Sunday, June 30, 2019

A BUCKET OF BLOOD

A Bucket Of Blood Movie Review

Server/busboy Walter (Dick Miller, Chopping Mall, Gremlins), a simple-minded man, wants nothing more than to fit in with the artsy beatniks he takes care of every day. Side note--if you don't know what a beatnik is, here's a quick summary--Jack Kerouac wrote a literary masterpiece titled On The Road. In it (and often before it was even published), Kerouac described being a part of a "Beat Generation" (he had lifted the term "beat" from a pal), and when his book was published, it inspired thousands of young people to change the way they lived life. That book impacted many lives and changed the way young people of the 1950's thought about many things (it did the same for me when I read it in the early 1990's), but it also spawned a lot of people who didn't quite get it, but wanted to fit into this new counterculture. "Beatnik" is the term that was thrust upon these young folks. They hung out at coffee shops, read poetry, listened to jazz music, drank alcohol and did drugs--essentially, the kids were either trying to be like Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty (the two lead characters in On The Road) or they were trying to be like the kids trying to be like Sal and Dean.

Now go buy this book!

Getting back on track--Walter has no artistic talent at all, but after accidentally killing a cat, he plasters the feline and claims he sculpted it. The beatniks, not knowing there's an actual cat inside, love the artwork, and happy to finally be accepted, Walter continues with his disturbing work, eventually killing people to be used as his latest pieces of art.

This one kind of deserves it

Schlockmaster Roger Corman directed this 1959 film that blends horror and comedy, and pulls both off nicely. Miller, who we all know and love as a bit character actor (and who looks almost the same at 30 in this film as he did 25 years later in the movies you probably know him from), is absolutely phenomenal in this movie--honestly, his performance is so so impressive it makes it easy to overlook many of the shortcomings in the film. Miller makes the character very sympathetic for most of the film, but also portrays Walter as insane just as well. The supporting cast is also impressive, but this is definitely Miller's movie. The dialogue is very witty at times, unnerving at others. One could talk about the underlying issue of some peoples' desire to fit in and be accepted, but I'm not going down that rabbit hole. At just 66 minutes, A Bucket of Blood is tragically short, and the climax of the film felt rushed, though the final scene is quite sad (even with the final, cheesy line). There's nothing terribly groundbreaking about this movie, but it is worth watching for, if nothing else, Dick Miller's spectacular performance.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 7


A Bucket Of Blood Movie Trailer

THE DEVIL'S WEDDING NIGHT

The Devil's Wedding Night Movie Review

Twins Karl and Franz Schiller (both Mark Damon) head off to Dracula's Castle in search of a powerful ring, but once there, they find it's in the possession of La Contessa Dolingen de Vries (Rosalba Neri), or Lady Dracula, if you will. Lady Drac has been using the ring to lure young chicks to the castle to kill them (or have them killed) so she can bathe in their blood. Oh yeah, and Lady Dracula's sidekick is Lara the Zombie (Esmeralda Barros), and she's not really a zombie.

"Did I cover everything?"

That's a little bit of the madness we have going on in this 1973 Italian flick. All these individual elements are thrown together to form a plot that is barely coherent. As is the case with many of these older Gothic castle films, the lighting is bad—the darkness combines with the slow pace in a bold challenge for you to actually stay awake for the entire film. Fortunately, the version I watched was from Elvira’s Movie Macabre, so I had her to help keep me going.

Here it is now

I was also surprised to see nudity—lots of nudity--in this movie. I watched this on Tubi, which I am now fairly certain shows the DVD versions of the Elvira’s Movie Macabre collection—I assume the DVD restores the uncut versions of the movies that were originally shown censored on Elvira’s early 1980’s television show. I can’t say for sure Elvira's 1983 airing of this movie was censored, but I know I was surprised to see the naked women here. Anyway, other than the unexpected nudity, there’s not much going for this film, and the maniacal shooting style, psychedelic scenes, and awkward laughter are good examples of why I believe everybody was high in the seventies.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 3

The Devil's Wedding Night Movie Trailer
(Waring: Lots of the aforementioned nudity is in this trailer)

Friday, June 28, 2019

SCARECROW (2013)

Scarecrow Movie Review

A teacher takes students to clean up a farm and to restore a scarecrow for an upcoming festival, but what they don't know is this scarecrow is not only alive, but hungry for blood. The first thing you may find unusual about this movie is that students serving detention are taken away from the school to serve out their punishment--back in my day, we were stuck in a dark, silent room for an hour or so. I would have loved to have gone on a field trip for punishment. Beyond that, you notice the students are rather interchangeable, except the two "bad" kids, who look more like they would keep to themselves than bully others.

