The 80s were a time when WTF wasn’t yet known but the general idea behind it was still in full swing anyway. Chopping Mall is one of the many movies that would get a laugh out of a lot of people today since it’s nothing but pure camp in the guise of horror and is bound to be seen as one of the more amusing movies that you might have forgotten about or skipped over in the first place. But with Black Friday coming it just felt right to put it up there and talk about the day all the same since quite honestly the coming day is enough to make some people cringe, just like the movie. It’s very easy to bash 80s movies since it seems to be the in thing to do these days, but back in the day when they first came out these were the movies that a lot of us, as kids, wanted to see because our older siblings were watching them, our parents were watching them, and of course because we were told no, it’s just too scary. Then we finally got to watch them, and to be honest, a lot of us probably laughed our butts off.
So the gist of the story is that a mall has upgraded its security program in a bit way and brought on three Protector robots that are to patrol the mall and keep out any burglars or would-be troublemakers using non-lethal means that are meant to incapacitate and subdue but leave the individuals alive. When a group of people decide to have a party in the store that a few of them work in after hours it seems as though this isn’t a big deal and the Protectors won’t do much of anything. But when a lightning storm somehow damages the wiring or alters the programming somehow, it was the 80s after all so plot points are about as uncertain as week-old mystery stew, the Protectors, all three of them, go haywire and begin to kill anyone they see. After killing the technicians that are working on them and a janitor they then begin to patrol the mall, a seemingly ominous sight since they’re three deadly robots on the prowl. Once they start killing the party-goers however the survivors start fighting back, until only two of them are left and all three robots are dead, leaving the mall a blasted ruin coated with blood. So in other words like the aftermath of a regular Black Friday, right?
There is something inherently wrong about this day when people will gladly go flying through a set of doors to get the deals they want on something that could be easily purchased online without fuss or the bodily damage that might come from fighting off two or three people that want the exact same thing. In fact a lot of shopping areas start looking like they’re hosting their own Occupy movement when Black Friday hits since there are people in tents, sleeping bags, and some folks that bring their RV’s to camp in the parking lot. Yes, it gets that crazy, and if you’ve never been out there to see it or stopped, then you’re one of the free-thinkers that doesn’t bother going out on this day unless there’s no other choice. Black Friday is, for some people, one of the best days of the years since if you can brush off that turkey-induced coma that kicks in right after the last slice of pie and can bring yourself to drag your butt out to a store at midnight or the wee hours of the morning then you can save quite a bit of money, but at the expense of losing a tooth or possibly rupturing an organ when someone knees you in the side for that last toaster that you just grabbed. Emily Guy Birken of WiseBread has more to say on the matter. I do believe the last time I was out for Black Friday I was working in Toys R Us and the instructions were to brace ourselves the moment the doors opened. Seriously, people actually do get hurt on this day and the jokes are just to lighten up the mood.
Thankfully there are no Protectors to stand guard and start tasing people left and right if they get too rowdy, but this movie is pretty funny when thinking about how the application of three robot guards might actually be used as crowd control if anyone had the nerve to try such a thing. Of course with the average Black Friday such robots would either be dismantled by the end of the day or someone would be trying to purchase them, which means a mob would start fighting over them at any second. Sigh, there’s a good reason that a lot of us stay in on Black Friday, so maybe it’d be a good chance to watch this movie and get a good laugh in.