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Film: Mallrats
aka: Mall Rats
A 1995 film by Kevin Smith, and part of the The View Askewniverse. It is the second entry into this series, although chronologically set before Clerks.

T.S. and Brodie are comic-book loving slackers who have both recently broken up with their respective girlfriends. Seeking solace at the local mall, they find ways to sabotage their exes' plans and to try and woo them back. Like all Smith films, this film takes quite a bit of Vulgar Humor. It was filmed in Eden Prairie Center in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, which at the time was a tired and dying mall with low traffic. (It has since been extensively renovated.)

Taking place a day before Clerks, with the usual parodies and Star Wars references (and a surprising cameo by Stan 'The Man' Lee).

Though it is now considered just as much a cult classic as Clerks, at its time of theatrical release it significantly underperformed the earlier film on a much higher budget (grossing less than $2.5 million of its $6 million budget) and helped come close to bankrupting distributor Gramercy Pictures (though Michael Moore's Canadian Bacon did even worse, recouping less than $179,000 of its own $11 million budget).

This film provides examples of:

  • Accidental Pervert: Silent Bob turns into one of these: each time a Zany Scheme backfires, he ends up in a women's dressing room, where he sees a girl in the process of trying on clothes. And it's always the same girl. The girl in question, Gwen, is later seen changing in semi-public while talking to Brodie and TS, claiming that it saves her the effort.
  • Actor Allusion: In one scene, Doherty's character Rene is called "Brenda" by mistake (her character in 90210). Ben Affleck's character's name, Shannon Hamilton, is a veiled reference to Doherty's previous marriage to Ashley Hamilton.
  • Bald of Evil: Brandi's father, Mr. Svenning.
  • Berserk Button: Shannon hates mallrats, because they just loiter with no intention on buying anything.
  • Black Comedy Rape: Trish the Dish.
  • Breast Attack: Gwen sneaks up on her old boyfriend TS, who jumps and "elbows [her] right in the freakin' tit!" She responds by giving TS an upward double axe handle to the groin. (Brodie uses the opportunity to explain his opinion of karmic justice to TS.)
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Brodie gives a side glance to the camera after Stink Palming Mr. Svenning.
  • Brick Joke: Jay and Silent Bob are seen with a random monkey in the Where Are They Now credits. This is not explained for three movies, until they rescue a monkey from an animal testing lab in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.
    • Actually picked up on in the 'Chasing Dogma' series of comics that has, as the name suggests, the movies 'Chasing Amy' and 'Dogma' as bookends - The series explains how Jay and Silent Bob end up in the same town as Bethany - They're searching for Shermer, Illinois (the site of many a John Hughes movie, and naturally, nonexistent), and along the way, end up rescuing a chimp which is hunted, in a hilarious Fugitive spoof, by a Tommy Lee Jones lookalike. Presumably needing some narrative for Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Smith recycled this with Will Ferrell in the Jones role.
    • In an effort to destroy the stage, Silent Bob dresses up in a Batman mask, swings past a critical pin (missing his chance to grab it), and crashes through a dressing room wall with Gwen inside. This (and their other antics) form the basis for the Bluntman and Chronic comic that forms parts of the plot of Chasing Amy and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. Additionally, Jay can be overheard telling this story to Loki and Bartleby in Dogma.
  • The Brute: Shannon.
  • The Cameo: Of Stan Lee, no less. Also of Game Show host Art James.
  • Catholic School Girls Rule: Invoked deliberately by Tricia, as part of her sex research.
  • Celebrity Paradox: At one point, Silent Bob is shown reading Spike, Mike, Slackers, and Dykes, a book about the indie film industry which includes a chapter on Kevin Smith and the making of Clerks.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Trish the Dish and her video tapes.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Silent Bob practicing his Jedi telekinesis. Also, Willam's inability to see the sailboat plays a pretty important part in the ending.
  • Continuity Nod: Explains the death of Julie Dwyer, the girl whose funeral Dante and Randal crash in Clerks.
  • Denser and Wackier: Compared to Clerks. While that film was pretty down-to-earth, with most of the humor derived from its many Seinfeldian Conversations, Mallrats featured a lot more zany comedy and slapstick.
  • Elevator Going Down: Brody and Renee.
  • Enforced Method Acting: Renee's anger about being called "Brenda" isn't fake. No one told Doherty that Suplee was going to say it, and it apparently ticked her off.
  • Euphemism Buster:
    Brandi: Second suitor: if we were making whoopee, what sounds would you make?
    Brodie: Wait, what's whoopee?
    Brandi: You know, being intimate.
    Brodie: What? Like fucking?
  • Follow the Leader: The game show is a shameless ripoff of The Dating Game.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: This could just be a mistake, but if you freeze-frame on the Magic Eye puzzle and actually adjust your eyes to see the picture, you'll see it isn't a sailboat; it's just a few abstract shapes. No wonder Willam couldn't see the sailboat.
  • Groin Attack: Gwen smashes T.S. in the balls with her purse, after he accidentally elbows her in the breast. Supposedly, in the take they wound up using, she accidentally did smash him and his agony is real.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Parodied. Silent Bob pulls a number of unlikely items from his trench coat, including a full-size, inflated sex doll.
  • It's for a Book: Parodied with a high schooler having sex with older men in order to write a book about it.
  • Jerk Ass: Shannon and Mr. Svenning, Brandi's father.
  • Karmic Rape: The fate of Ben Affleck's character.
  • Kneel Before Zod: Shouted by Jay after smacking La Fours with a baseball bat.
  • Leg Cling: The poster.
  • The Mall: Of course. A very rare example of a work acknowledging the then fairly new concept of "dead malls" in the form of the "dirt mall" (which was actually in New Brunswick, NJ, and has since been replaced with a Loews Cineplex).