Does he look like he could scare ANYBODY?

I picked this movie out on Tubi because I love scarecrows and movies about them, and as things moved along, I thought to myself "This looks like a SyFy movie"--after the film was over, I looked it up and sure enough, this is a 2013 SyFy Original. In reality, my suspicions were pretty much verified the moment I saw the scarecrow. 

If he only had a brain

As SyFy movies go, the CGI of the scarecrow really isn't too bad, but that doesn't mean it borders on being good either. We eventually find out the scarecrow was buried to stop it from killing Kristen's (Lacey Chabert, Mean Girls) family, and it ultimately is after her--while no points are given for plot originality, I do admit the acting, for a SyFy film, wasn't too bad--as is the case with the CGI, however, that doesn't mean we get anything amazing either.

"I WILL make fetch happen!"

The death scenes are not great and many happen off camera, but some of the visuals of the results are impressive. The ending is rather anti-climatic and predictable, but after making it to that point, you don't really expect much else. Scarecrow is not a movie I would recommend hunting down to watch, but should you decide to, you will, at least, be mildly entertained.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 5



Scarecrow Movie Trailer

Saturday, June 22, 2019

GINGER SNAPS BACK: THE BEGINNING (aka Ginger Snaps 3)

Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning Movie Review

With Ginger dead and Brigette as good as gone, how does one create a third installment of the franchise, yet keep the same characters and actresses? The prequel, of course. But don't think we're going back to a year or two before the events of Ginger Snaps...we're going back a hundred and some years...you read that right, and no, it's not a typo...and it gets worse. As we know, Katharine Isabelle played the title character, Ginger, in Ginger Snaps and Ginger Snaps 2--Emily Perkins played her sister Brigette in both films. Both return in this film to play, presumably, ancestors of Ginger and Brigette named...wait for it...Ginger and Brigette. Not only do they look just like the previous incarnations of the characters, but worse, they talk just like them--yes, two girls in the 19th Century walk around talking like they just arrived in a DeLorean from 2004.

"Whoa, this is heavy"

Pretty much everything we like about the first two movies is thrown out the window in this film, and this story just sort of plods along. The sisters end up in a colony full of bad people, and the acting of said villains is awful across the board. Even Perkins and Isabelle seem bored and completely tired of playing these characters. You begin to wonder if the point of this movie is to say the sisters were cursed because this happened to their ancestors, or if the family just has unfortunate luck with werewolves--honestly, by the time you make it through this movie you probably won't care--I know I didn't. Ginger Snaps 2 was a nice way to end the story of Ginger and Brigette, and this is a prequel that nobody asked for, and the world didn't need. Watch the first two films but skip this one. 

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 4


Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning Movie Trailer

GINGER SNAPS 2: UNLEASHED

Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed Movie Review

On the heels of the events of Ginger Snaps, Brigette (Emily Perkins) finds herself trying to control her werewolf transitions. She ends up in drug rehab, where she is stalked by another werewolf looking for a mate. To add to her misery, Brigette also has visions of her dead sister Ginger (Katharine Isabelle). As is the case with most movies, the sequel is not quite as good as the original. Brigette's character has changed quite a bit from the original film--pretty much gone is the quiet, shy girl, replaced by somebody much less...interesting. Perkins' performance is also not on par with that from the original, and Ginger is tragically virtually an afterthought in this movie. A new character, Ghost (Tatiana Maslany, Hardwired), is introduced, and she turns out to be the most fascinating element in this film. Ghost becomes a little sister of sorts to Brigette--she's intrigued by Brigette's werewolf traits, helps Brigette escape from the rehab center, and she often speaks as if she is reading from a book.

"..and the wolf, undetected, continued in the sheep's clothing"

Another rather disappointing thing about this movie is the lack of original characters. One of the strengths of the first film was in creating unique, quirky characters--other than Ghost, that is pretty much gone in this one, traded in for run-of-the-mill personas and every cliche used in every other drug rehab movie ever made. Even with a larger budget, the werewolves and makeup look weaker than in the first movie, which is also a bummer. Still, there is enough going on this movie to keep you going--mainly the gore. There is still some comedy in this movie, but far less of it, and it's a bit less dark than in the first film. One thing part two does have over its predecessor is the ending--whereas in the first movie the ending is disappointing, the one here is fantastic, and honestly brings the final score up quite a bit. 

