Chopping Mall (1986)

R | 76 mins | Horror, Comedy | March 1986

Director:

Jim Wynorski

Producer:

Julie Corman

Cinematographer:

Tom Richmond

Production Designer:

Carol Clements

Production Companies:

Concorde Pictures, Trinity Pictures
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HISTORY

       Principal photography began in early Jan 1986 and was completed four weeks later, according to a 31 Jan 1986 DV brief. The film’s initial working title was Killbots as noted in a 31 Aug 1985 Screen International brief. A 3 Sep 1985 DV casting notice said the film was named R.O.B.O.T., while an 8 Nov 1985 DV casting notice said the film’s name was Robot. The working title reverted to Killbots by the time principal photography got underway.
       The movie was initially set to film in the Beverly Center shopping mall in Los Angeles, CA, according to the May 1986 American Cinematographer. Although exteriors of the Beverly Center are used in the film, the interiors was shot at the Sherman Oaks Galleria shopping mall, in Sherman Oaks, CA.
       Robert Short Productions of Marina del Rey, CA, was hired to create the killer robots used in the film. A total of five robots were built, but only two were functional; one was controlled via a radio transmitter, the other was controlled by a box attached to a fifteen-foot cable. The other three were used as “stunt” robots and could be positioned wherever needed or pulled by cables.
       The film was released regionally in Mar 1986 under the title Killbots, but was then reissued with the title Chopping Mall in fall 1986 with several minutes of footage trimmed. The 8 Sep 1986 HR noted Chopping Mall opened on 5 Sep 1986 in the Pittsburgh, PA, area. The film opened in ... More Less

       Principal photography began in early Jan 1986 and was completed four weeks later, according to a 31 Jan 1986 DV brief. The film’s initial working title was Killbots as noted in a 31 Aug 1985 Screen International brief. A 3 Sep 1985 DV casting notice said the film was named R.O.B.O.T., while an 8 Nov 1985 DV casting notice said the film’s name was Robot. The working title reverted to Killbots by the time principal photography got underway.
       The movie was initially set to film in the Beverly Center shopping mall in Los Angeles, CA, according to the May 1986 American Cinematographer. Although exteriors of the Beverly Center are used in the film, the interiors was shot at the Sherman Oaks Galleria shopping mall, in Sherman Oaks, CA.
       Robert Short Productions of Marina del Rey, CA, was hired to create the killer robots used in the film. A total of five robots were built, but only two were functional; one was controlled via a radio transmitter, the other was controlled by a box attached to a fifteen-foot cable. The other three were used as “stunt” robots and could be positioned wherever needed or pulled by cables.
       The film was released regionally in Mar 1986 under the title Killbots, but was then reissued with the title Chopping Mall in fall 1986 with several minutes of footage trimmed. The 8 Sep 1986 HR noted Chopping Mall opened on 5 Sep 1986 in the Pittsburgh, PA, area. The film opened in New York City on 14 Nov 1986, according to the 18 Nov 1986 DV review.
       In 2011, producer Robert Hall’s Dry Country Entertainment announced it was acquiring rights to remake Chopping Mall, according to the 23 Nov 2011 DV. Hall was set to direct the film which would have a “darker, supernatural spin,” and begin principal photography in spring 2012. No additional information about that remake could be found.