  • Moon Logic Puzzle: The Magic Eye puzzle Willam is obsessed with.
  • Mythology Gag: A portion of Brandi and Gwen's conversation backstage of the game show sounds vaguely familiar....
    • In Clerks, Dante asks Randal if he's going to lock up the video store before the hockey game. Here, T.S. asks Jay if he ever gets stoned. Randal and Jay's responses are identical, right down to the vocal inflection: "Look who you're askin' here!"
    • T.S. is shown to be responsible for the cutting remark that convinces Julie Dwyer to swim laps until she drops dead. Dante and Randall wreck her wake in Clerks.
    • In Clerks, Randall tells the story of how his cousin Walter died attempting to...satisfy himself. The opening lines of this movie have Brodie telling a similar story of a bizarre act by his cousin Walter, implying that they may be the same cousin and that Brodie and Randall are related.
      • The tie-in comics later confirm that they are indeed cousins.
      • It's also implied they have the same grandma: who is/was a lesbian, and very racist.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Shannon delivers one to Brodie that made Kevin Smith uncomfortable.
  • Not Distracted by the Sexy: T.S. completely ignores the topless psychic's breasts, and comes to an epiphany over her advice. Brodie however, who was previously excited at the thought of topless fortune telling, can't stomach the sight of her (fake) third nipple.
    • The ironic part is that he has the epiphany over what she's saying as she's trying to get Brodie to look at it.
  • Pet the Dog: Jay saying goodbye to the pet store kittens ("Bye baby kitties!"). He even tells Silent Bob to show some heart and say goodbye to them as well.
  • Prequel: Set one day before Clerks.
  • Product Placement: Sbarro's the only real restaurant in the food court. The only other real shop glimpsed is a B. Dalton (which has been gone since 2010). They did not show any of the real anchor stores (given that Carson Pirie Scott (whose' location at the real mall is now Von Maur) and Target were mainly, and in Carson's case, still is, Midwestern chains, though Target did start expanding to the Northeast and other areas in the late 90's, though.), except for a brief glimpse of the left side of the Target "Bullseye" when Brodie and TS return from the dirt mall to the real mall.
    • Also, the VCR Silent Bob uses for the stage is a Panasonic VCR; they owned Universal at the time the movie was made, though by the time the movie was released they had sold it to Seagrams.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: The Stink Palm.
    Brodie: "It's a small price to pay for the smiting of one's enemies."
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Brandi's dad gives one to T.S. Also, Brandi and Renee each give one to T.S. and Brodie at the beginning of the movie.
  • Running Gag: Shannon's intention to have sex in a very uncomfortable place (meaning anal) with various women is constantly misinterpreted as having sex 'in the backseat of a Volkswagen'.
    • Willam and the "Magic Eye" sailboat picture.
  • Seinfeldian Conversation: T.S. and Brodie's conversation at the cookie stand about whether or not Lois Lane could carry Superman's baby to term, and their follow-up debate over the limits of what qualifies as being part of the food court.
  • Sexual Karma: Shannon by the end is the target of sex in a very uncomfortable place. Well, places; it happens in prison.
  • Shapeshifting Squick: Brodie thinks entirely too much about the love life of Reed Richards and Susan Storm.
    • And The Thing.
  • Shout-Out: The silent mall cop is named LaFours, after the unseen lawman in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid to the point of wearing a straw hat. This was lampshaded in a conversation between Jay and Brodie that was deleted, but can be seen on the extended edition DVD:
    Jay: Is LaFours out there?
    Brodie: No.
  • Silent Antagonist: La Fours doesn't say a word in the film. He could almost be considered an Evil Counterpart to Silent Bob.
  • Sock It To Them: "Phase one: First you take a run at La Fours with a sock full of quarters. I'd do it, but I pulled my back out humping your mom last night. Nootch. Okay, you clock him on his headpiece and knock his ass out cold. That's when phase two kicks in. I attack the structure Wolvie-Berzerk style, and knock out the fuckin' pin and bickety bam, the motherfucker is rubble. Hence, no game show."
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: "Like the back of a Volkswagen?"
    • Also, a singular example:
    Gwen: Didn't I look just like Burt Reynolds?
    Brodie and T.S.: (beat) Except for the mustache.
  • Take That: In the scene at the dirt mall, T.S. tries on a cap before throwing it away in disgust. The cap has Clerks written on it.
    • That was a cap made during the filming of Clerks.
  • Title Drop: By Shannon Hamilton, the proprietor of Fashionable Male. "You're one of those loser fucking mallrat kids."
    That's it, you're fucking dead, mallrat!
  • Triple Nipple: The topless psychic credits her powers to her third nipple, eventually revealed to be fake (and gum).
  • Uncanny Family Resemblance: The guy going against Brodie and TS in the game show is Gil Hicks, played by Brian O'Halloran. This is the same actor who starred in Clerks, and the two characters share a last name. Word of God is they're cousins, along with two other characters played by O'Halloran in the View Askewniverse sharing the same last name.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: We not only hear Jay and Silent Bob's plan, but we actually see the drawings. They are, naturally, doomed to fail.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue
  • Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys?: Quoted almost exactly from Jay to Silent Bob.
  • You ALL Look Familiar: Mocked in the audio commentary - T.S. has a scene with a random roadie who happens to be wearing the exact same outfit.
    Jason Lee: "He's the Heavy Metal version of T.S.!"
  • Zany Scheme: Jay cooks up a couple of these in order to incapacitate LaFours, complete with old-school-cartoon-style blueprints.

"That kid is back on the escalator again!"
ClerksThe View AskewniverseChasing Amy
ClerksFilms of the 1990sChasing Amy

alternative title(s): Mallrats
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