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 6


Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed Movie Trailer

GINGER SNAPS

Ginger Snaps Movie Review

A mysterious creature is terrorizing a small Canadian town, and when sisters Ginger (Katharine Isabelle, Freddy Vs. Jason) and Brigitte (Emily Perkins), two weirdos obsessed with death, come across it, their lives become much more interesting. This early 21st Century werewolf film is one that has divided horror fans since its release--I have known many people who love it, many who hate it, and sprinkled in here and there are those who think it's just okay. Furthering this gap is most of the guys I know dislike it, and the majority of the fans I have come across have been women. If you find this odd, you've probably never seen this movie--I'll just say a lot of this film has to do with something about women that most men cringe to think or talk about, and that not all the blood we see is from bites. Fellas, if this is your hangup with this movie, I encourage you to get past it--I even dare you to try to put yourself in the shoes of these girls and imagine how horrifying everything in this movie must have been for them.

"We'll let this one live"

Now that we have that out of the way, I'll say I have always been a casual fan of this film--it's not what I would consider one of my all-time favorites, but it is one that I have watched several times. Isabelle is wicked as Ginger, and Perkins is almost as good as Brigitte, the more shy, awkward sister. There's a decent supporting cast here too, including Kris Lemche of Final Destination 3 fame, and Mimi Rogers, who sort of steals the show as the mother of the sisters. The bloodshed is plenty, and you have to love that the director skipped CGI and made the werewolves the old-fashioned way. There's also more than a fair amount of dark comedy in this movie--at times this adds to the charm of the film, but more often it just distracts from it. The movie does run a bit long, and while the ending is built up wonderfully, it doesn't quite pack the punch you are expecting. Still, with so many bad werewolf movies out there, you could do a lot worse than Ginger Snaps.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 7


Ginger Snaps Movie Trailer

Thursday, June 20, 2019

GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS (From The Theatre)

Godzilla: King of the Monsters Movie Review

Giant monsters—some evil, some not—are unleashed and do battle around the world. That is the part of this story that attracts fans of the genre, so really, not much else is needed, but we do get much more in this 2019 big screen blockbuster. The plot revolves around the idea of a group of radicals wanting to unleash all the giants monsters that have been hiding out underground so they can eliminate humanity and take the planet back. Of course, we have the good guys fighting this idea, and they enlist the help of Godzilla to stop the other monsters (or Titans, as they are called here), namely King Ghidorah (aka Monster Zero), the three headed terror we all know and love. If that level of awesomeness isn’t enough, we also have Mothra and Rodan in this one, rounding out the fearsome foursome from the original Toho films.

Rodan

Mothra

Ghidorah

Godzilla

This being an American film in the year 2019, we know the monsters will not be guys in rubber suits anymore, which kind of makes me sad—I am not a fan of CGI at all, but I have to admit, they did an incredible job with the monsters here. They are all terrifying, and all hold true to the originals while adding some extra coolness. I was a bit apprehensive about how they would look, but I was truly impressed by all of them. Literally the only change I would have made about any of them would have been giving Godzilla a longer neck to look more like the traditional monster, but otherwise, the they all look amazing. There were times during this movie--especially when some of the monsters were first revealed--that I was so happy and excited I almost jumped out of my seat. I wondered if we would see the Shobijin, Mothra's twin fairies-- we don't, but the small beauties are at least hinted at--Dr. Chen (Ziyi Zhang) tells the story of Mothra and shows a photo of twins from a picture titled "Infant Island, 1961"--I had told myself that Chen was as close to the twins as we would get in this film, but I really smiled when Zhang appears again as Dr. Ling, seriously hinting at Ling being Chen's twin sister. Speaking of the acting, it is actually, for the most part, pretty good in this movie, and you will recognize several people--Vera Farmiga (The Conjuring, Orphan) and Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things) play mother and daughter Russell and both turn in the performances you would expect from them. Ken Watanabe (Inception) and Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water) return from Godzilla, and Bradley Whitford (The Cabin In The Woods) and Charles Dance (Game of Thrones) are added, so there is no lack of good acting in this movie; on the flip side, Kyle Chandler as Mark, the father/husband in the Russell family, is awful. A performance such as the one he turned in is bad enough on its own, but it really sticks out when surrounded by so much better acting. This can, however, be overlooked, as we don't really watch these movies for the acting--when it is good, it's just an added bonus. Adding another layer to this film is the plot itself--it calls into question who should be the dominant force on this planet, and if humans are the worst thing to happen to Earth--I know where my vote lies.