      End credits include “special thanks” to: “Sherman Oaks Galleria, Sherman Oaks, CA; Robinson’s Southern California; St. Tropez Fashions, Inc. dba MGA, Los Angeles, CA; Designsetters; T. Cappelli; Ronald Sassoon; Gasoline; Camp Beverly Hills; I.D. #; Cort Furniture Rental; Ellis Paints; Unique Product Placement; Hylamar; Fantastic Surfboards of Santa Barbara.”
More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
American Cinematographer
May 1986
pp. 77-81.
Daily Variety
3 Sep 1985.
---
Daily Variety
8 Nov 1985.
---
Daily Variety
31 Jan 1986.
---
Daily Variety
18 Nov 1986
p 3, 9.
Daily Variety
23 Nov 2011.
---
Hollywood Reporter
8 Sep 1986.
---
Screen International
31 Aug 1985.
---
Variety
19 Nov 1986
p. 18.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANIES
PRODUCTION TEXT
Concorde presents
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d unit dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
Best boy -- elec
Elec
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Key grip
Best boy -- grip
Dir of photog, 2d unit
Gaffer, 2d unit
Grip -- elec, 2d unit
1st asst cam, 2d unit
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Asst art dir
2d asst art dir
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
Apprentice ed
Apprentice ed
Negative cutter, 2nd unit
SET DECORATORS
Prop master
Prop coord
Set dresser
Set builder
Carpenter
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus comp
SOUND
Sd mixer
Boom op
Sd mixer, 2d unit
Boom op, 2d unit
Post-prod sd services, 2d unit
Addl sd eff, 2d unit
VISUAL EFFECTS
Killbots created by
Optical eff by
Spec eff
Const supv, Robert Short Productions crew
Const supv, Robert Short Productions crew
Robot op, Robert Short Productions crew
Robot op, Robert Short Productions crew
Mechanical eng, Robert Short Productions crew
Mechanical eng, Robert Short Productions crew
Modelmaker, Robert Short Productions crew
Modelmaker, Robert Short Productions crew
Modelmaker, Robert Short Productions crew
Modelmaker, Robert Short Productions crew
Modelmaker, Robert Short Productions crew
Propmaker, Robert Short Productions crew
Propmaker, Robert Short Productions crew
Propmaker, Robert Short Productions crew
Propmaker, Robert Short Productions crew
Titles and optical eff by
Anim supv, Motion Opticals, Inc.
Coord, Motion Opticals, Inc.
Optical printer op, Motion Opticals, Inc.
Asst, Motion Opticals, Inc.
Asst, Motion Opticals, Inc.
Asst, Motion Opticals, Inc.
Artist, Motion Opticals, Inc.
Artist, Motion Opticals, Inc.
Artist, Motion Opticals, Inc.
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Spec eff make-up
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod coord
Scr supv
Animal wrangler
Accountant
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Scr supv, 2d unit
Prod asst, 2d unit
Prod asst, 2d unit
Post-prod supv, 2d unit
STAND INS
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt coord
COLOR PERSONNEL
Processing by
Col by
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Killbots
R.O.B.O.T.
Robot
Release Date:
March 1986
Premiere Information:
Regional opening: March 1986
New York opening: 14 November 1986
Los Angeles opening: 20 March 1987
Production Date:
early January -- late January 1986
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Prints
Prints by The Filmhouse Group
Duration(in mins):
76
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
29080
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

At the Park Plaza shopping mall, officials decide to use robot security guards to patrol the mall after hours. Dr. Stan Simon, the head of development for Secure-Tronics, the company which created the Protector 101 series robots, explains that one robot will be stationed on each of the mall’s three shopping levels. The three-and-a-half-foot tall robots, which have tank-like tracks for movement, are equipped with sleep darts to detain criminals until police arrive. The three robots will patrol only the mall area, not the stores. Employees who are in the mall after hours will have to show their security badges to the robots. Armored steel doors will block all outside mall entrances from midnight to dawn. The mall will begin using the robots in a week. That night, a bolt of lightning hits one of the electrical transformers on the roof and short circuits the mall’s computer system. One of the three robots turns on and chokes Marty, the computer operator, who is distracted while looking through a pornographic magazine. A little later, Nessler, the other computer technician, comes into the office, sits down and starts reading a book. One of the robots turns on and strangles him as well. In the Furniture King store, three employees, Ferdy Meisel, Greg Williams, and Mike Brennan, look forward to having a party once the mall closes with Allison Parks and Suzie Lynn, waitresses at the mall’s Italian restaurant. Leslie Todd, who works at a clothing store, is also coming to the party, as are Linda and Rick Stanton, a married couple who run an automobile repair business. Shortly after the mall closes, Greg and Mike introduce the shy and nerdish Ferdy ... +


