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Brandon’s Blu-ray Wishlist – October 30, 2014

Brandon's Blu-ray Wishlist THUMBHappy Halloween – tomorrow.  I’ve saved my grooviest scary movie wishlist pick for last here.  If you’ve ever seen this one, you’ll know its tons of fun and man o man do we wish for it to get the Blu-ray treatment.  Make sure you check back next week (Wednesday to be exact) as it will have been one year since the original Wishlist article debuted and I’ll be doing things a little bit differently in light of that.

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Chopping Mall wishlist

Chopping Mall (1986)

Yes, the movie about killer security robots attacking teens in a shopping mall.  Is this movie scary?  Nah, not a bit.  But holy crap is it a lot of fun to watch.  There’s plenty of goofiness, over the top sequences and plenty of B-movie thrills that make this movie such a joy to behold.  The film was briefly released under the title of Killbots, but later fully rebranded as Chopping Mall.  And I gotta say, they made the right call on this one for sure.  Its also one of those classic 80s horror movies where the poster has a bit more to it than the movie, as that hand or a scene featuring what is depicted is nowhere to be found in the movie.  But, hey now, who cares, because its an awesome poster that was later used for the VHS box art.  And if this one ever comes to Blu-ray it BETTER have that artwork (at least as a reverse cover).

Chopping Mall 2

This film stars a couple of my favorite horror ladies, in that of Night Of The Comet‘s Kelli Maroney and Barbara Crampton who starred in pretty most all of Stuart Gordon’s stuff.  Both are absolutely a bundle of joy to see engage these robot killing machines.  Also joining them in the cast is Tony O’Dell who was Jimmy in the first two Karate Kid movies and a star on Head Of The Class back then (That was a sitcom in the 80s for you kiddos).  If you’re a He Knows You’re Alone or Friday The 13th fan you’ll recognize Russell Todd in there as well.  And no, I’m not forgetting the legendary Dick Miller who plays the janitor.

Chopping Mall 1

These security robots in the movie are an absolute riot.  They are super duper 1980s.  Killing machines that look super limited in their appearance, but yet to the characters in the movie are incredibly terrifying and incredibly difficult to escape.  The robots sort of have that same idea as the Daleks in Doctor Who, but with 1980s sort of modifications.  They do make some brutal attacks and have their moments.  But, a lot of the fun of watching this movie in the modern day is getting on board with the silliness of the machines and enjoying this terrific B-movie as it never was back in the 80s.

Chopping Mall 3

Bringing the film to life was that of Roger Corman’s wife Julie Corman.  It was originally envisioned to be just a slasher film with a killer in the mall.  Luckily, Jim Wynorski came in to direct and sort of revamped this whole thing.  And thanks to his stroke of being more ambitious and a little bit crazy, I think the film is able to carve itself a better identity and result in a much more fun watch with the passage of time than if it was just a straight slasher film in a mall.  Wynorski would go on to be somewhat a cult name in making a lot of genre stuff, including plenty of low rent horror sequels (Like Ghoulies IV, 976-EVIL II) and later on in his career plenty of softcore Cinemax type movies.   The fun thing about him, is that he has gone by a lot of aliases making movies.  He’s also known as Jay Andrews, Sam Pepperman, Rip Masters and Harold Blueberry to name a few of his alter egos.

Chopping Mall 4

Sometime last year Wynorski boasted that Chopping Mall (As well as his first film The Lost Empire (Starring Angus Scrimm) was coming to Blu-ray.  Everyone got excited then nothing happened, and nothing happened and then Wynorski kind of back tracked on the whole thing.  Bummer.  But let’s never lose hope here.  Currently you can get it on DVD in two ways.  By itself and in this Horror 8-Pack DVD (Which includes Slaughter High,  Ghoulies III, CHUD II: Bud The CHUD, 976-EVIL II, The Unholy, Waxwork and Class of 1999).  Lionsgate owns the distribution rights to the film and I’m sure they really have no interested in taking it on, though they should think about subletting it out to someone (They’re clearly not against it since they allowed Scream Factory to do Ginger Snaps this year).  If you look on the internet there’s actually a petition for Lionsgate to get some of their classic horror titles they hold the rights to off their dusty shelves and transfer onto beautifully pristine Blu-rays.  I say do it!

Oh and Happy Halloween everyone!

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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