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Far Greater Than The Sum Of Its Mechanical Parts...,
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This review is from: Chopping Mall [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
By no stretch of the imagination is 'Chopping Mall' what you'd call a brilliant artistic achievement, but it is hugely likeable fare, a great fun, schlocky teen-massacre flick with a massive rewatch value, and hey - they even named a level after it in SNES classic 'Zombies Ate My Neighbours'. What more do you want? A busty lady's head exploding? Well, you get that too.
The plot is simple - some teen couples spend the night in a mall recently fitted up with malfunctioning mechanical guardians, and in classic horror-film fashion, those that succumb to their naughty impulses are going to find life a little bit trickier than those who cuddle up and watch old Roger Corman pics instead. In fact, it's safe to say that if you also appear in 'Night of the Comet', you may indeed turn out to be this film's rather charming key heroine.
What elevates 'Chopping Mall' above your mind-numbing, bog-standard, inauthentic-teen slaughter-flick is the level of wit present in the scripting and staging. Parts of this film are extremely funny, but never in a manner that detracts from the menace of the security-bots, who, despite their not-entirely threatening physiques, prove a real menace to our assembled chumps. In fact, this film is quintessentially 80s in regard to its canny blend of humour and danger: think 'Return of the Living Dead' as a good (ok, superior) parallel.
In terms of the DVD, 'Chopping Mall' never exactly looked super-crisp and clear, so this is realistically about as good as it'll probably get. It's certainly superior to the absolutely horrific region 2 DVD (which I also have the misfortune of owning), in that at least we're not talking unwatchable picture quality and entirely buggered-up sound synching. Overall though, bloody good fun.