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Film: Chopping Mall

A 1980s Slasher Movie involving malfunctioning killer robots chasing people through a mall..

Eight teenagers get locked inside a mall and think they're in for a night of debauchery. The mall also has a shiny new robot security system. The creator of the system says "nothing could go wrong". Things go less than stellar.

Thanks to a lightning strike on the mall's transformer, the computer running the security robots begins to malfunction, deciding all humans in the mall are intruders and in need of removal with extreme prejudice. This leads to a running Chase Fight throughout the shopping center as the humans try to evade detection and destroy the robots.

A classic Roger Corman B-Movie from The Eighties, which has gained a cult following due to its hokey plot, tongue-in-cheek dialogue and gruesome robot kill scenes. Also known as "Killbots," the film's original working title and what it was syndicated to television as.


Tropes seen in Chopping Mall include:

  • All There Is to Know About "The Crying Game": The movie frequently shows up on compilations of "Exploding Head" scenes on Youtube.
  • The Cameo: Paul Bartel and Mary Woronov appear briefly at the beginning of the film as their characters from Eating Raoul.
    • Dick Miller shows up as Walter Paisley, a character he has played in multiple films.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The road flare.
  • Crush. Kill. Destroy!: Apparently the security bots' default setting following a computer malfunction.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: A customer oogles a group of girls in bikinis on an escalator, falls over crushing the boxes he was carrying
  • Elevator Failure: How Protector 2 meets its end, thanks to the humans rigging it to blow.
  • Final Girl: Partly subverted; Alison has to fight the last killbot alone, but it turns out her boyfriend was only stunned.
  • Frickin' Laser Beams: The Protectors' main weapon. They fire them from their visors.
  • Hollywood Nerd: Ferdy
  • Ironic Echo: "Hey! Have a nice day!"
  • I Know Mortal Kombat: when asked if he knows how to shoot a gun Ferdy says he's watched Dirty Harry twenty-four times.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Greg gets a fatal case of this while running through the mall blindly, leaving his friends far behind.
  • Lightning Can Do Anything: Apparently, the mall being struck by lightning is all it takes to make the robots murderous.
  • Lock and Load Montage: The guys stocking up with weapons and ammo at the sporting goods store.
  • Lowered Monster Difficulty: The killbots quickly and efficiently dispose of most of the cast. But when Protector 1 has Alison at its mercy in a storage room...
  • The Mall: The setting for the entire movie. There is not one scene filmed outside.
  • Man on Fire: Suzie dies when a killbot blows up the gas can she's carrying with incendiary results.
  • Molotov Cocktail: The girls try to use these on one robot, with poor results.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: On more than one occasion, the killbots manage to sneak up behind humans, even in situations where their presence should have been noticed way in advance.
  • Pun-Based Title: The film was originally titled "Killbots" (and was syndicated to television as such), but it had trouble finding an audience with this title. It was given it's current title for its re-release.
  • Saw Star Wars 27 Times: When asked if he knows how to handle a gun, Ferdy assures that he does because he's seen Dirty Harry 24 times.
  • Super Powered Robot Meter Maid: The robots are supposed to be mall security guards. Who the hell decided they needed lasers powerful enough to explode peoples' heads?
  • Terrifying Pet Store Rat: Snakes and spiders, literally in a pet store. They serve no real purpose, beyond forcing one girl to put up with terrifying things crawling on her without alerting the killer robots.
  • Vasquez Always Dies: Linda, the tough girl mechanic is killed by a random laser blast while Protector 3 is malfunctioning, while Alison, the more chaste and feminine one survives the night.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The film ends with the three security robots destroyed, but the malfunctioning computer that controlled them (and supposedly has control over other parts of the mall as well) is still operating. Although it can't send out any more robots to do its bidding, it can still cause trouble for any humans in the area.
  • Your Head A Splode: Leslie, the first girl to die in the movie, goes out this way courtesy of a killer robot's Frickin' Laser Beams.

Cat CityFilms of the 1980sThe Christmas Toy
Bill & TedScience Fiction FilmsCube
Child's PlaySlasher MovieClub Dread
Chinese Ghost StoryHorror FilmsChristine

alternative title(s): Chopping Mall
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