Reviewing The Lost Empire, a directorial debut of Jim Wynorski, again I’ve felt the great joy of being entertained. I’m talking about that genuine love and appreciation of B-movies, hell, even Z-grade drecks, if you will… that most of the times is lacking in the production nowadays. Or it seems like it to me. More money, better technology, less originality, less entertainment value. Not always, but most of the time.
Therefore, when I have decided to delve into Jim Wynorski’s output, many of the movies I haven’t seen before, I have opted for Chopping Mall – his second feature – and while I’ve seen it before, I’d only got a hazy memories of it, so, it’s really like “twice the charm”.
And Chopping Mall really delivers. It’s, of course, a low budget 80s movie, but it offers the viewer everything one could possibly want. So, let’s take a look at it, in case you haven’t seen it yet.
The movie tells a story of a few employees staying late to party in the closed mall (along with one cleaner, played by great B-movie actor Dick Miller). The security in the mall is provide by three robots, controlled by the computer in the control room, and we see Paul Coufos and Angela Aames from Jim Wynorski’s debut The Lost Empire as the presenters of those robots (by the way, it’s really nice to see a nod to The Lost Empire with the poster hanging in one of the shots). And when the computer shuts the mall, it’s really shut tight.
But as it usually happens, a storm causes the computer to malfunction and the robots go on killing spree killing every human they can find. So, it’s showtime!
That is the main framework the movies operates in. Now, check with me what you can possibly ask for and see if we can find it there.
1980s synthpop music? Check. And it’s nice to see some segment of it was re-used later in Jim Wynorski’s Deathstalker II. Totally in the spirit of low-budget film-making.
Boobs? Check. First, Barbara Crampton (of Re-Animator fame) shows her goods and then Suzee Slater provides the eye-candy of her own. Talk about the real stuff here.
Terrible hair styles and glasses? Check and check again.
Killer robots? Sure, check.
Gore? Well, sort of, so check.
And that’s not all, folks!!!
Chopping Mall doesn’t really looks like a low budget and although it’s quite predictable (both in the way of what’s gonna happen and who’s gonna survive), it’s fun. And as I’ve said above, I miss this mindles, “popcorn” fun of 80s. Therefore, this movie did really resonate with me and sure as hell I’m gonna re-visit it also some time in the future.