I'd snap at least twice

I cannot say enough how much I loved this movie. As I mentioned, I did see this in the theatre, so if it's still playing as you're reading this, I recommend watching it on the big screen--it's worth the extra money to do so. I was excited when I read fellow Columbus, Ohio native Michael Dougherty (Trick 'r Treat) was writing and directing this film, and the excitement was well founded. Dougherty pulled off something that is not easy to do when tampering with old favorites--he stayed true to the original films and brought elements of what we loved from them while adding new wrinkles to the story, combining everything perfectly. Godzilla: King of the Monsters could have used a better actor in the role of Mark, and I would have loved to have seen more cities destroyed, but just about everything else about this film is spectacular. In case you're wondering, yes, King Kong and Skull Island are both mentioned in this movie, and the post-credits scene hints at what we may see in next year's Godzilla vs. Kong--I can't wait.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 9

Godzilla: King of the Monsters Movie Trailer

Thursday, June 13, 2019

[REC]

[REC] Movie Review

Television reporter Angela (Manuela Velasco) and her cameraman are documenting the local fire station when they get a call to go to an apartment building to help a woman get out of her unit; when they arrive, however, they find there is more going on than they expected. Spain brings us this 2007 flick that combines two horror elements—zombies and found footage—and cranks both all the way up to eleven. When I say zombies, it may not be quite what you are picturing. These are of the more fast-moving, rage virus variety, ala 28 Days Later, and the infected change quickly. The dilemma here is everybody is trapped inside the building—police, military, and other powerful government types have sealed off the building, leaving the people inside quarantined.

She likes what I did there

Once the outbreak begins to spread, the film becomes truly terrifying. The action is pretty much nonstop from the time of the first death, keeping you glued to the screen.The blood flies, so if you are not into gore, you may not want to watch this one. Speaking of pieces of a film that may turn off the viewer, be warned this one also has subtitles and the found footage shakiness, but even if those are two things you can’t stand in a movie, still give this one a shot—when it comes to shaky shooting, it is much better done in this movie than in many similar to it. The movie plays upon many fears, not the least of which is of the dark--the final sequence in particular may make those with nyctophobia have a panic attack. Of note, the actors in this scene really were in the dark--both literally and figuratively--and had no idea what was happening in the room, thus their reactions are quite real--this is also used in a few other scenes in this movie, and the results are awesome. There really is not much not to like about [Rec]--it is not only one of the finer zombie films ever made, but one of the best horror flicks of the 21st Century.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 9

[REC] Movie Trailer

Saturday, June 8, 2019

BILLY THE KID VERSUS DRACULA

Billy The Kid Versus Dracula Movie Review

Dracula (John Carradine) has landed in the Old West, and has his sights set on Betty (Melinda Casey), a young ranch owner he wishes to make his bride. The trouble with Drac's plan? Betty's fiance is famed outlaw Billy The Kid (Chuck Courtney). If you have read many of my reviews, you know I love horror (I wouldn't have this site if I didn't), and I largely credit my mom for getting me into scary movies--what you probably don't know is that I am also a fan of westerns--both television shows and movies--and credit for that has to go to my dad, who, over the span of his life, watched countless numbers of them, and I was lucky enough to watch more western movies and shows with him than I could possibly count. Any time I find myself in the American west, I think of Dad and all those movies we watched together. Billy The Kid Versus Dracula is a very rare film that combines these two passions, and the results are...well...

Yeah, that 'bout sums it up

I have always favored vampire movies, and Dracula in particular, but this movie did little justice to either. Carradine said this is the worst movie he has ever been involved in, and he amassed 350 screen credits to his name! That said, he didn't do much to make the movie any better, looking kind of like a poor man's Vincent Price in this one. Even less justice is done for Billy The Kid--Courtney's performance is poor, and the character is written to bear little resemblance to the real-life Henry McCarty (or William H. Bonney). If you want to watch movies that much more accurately portray Billy, check out Young Guns and Young Guns II--while many liberties are taken in those films, they almost tell true stories of Billy The Kid, the Regulators, and the Lincoln County War, and they are highly entertaining, which is more than can be said for this film. Watch this for the Old West setting, the fake bats, and the sheer oddity of a horror and cowboy film combination, but don't expect much out of Billy The Kid Versus Dracula.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 5

Billy The Kid Versus Dracula Movie Trailer

THREE ON A MEATHOOK (aka 3 On A Meathook)

Three On A Meathook Movie Review

A youngster named Billy (James Pickett) brings a group of chicks back to his house and kills them; however, due to a mental condition, he remembers none of it. Billy soon falls for another woman, but fears he will end up killing her as well. We start off getting to know the women Billy kills, and enough time is spent with them we expect them to be around for the entire film, so their deaths are pretty shocking...and bloody.

