursued by one in a shopping mall. The robot, unaffected by the gunshot, continues its pursuit. The thief then makes one last effort to escape before the robot shoots him with a laser, or something.
Of the promotional video, that is.
The flip screen goes blank, the lights come on, and Dr. Stan Simon approaches the stage of what appears to be a press conference to introduce the three robots that will begin serving as security of the mall where this presentation is taking place.
Dr. Simon demonstrates a typical robot/human scenario:
- The robot demands to see identification.
- Dr. Simon holds the badge in front of its face.
- The robot scans the badge and wishes him a merry day.
Sure, looks easy enough, but one can only assume that if something occurs where the robot cannot scan the badge, the human will end his night paralyzed by lasers.
Despite this thrilling display, the audience asks the typical “I am nervous about robots” questions, worried about working alongside them. Dr. Simon assures them that “nothing could possibly go wrong.”
Cue title: CHOPPING MALL.
|No, dear reader, that's not a robot.|
That's what we call an "80s human."
We barely meet our first two characters: young, supple, mall-restaurant waitresses named Suzi and Allison. Intriguing character development is introduced, such as Allison being new to the restaurant, while Suzi isn’t new to the restaurant. Also, Suzi is the outgoing type. Allison isn’t the outgoing type.
That’s about all we get for character development.
Lightning suddenly strikes the mall’s outdoor-important-electric-thinger, sending a scientist in a control room scrambling to stabilize everything. The robots just behind him whir and flash their face light, having been awakened by said lightning, unbeknownst to the scientist. Having stabilized the big dashboard of blink-lights, he wheels around in his chair, looks at pornography, and is killed by a robot claw.
Boy, these robots sure are proactive!
We then meet our trio of testosterone-driven generic hornball dudes. They pass the time of their shitty mall furniture job by discussing the plans of the evening: drinking beer and maybe having some sex at night in the furniture store where they work…after hours.
Another scientist enters the control room, talks banter to himself for several minutes in an attempt to make a scene with himself interesting, and is killed by robots.
|"DR. GEORGE. COME. TO. BED. IT'S. LATE."|
Now that all of our introduced children have met up, some serious dancing is taking place in the furniture store, as Ferdy, wearing glasses and therefore nerdy and awkward, is set up with Allison, an also nerdy and awkward teen.
“PROTECTOR. ONE. GOING. ONLINE. LEVEL. ONE,” a robot says to no one as he begins his nightly patrol of the mall. He comes across the partying teens in the furniture store, turns his robot head to analyze the threat-level, but then goes on his robot way.
Not just yet, robot.
Not just yet.
The other robots take their place on each level and begin their robot shift as well.
Couple Number One enjoys a roll in the sack, their underwear clad bits grinding.
Couple Number Two are stationed on a couch, as the girl does a naughty strip tease for her fella.
Couple Number Three seem to be engaging at failed cunnilingus.
Aaaand… Ferdy and Allison watch a giant killer crab movie, of which Allison is actually scared.
“Sorry, I don’t know why I watch these things,” she says sheepishly.
I don’t either, Allison. It’s a fucking giant crab movie. Then again, I am watching a killer robot movie.
Dick Miller, reliable genre favorite, plays Walter the janitor, who deflects mean-spirited comments from his janitor associates as he mops up the floor. His peers leave him to mutter, mop, and wonder where his life went wrong. But then a mystery guest shows up to help.
It demands to see Walter’s identification badge, and when Walter refuses, the robot shoots a taser line, which misses and crashes in the moppy mess at Walter’s feet.
“What the hell is that?” Walter asks, reading my mind. He raises his mop, about to administer a braining, but he accidentally steps in the electrically charged puddle and subjects himself to the best electrocution visual effects that the 1980s had to offer. We even see a brief flash of his skeleton.
Michael and his girlfriend, Leslie, finish up with their sex, so Michael decides it is time to smoke cigarettes. He puts on some jeans and leaves the furniture store to find a vending machine of smokes. His gum-smacking stupid face was born to be crushed by the metal tangibles of a wacko jacko robot. And so that happens now. The robot approaches and asks for his ID. Michael is more amused by the robot than intimidated. This will be his ultimate undoing. The robot claw softly caresses Michael’s throat, but in the robot way that robots do it. Needless to say, Michael doesn’t chew gum anymore. Or be alive.
When Michael doesn’t return with a pack of smokes and his eighteen-year-old penis, Leslie soon loses patience and wanders after him, finding his motionless body in the vending machine hallway. Leslie decides to have a ten-minute conversation with Michael’s corpse in order to pad out the running time of this movie.
Leslie then does the typical “stop foolin’” shake until she sees his cut throat.
It pursues the girl through the mall, firing electrical bolts at her pantied ass until shooting one final and terribly satisfying blow to her face, exploding her head in a fountain of gore and delight.
The robots then storm the furniture store, their robot meters set on destroy, as they shoot lasers at the half-naked hooligans. The kids lock themselves in a storage closet as the robots fire their lasers at the conveniently steel-enforced doors.
