Kelli Maroney, Tony O'Dell, Russell Todd, Karrie Emerson, Barbara Crampton, Nick Segal, John Terlesky, Suzee Slater, Dick Miller, Gerrit Graham, Mel Welles, Angela Aames, Paul Coufos, Arthur Roberts Update Cast
More Trivia from Chopping Mall
Director: Jim Wynorski
Writer: Steve Mitchell
Producers: Julie Corman, Roger Corman
One of the great underrated films of our time. It has all the ingredients of 80s pop culture greatness: An 80s teen-movie world where adults are ineffectual and it's left to a bunch of resilient teens to clean up their mess; Where the promiscuous or drug takers die grisly deaths whereas the innocent survive...
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Sometime in the near future the Park Plaza mall gets three security "Protector" robots which are to be used to guard the mall at night after closing hours.
The robots are controlled by a supercomputer that is operated by a pair of technicians. The robots anti-theif arsenal includes TASER style knock-out darts and laser cannons. They are also programed to ask anyone they meet to see their I.D.s to distinguish late-night employees from intruders. To further make the mall secure, solid steel doors controlled by the computer shut automatically near midnight. The company spokesman assures an audience, "Nothing can go wrong."
So... Naturally, everything does.
Six young mall employees and two of their friends have planned an after-hours party in the furniture store just before the steel doors close. What none of them could have predicted is that on this exact night there is a lightning storm outside and a bolt of lightning strikes the electrical generator on the roof, which fries the circuts of the computer. As a result, the malfunctioning machine turns the three robots under it's control into murderous killing machines...
In essence, Short Circuit's Johnny Five turned homicidal!
After killing off the two technicians and a janitor (Dick Miller), the protector robots inevitably target the eight young people. Worse for them, soon the steel doors close, locking them inside. Now the hapless young folk must either find some way to destroy the seemingly indestructible robots, or find and destroy the supercomputer, if they are to survive the night...
I consider this to be one of the great, under-appreciated hidden gems from the deacade that deserved much better recognitian than it got. It's got sweet action scenes and great kills, some nice "RoboCop" style dark humor (just before or right after killing a victim, the robots say, "Thank you. Have a nice day!")
Most of all, though, I really love Kelli Maroney, both her preformance and the character she plays. The heroine, Allison Parks, is strong, smart and courageous, and keeps her head when things go bad.
The film's final climactic facedown is forever burned in my memory. If you love 80's films and you love action/horror/sci-fi, check this one out.
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