Hook'er?

After the initial bloodshed, this movie slows to a crawl...and it crawls for quite some time, as we see Billy go to the movies, to a night club, meet a girl, get to know her, tell his dad all about her...yeah, patience is a must here. To say this is a low-budget film is an understatement, and it screams grindhouse, so if this is not your thing, you'll likely not find much enjoyment in this movie. I have no idea if this film has been digitally restored, but the version I saw looks like a transfer from the original reel, which adds to the entertainment value for me. These grindhouse films are certainly an acquired taste, and I am a fan of them. The acting is bad, of course, but nothing is too terrible. If you can hang on through the middle portion of this film, and make it to the final ten minutes, you will be rewarded--this movie has a fantastic ending and a twist or two you may not see coming. If Three On A Meathook could have packed most of the movie with the excitement we get in the beginning and the end, it would be considered a horror classic--unfortunately, most of the film is just boring.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 5


Three On A Meathook Movie Trailer

Thursday, June 6, 2019

ESCAPE ROOM

Escape Room Movie Review

Six strangers find themselves playing an escape room game, but this one comes with deadly consequences. If you don't know what an escape room game is, you may have been living under a rock the past several years. The idea is a group of people are locked in a room (or series of rooms) and must find clues to escape within a certain amount of time. These games have become quite the craze and are popping up all over--my girlfriend and I are one for two in our conquests. Speaking of living under a rock, I may have been doing just that in January 2019, as that is when this film hit theaters and I have absolutely zero recollection of this. Watching the movie, I am actually somewhat surprised this one hit the big screen, as it kind of has that direct to video look and feel, but hey, it made money, so kudos for that. The movie starts by introducing some of the characters before they make it to the room, and we see them all end up with intricate boxes that are hard to open--a Hellraiser comparison would be more than fair.

Ask Pinhead for help

That won't be the only movie this one reminds you of. Years before escape rooms became a thing, there was this movie called Cube that got little attention upon its release but was a favorite among those who were aware of it--I remember picking up a used VHS of it at a local video store way back and becoming a fan as soon as I watched the movie. Anyway, Cube was essentially an escape room game with deadly consequences before escape room games, or movies based on escape room games, but with deadly consequences, existed. Escape Room even uses different colored lighting in each room, much the same way Cube did.

It feels like Orlando in August in here

The very end of the movie also heavily borrows from other films--if you are reminded simultaneously of Final Destination and Inception, you are not alone. Thievery aside, there is some stuff to like about this film. The idea that clues are placed along the way that these people were not chosen at random is kind of cool, and some of the rooms are very well thought out. The acting isn't horrible either, making the characters believable. The theatrical release is evident in one particular way--the language lacks much profanity, and there is little bloodshed--gotta get that PG-13 rating you know! The return to the scene of the crime was teased as the ending, and had they gone with this, the movie would have rated higher here, but after that scene the finale falls apart entirely. Escape Room certainly is not a bad movie; it's just one that lifts a lot of ideas from much better films, and isn't one that will ever be considered a classic (though the combination of the ending and the box-office success do hint at a possible franchise in the making).

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 6


Escape Room Movie Trailer

TRAIN TO BUSAN

Train To Busan

People on a passenger train struggle to survive when a zombie outbreak occurs, and the infected make their way on board. That is the basic premise of this big budget 2016 South Korean movie that packs a punch right from the get-go, and keeps the momentum all the way to the end. The story revolves primarily around Seok-woo (Yoo Gong), a business man who spends little time with his daughter, Soo-an (Su-an Kim), but we also get to know many side characters as well--this is notable because the filmmakers pull off something quite difficult by making the viewer care about all of them. Trust me, loyal readers, when I say the human-interest story in this movie is just as effective as the zombies. Speaking of the zed word, they are of the fast-moving variety in this film, turn almost immediately, and are terrifying.