“PREPARE. FOR. DETONATION,” says one of the robots, firing plastic explosives at the door hinges.
Why on earth would a mall robot have that?
The robots take refuge away from the explosion, but then they rush to the room to find…nothing. The girls manage to make it up into the air duct, while the boys haul ass to the mall’s sporting-good store: Peckinpah’s (ugh, I’m sure he would be pleased).
“Let’s go send those fuckers a Rambo-gram,” says one of them, as I groan. The idea that sporting good stores—in a mall, no less—sell magnum hand guns and machine guns is just as convenient as it is unrealistic, but that doesn’t matter, because a combination of aimless shooting and a haphazardly-tossed propane tank results in one Rambo-gram DELIVERED.
The girls make it to a Sears Hardware-ish type store and collect cans of gasoline, the plan being to whip up a small arsenal of tin-can cocktails to make some robot toast. Unfortunately it doesn’t go so well, since they're girls. Allison tosses a flaming gas can at an oncoming robot, which results in a minor explosion which the robot simply wheels over.
“THANK. YOU. AND. HAVE. A. NICE. DAY,” says one of the robots, smarmily. He fires a laser at a gas can and delivers to Suzi a fiery death.
The boys show up in time to get the girls to safety with the robot hot on their trail. They fire a series of shots into the elevator, exploding it and blocking the robots from accessing their higher level. The kids then chillax and try to regroup. Greg bitches at Allison, telling her that if they had stayed in the duct, Suzi, his fuck girl, would still be alive.
The kids try to make a break for it up an escalator, but Greg makes the mistake of leaving his back unguarded. Cue robot # 2, who was assigned to protect that level. The robot claws Greg in the back and pushes him over the railing to his death several levels below.
ROBOTS: STILL AWESOME
HUMANS: STILL LAME
The kids flee and the robots continue to pursue, using escalators to get around (haha, there is no better sight than seeing a robot slowly ride up an escalator as its stupid robot head swivels back and forth). Surprisingly, we’re this far into the movie when someone actually suggests that splitting up would be the best option. Everyone begins to shout at each other, which was bound to happen eventually.
“I guess I’m just not used to being trapped in a mall in the middle of the night being chased around by killer robots,” says Linda.
Suddenly, an idea sprouts and they get to work. And not a moment too soon! The robot lasers his way into their hideout and the kids open fire with their small arsenal. After attracting the lasers of the robot, they hide behind a row of mannequins and uncover the mirrors strategically placed behind them. The robot’s lasers deflect off the mirrors and fire back at himself, blowing himself up, but not without taking Linda and Rick with him.
With Ferdy and Allison the remaining robot targets, the two finally opt to split up and see if they can find a way out. And from what I gather from their plan, if one finds the way out, they are to alert the other by screaming. A lot of loud, piercing screaming.
After a few minutes, Allison starts screaming.
Not at an exit, though.
At a robot.
Luckily, Ferdy shows up and fires his stupid gun which he has yet to learn is pointless against the steel robots. Once out of ammo, Ferdy throws a fire hydrant at the robot, which the robot promptly throws back, knocking Ferdy on his ass and out cold.
“THANK. YOU. HAVE. A. NICE. DAY.”
And the chase continues.
|"Put my balls in your mouth you nasty robots!"|
Allison takes refuge in a pet store, which turns into open season for robot hunting. The robot’s dumb body knocks over glass tanks left and right as he searches for her. The robot’s stupid robot head turns round-and-round, looking for Allison, but she has cleverly hidden herself under a tank, where, thanks to the robot's ability to turn his head left to right, yet, not pivot up and down, she is out of the robot’s sight. All of the creepy things from the smashed tanks, like tarantulas and snakes, figure Allison’s body is the best place to hang out, and so they all cuddle together as she tries to keep from screaming (which, let’s face it, when compared to killer robots, isn’t worth getting into a pissy over). Soon, the robot leaves, and Allison vacates the store, but a shrieking monkey (yes, a monkey in a mall pet store) causes Allison to cry out, and once again attracts the attention of the robot. Allison throws herself over the ledge and hangs onto the railing in order to hide from the robot, but that, too, fails, and she falls on a conveniently placed tent which breaks her fall—and her leg.
Allison, with a newly found car flare, crawls into a paint shop, where she begins opening and throwing can after can of paint all over the floor, along with some paint thinner. After attracting the attention of the robot, his stupid conveyor wheels can’t find traction through the gooey paint and can only spin in circles, dumbly extending his robot arms.
“Have a nice day!” Allison yells ironically, tossing the flare into the paint store which results in a much-too-big explosion, ending the robot’s robot life.
ROBOTS: NOT (BUT STILL AWESOME)
Allison crawls away from the wreckage, relieved that her night of robot evil is over, but one more surprise awaits her:
Ferdy, clasping a rag to his head.
“Nice shot,” he says, smiling, and wearing glasses.
They later get married, move to Long Beach, and have nerdy kids who then grow up to be killed by the kids of the dead robots.
Life just keeps going on, doesn't it?
ROBOT MOVIES: 1