Chopping Mall Review

This review is of the TV-14 edited version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative

Chopping Mall is probably a film you’ve at least heard of even if you haven’t watched it yet. It’s a fairly well known slasher film and I will give it this, it’s better than the average one. Robots work really well as the main villains. I definitely still have a lot of issues with the film as you would expect like the constant violence and super unlikable main characters but a robot is just a fresher take than the serial killer angle.

The movie starts out with the mall showing off their new security system. Basically they will have robots patrolling the premises and they can stop any intruder. Naturally lethal force won’t be used and this is supposed to be totally safe because they can scan your ID. So that should be a load off of everyone’s mind. There are two critics in attendance though and they’re taking shots the whole time. You have to admire how bold these two are because they just could not care less. She are interrupting and talking about random things the whole time. It’s too bad that they didn’t return later but do a good job of setting up some humor in the film aside from all of the murders going on the whole time.

Meanwhile a bunch of juvenile delinquents decide to hold a party after closing hours. They fool the adult quickly enough and get to work but that’s when the robots wake up. None of these guys have a valid ID after all to show that they are supposed to be here so they start to get picked off one by one. Is there any way to stop the machines or are they absolutely doomed? Only time will tell here but they will certainly need to hurry and bring their A game!

Right away you can tell that the main characters aren’t likable at all but of course that should come as no surprise. Their whole introduction is them preparing to break the rules and hook up with each other after all. Even the two who weren’t together quickly hook up that night and so they’re all eager to be in a relationship even when some barely know each other. You know that most of these characters are doomed right from the jump and I didn’t like any of them.

Greg gets a special shoutout for being extra awful though. The stress gets to him and so he decides to go after the rest of the characters a bit and even points his gun at them. When everyone is trying to focus on stopping the deadly monsters there is really no time for infighting like this. It just makes him not look very smart at all. You’d expect a little better from this guy. Now maybe you shouldn’t expect anything better from him but it was still annoying to see.

Suzie also doesn’t handle things well by leaving the group early. Sure, it was getting hot in there so they couldn’t stay put forever but jumping out early just ended up putting her in trouble and lowering their numbers right away. It’s fortunate that the mall had a weapons store so they could suit up but these robots were durable and so half the time the bullets wouldn’t do anything. It seems like they just have a few weak points where if you hit them then you’re good but it’s hard to aim for those.

It’s a bit rough for Mike and Leslie because they didn’t really have any prep time here. Whenever the first ones are bumped off you can’t blame them as much for being unprepared since the whole situation is new. It’s everyone else that you will hold to a higher standard since they have time to prep and get ready. Allison is the main heroine here and so she holds up a little better but unlike a lot of other films where the main heroine is usually shown to be a much better person than the others, I wouldn’t say that is totally the case here. She goes along with this plan of everyone’s and still gets together with Ferdy quickly so she wouldn’t be left out. Likewise Ferdy feels like just another one of the guys.

Perhaps they aren’t being quite as out of control as the others but I would say the difference isn’t anything major. It would have been nice to have really had some characters to root for. I should mention that we do have the janitor here, some cops, and a tech guy but les just say that none of them are very much help here. The robots are already too powerful by this point and the adults have really bad reaction times so they can never help out at all. That seems to always be the adults role in these kinds of things. Only the teens can save the day and that’s why they’re doomed.

In terms of the murders it’s all fairly traditional stuff. When the robot shows up with their lasers you know the humans are doomed and they all get violently murdered. You can expect a lot of violence in a film like this. Also a lot of fanservice with all of the characters hooking up and the usual fake kinds of romances set up here. They all feel like quick one night stands just for kicks and don’t really do anything for the plot. So there isn’t any large period of time where you’re having a blast here.

I guess the intro to the film was the best part because at least I liked the critics. Those guys really seemed to be holding the mall to a high standard and were not going to just back down without getting their 2 cents in. I know the film is aiming to be part horror with the teens on their own but I do think it would be more entertaining if we had all of the adults in here as well. The robots would definitely have to be working overtime to take them all down but they’re equipped and ready to handle that. Their energy reserves are super high thanks to the lightning bolt as it is. It would change the flow of the film a bit and potentially give us at least some characters to root for. Trust me, this would be for the best, no doubt.

Overall, Chopping Mall isn’t really going to do anything for you beyond the usual slasher experience. The mall makes for a good backdrop though. It’s always nostalgic seeing it because I loved my local mall back before it closed all the foodstores. A mall just has such great variety so it always works really well to have that around. The robots were also a good idea and I would absolutely make more films with robotic villains if I were these writers. Just step away from the slasher genre and you should have a winning formula right there. We’ll see if that happens though.

Overall 2/10


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