Things are about to get scary

The movements of the infected are as creepy as the look, and some scenes of them crawling and jumping on each other may remind you of World War Z, which is always a good thing. Some of the green screen shots are pretty rough, however--you can tell a good bit of money was spent on this movie (8.5 million dollars, in fact...thanks Google), so you wonder why some of these shots look so bad, but there is more than enough awesomeness to make up for it. Though some scenes are bloody, there's not a ton of gore with this one, which is fine, as the balance seems more than fair. I'll also throw out the same warning I do for all foreign films that are not dubbed--this one has subtitles, so if you have a hard time both watching the action and reading the words on the screen, you may want to avoid this movie--this point is doubled when considering just how good the dialogue is. The chaos all leads to an ending that is as good as the 110 minutes leading up to it--my girlfriend, who, after picking a series of less than impressive movies for us to watch, redeemed herself with this selection, was fighting back the tears. Train To Busan is, unquestionably, one of the better horror movies to come out in the past few years, and certainly ranks among the elite zombie films. 

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 8


Train To Trailer

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

EMELIE

Emelie Movie Review

A new babysitter named Emelie terrorizes three children while their parents are out celebrating their anniversary...actually, terrorize is a little strong. It's actually more...she annoys them. She makes them watch a porn tape. She watches with them as the pet snake eats the pet rodent. She tells a bedtime story about a mom losing her kid and looking for another one (it may or may not be an autobiographical tale).


"No spoilers Josh"

This movie promises suspense and thrills, but fails to deliver either. The story switches from the home to the parents enjoying their celebration, and as nothing is happening at all with the parents, it becomes clear these scenes are nothing but filler. The acting is bad--Sarah Bolger (The Lazarus Effect) is a bore as the title character, and the kids, as kids tend to be, are irritating--the eldest son is such a brat I kept hoping Emelie would kill him, the daughter is just sort of there, and the youngest son speaks in a way that I had no idea what he was even saying--I finally asked my girlfriend midway through the film if she understood anything the kid was saying, and she replied "Not a word". Speaking of my girlfriend, she actually fell asleep during the climax of this film--that's how uninteresting it was. Emilie is a compactly uninspired film that brings nothing of note to the table. Skip this one.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 3


Emelie Movie Trailer

Saturday, June 1, 2019

CHOPPING MALL

Chopping Mall Movie Review

A shopping mall brings in three robots to patrol the grounds. The same night, a group of teens decide to stick around the mall for a while after it closes. What could possibly go wrong? This is one of those movies that, for as long as I live, will remind me of seeing the cover for the VHS in video stores in my much younger days. If you're too young to remember, there was this weird obsession with robots in the 1980s. Everybody was certain we were on the verge of robots and computers taking over the world--I won't get into any arguments about how accurate these fears turned out to be (the next time you are in a crowded place, look up from your phone and you may find the answer for yourself), but the result was a lot of movies that touched on the matter--this movie may remind you a bit of Short Circuit, a lot of RoboCop, and tons of Maximum Overdrive, and if it does, think about this--Chopping Mall hit theatres in March 1986, Short Circuit two months later, and Maximum Overdrive two months after that--RoboCop came out a year later. 

A killbot

Back to our story--naturally, the robots begin killing people, and it's up to the teens to fight back. This movie is filled with some of the stuff we love from the 80s, from the robots themselves to the laser beams they shoot to the awesome 80s horror music--it's all here. The acting is terrible, but that only adds to the undeniable charm of the film. With the exception of an exploding head, the death scenes are somewhat mild, and this movie does lean more toward science fiction than horror--there's also a good bit of comedy thrown in. The dialogue is shaky, but we have certainly sat through worse. A 1980s favorite, Dick Miller (Gremlins, The Howling), makes a cameo, and you'll probably recognize our lead, Kelli Maroney, from Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Night of the Comet. Chopping Mall is a lot of fun to watch for another reason--the mall itself. If you were to go to a shopping mall today, you would never believe how popular they were in the 80s, so seeing one as a setting for a movie is nice--checking out the names of some of the stores is cool, and I was delighted to see one named for famed writer/director Sam Peckinpah. Both the robots and the teens wreak havoc on the entire mall, making me wonder what it must have been like for all the employees to come in and see this the next morning. 

I'm sure it was shocking

Let's make no mistake--Chopping Mall is not a good movie by any stretch of the imagination, but it's awfulness in all the right ways make it a riot. If you're a fan of 1980s sci-fi, or even if you're looking for a nostalgic kick, check this movie out. 

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 6


Chopping Mall Movie Trailer