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Chopping Mall

Year: 1986
Production Co: Concorde Pictures
Director: Jim Wynorski
Writer: Jim Wynorski
Cast: Kelli Maroney, Barbara Crampton, Dick Miller

Roger Corman's alive and well even still – a quarter century after this hilarious effort. Any time a character says the words 'I guess I'm just not used to being chased around the mall in the middle of the night by killer robots' you know exactly what you're in for – some bare breasts, horny teens, shockingly bad fake blood, laughable antagonists, absolutely no scares and continuity errors aplenty.

Originally called Killbots and sold as a more serious thriller, it was rebranded and made to look like a slasher – if you watch it thinking it was about a psychotic killer with a knife locked in a mall you'll be disappointed. It's actually artificially intelligent security robots who turn murderous by an electrical fault caused by the worst animated lightning you've ever seen.

The curiously slow robots and their laser weapons (animated in post production – badly) go haywire and start tracking down the group of photogenic teens who are staying late in the furniture store to have a party. Picked off one by one in a series of increasingly ridiculous attacks, the slow-moving heroes (careful not to overtake the cameraman as he frantically runs backwards trying to keep them in the frame) spurt dodgy injuries and even dodgier dialogue in their quest to stay alive until the steel shutters open at 6am.

It was obviously shot for dirt cheap and using every possible cliché and bad horror trope the writer and director could lay their hands to. A hoot and a holler.

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