At the Park Plaza shopping mall, officials decide to use robot security guards to patrol the mall after hours. Dr. Stan Simon, the head of development for Secure-Tronics, the company which created the Protector 101 series robots, explains that one robot will be stationed on each of the mall’s three shopping levels. The three-and-a-half-foot tall robots, which have tank-like tracks for movement, are equipped with sleep darts to detain criminals until police arrive. The three robots will patrol only the mall area, not the stores. Employees who are in the mall after hours will have to show their security badges to the robots. Armored steel doors will block all outside mall entrances from midnight to dawn. The mall will begin using the robots in a week. That night, a bolt of lightning hits one of the electrical transformers on the roof and short circuits the mall’s computer system. One of the three robots turns on and chokes Marty, the computer operator, who is distracted while looking through a pornographic magazine. A little later, Nessler, the other computer technician, comes into the office, sits down and starts reading a book. One of the robots turns on and strangles him as well. In the Furniture King store, three employees, Ferdy Meisel, Greg Williams, and Mike Brennan, look forward to having a party once the mall closes with Allison Parks and Suzie Lynn, waitresses at the mall’s Italian restaurant. Leslie Todd, who works at a clothing store, is also coming to the party, as are Linda and Rick Stanton, a married couple who run an automobile repair business. Shortly after the mall closes, Greg and Mike introduce the shy and nerdish Ferdy Meisel to the perky Allison, who just started working at the restaurant a week ago. While the partygoers dance and drink beer, the three Protector robots begin patrolling the mall. Protector One makes note of the party happening in the Furniture King store. The robot comes across janitor Walter Paisley and asks to see his security badge. Walter shows his identification and makes smart-aleck remarks to the robot, which electrocutes him. The eight people in the furniture store break off into pairs. Mike and Leslie have sex in one of the beds, while Rick and Linda make use of another bed. Greg and Suzie have sex on a sofa while Ferdy and Allison watch an old horror movie on television. After sex, Leslie sends Mike to buy her cigarettes from the cigarette machine in a mall corridor. Protector One demands to see Mike’s security badge, but once he shows it, the robot shoots him with tranquilizer darts and strangles him to death. When Mike does not return, Leslie goes looking for him. She finds Mike’s body at the cigarette machine, just as Protector One returns. She runs and Protector One gives chase, shooting laser beams at her. One of the beams hits her in the face, causing her head to explode. The six remaining run for the back of the furniture store. Protector Two joins Protector One and the robots break through the front glass doors and shoot lasers at everything in the store. Once in the storage room, the six youths block the door and telephone for help, but the lines are dead. They hear the armored, steel doors shut throughout the mall and realize they are trapped until dawn. The three women climb into the air ventilation shaft just as Protector One shoots explosives at the storage room door and breaks in. The three guys run out the back entrance and go to Peckinpah’s Sporting Goods to grab shotguns and rifles. In the mall area, they fire shots to attract the robots’ attention. When Protector One arrives, they throw a propane gas tank in its path and shoot it, causing it to explode. Protector One collapses on its side and appears to be destroyed, but unknown to the men, it restarts itself a few minutes later. The women climb out of the vent shaft into a hardware store and get gasoline canisters to make bombs, then go into the mall and throw the gas bombs at Protector Two. The robot fires a laser at Suzie, who falls to the floor. When Protector Two fires again, the gas canister Suzie is carrying ignites, and her body is engulfed in flames. Rick goes into the elevator they have rigged with propane tanks, then climbs out a hatch in the top. When Protector Two gets in the elevator car, they fire shots at the tanks, causing an explosion which destroys the elevator and the robot inside. The five left alive hide in the Italian restaurant. Ferdy decides they should go to the third level and shut down the computer system, thereby shutting down the remaining robots. Greg rushes to the third level, but Protector Three grabs him, pushing him over the ledge to his death. The four people left alive break into a department store and close the steel door behind them. Protector One cuts through the door with a laser beam. When the robots gets inside, the four have set up mannequins to confuse the machines. Protector Three short circuits and is destroyed, but not before throwing off electrical bolts which kill Linda and Rick. Ferdy and Allison hunt for the security computer. Protector One, the only remaining robot, finds Allison, but Ferdy shoots out its laser eye. Protector One chases Ferdy who throws a fire extinguisher at it. The robot throws the fire extinguisher back, knocking Ferdy unconscious. Allison breaks into Roger’s Little Shop of Pets and hides under some shelves. Protector One breaks into the store, knocking over many cages. Tarantulas and snakes crawl on Allison, but she remains quiet until the robot leaves. Allison runs into the mall and hides from Protector One by hanging over the third floor ledge. When she can no longer hold on to the rail, she falls onto the tented canopy of a kiosk below. Her leg broken, Allison crawls into Ellis Paint Company and pours cans of paint onto the floor. When Protector One follows her, it cannot get any traction on the wet paint. Allison throws a flare at the robot causing an explosion. The robot is destroyed. Ferdy regains consciousness. Ferdy and Allison hug and kiss.
+

GENRE
Genres:


Subject
Subject (Major):

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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