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Chopping Mall
Killbots / R.O.B.O.T. / Shopping / Supermarket Horror

USA 1986
produced by
Julie Corman for Concorde, Trinity Pictures
directed by Jim Wynorski
starring Kelli Maroney, Tony O'Dell, Russell Todd, Karrie Emerson, Barbara Crampton, Nick Segal, John Terlesky, Suzee Slater, Paul Bartel, Mary Woronov, Dick Miller, Gerrit Graham, Mel Welles, Angela Aames, Paul Coufos, Arthur Roberts, Ace Mask, Will Gill jr, Lenny Juliano, Angus Scrimm, Morgan Douglas, Toni Naples, Robert Greenberg, Maurie Gallagher
written by Steve Mitchell, Jim Wynorski, music by Chuck Cirino, creatures & special effects by Robert Short

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Eight teenaged mall employees (Kelli Maroney, Tony O'Dell, Russell Todd, Karrie Emerson, Barbara Crampton, Nick Segal, John Terlesky, Suzee Slater) decide to let themselves be locked into the mall overnight for a little party - nothing extravagant, just your typical mix of booze and sex. Thing is, the mall is being patrolled by three guard robots, and they have recently had a malfunction due to lightning, and now they kill just everybody in their way. And it's night, and only our teens are in their way, so they pick on them. Our heroes are not that helpless though, and while they might shrink in numbers, they grow in resourcefulness, and eventually kill two of the three robots. However, the third one's the toughest, and in the end, only wallflowerish Alison (Kelli Maroney) is left alive to deal with it - which she does by luring it into a paint shop then blowing it up. As a reward, she then finds out that her thought-dead loverboy (Tony O'Dell) has survived the ordeal after all.

Veteran Dick Miller plays a janitor and one of the robots' first victim, Mel Welles a diner cook, and Paul Bartel and Mary Woronov a bitchy couple at the robots' presentation.


By merely reading its synopsis, one might come to the conclusion that Chopping Mall has nothing special to offer - and yes, the film is formulaic as hell, its teen cast can't always escape the feeling of being any more than cannon fodder, and most of the dialogue is less than special ... and yet, there are elements in Chopping Mall that make it one of the better slashers of its era, be it the self-ironic approach to its story, the campy concept of killer robots that is somehow reminiscent of both Judge Dredd and Doctor Who's Daleks and clearly anticipates RoboCop, the tongue-in-cheek appearances of quite a few genre veterans (see above), the mall as an original location, or simply a quite slick, action-oriented directorial effort. Whatever it is though, this movie works and is more entertaining than it has a right to be.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD