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CHOPPING MALL (1986) – Episode 201 – Decades of Horror 1980s

“It’s not you, Ferdy. I’m just not used to being chased around a mall in the middle of the night by killer robots.” Don’t worry. It won’t last long. Join your faithful Grue-Crew – Chad Hunt, Bill Mulligan, Crystal Cleveland, and Jeff Mohr  – as they head right back to a very familiar mall in Chopping Mall (1986).

Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 201 – Chopping Mall (1986)

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A group of young shopping mall employees stays behind for a late-night party in one of the stores. When the mall goes on lock-down before they can get out, the robot security system malfunctions, and goes on a killing spree.


Jeff chose Chopping Mall based on connections to the 80s Grue-Crew’s last two episodes, namely Barbara Crampton, Kelli Maroney, Mary Woronov, and the Sherman Oaks Galleria. For him, the cast and the shout-outs to other horror movies are the best parts of Chopping Mall. Even though there’s no “chopping” taking place, it’s a fun flick.

Androids are more Crystal’s thing than killbots, but she still enjoys this entertaining movie. Does it go without saying that Barbara Crampton and Kelli Maroney are really cute in Chopping Mall? Yes, but it needs saying anyway and Crystal obliges. Chad likes the references and nods to other movies and the exploding head kill. In the end, he calls Chopping Mall pure Jim Wynorski cheese. Limburger cheese. After pausing for a discussion about Limburger cheese, Bill reveals that he doesn’t find the kind of robots found in Chopping Mall to be very scary. That being said, the film has a following and a lot of people have a kind of nostalgic fondness for it. And he loves the cameos by folks like Mary Woronov, Paul Bartel, Dick Miller, Mel Welles, and Gerrit Graham.

If you haven’t seen Chopping Mall for a while or you’re a big Chopping Mall fan, now might be a good time to make another trip to the mall. As of this writing, Chopping Mall is available to stream on Shudder and a variety of other subscription services or free streaming services with ads. It’s also available on physical media as a Collector’s Edition Blu-ray from Vestron/Lionsgate.

Every two weeks, Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror 1980s podcast will cover another horror film from the 1980s. The next episode’s film, chosen by Bill, will be Dreamscape (1984). Welcome to their nightmare!

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Jeff Mohr
Jeff lives smack dab in the middle of the cornfields of Iowa and is a long-time horror fan. His first remembered encounters with the genre were The Wizard of Oz, Tarzan gorilla chases, and watching the first broadcast of The Twilight Zone episode, "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge." While he now qualifies as an old fart, he strives to be an Old Boy. Paraphrasing Robert Bloch, he has the heart of a small boy. He keeps it in a jar on his desk. Jeff has written for and SQ Horror Magazine. He currently writes for Gruesome Magazine and is a co-host of the Decades of Horror podcasts - The Classic Era, 1970s, and 1980s - and the Gruesome Magazine Podcast.