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JulyDiaz

Episode 167 - Chopping Mall: LIVE!

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Mary Holland (Wild Horses, Blunt Talk) joins Paul, June, and Jason to discuss the 1986 science-fiction horror film Chopping Mall. Recorded live from Largo at the Coronet in Los Angeles, they talk about the slow moving robots, janitor bullies, the “furniture storgy,” and much more.

 

Check out new HDTGM merch over at https://www.teepubli...wdidthisgetmade

 

Where to Find Jason, June & Paul:

 

Paul’s new comedy Drive Share is available on Go90. Paul can be seen on Veep. You can see June and Paul on NTSF:SD:SUV:: on HULU. June stars in Grace and Frankie on Netflix, as well as Lady Dynamite alongside with Jason.

 

Jason can be seen in The House, The Lego Batman Movie, How to Be Single, Sleeping with Other People, and is still indeed in The Dictator.

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If you didn't know the director was creepy, just check out the remainder of his filmography, which includes putting out softcore films under the names:

Jim Wynorski

Arch Stanton

Noble Henry

Jay Andrews

Tom Popatopolous

Bob E. Brown

Harold Blueberry

H.R. Blueberry

Jamie Wagner

Bob Robertson

Salvadore Ross

J.R. Mandish

Andrew James

Rob Robertson

Sam Pepperman

Rip Masters

 

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Again, on that weird director tip, In the pizza shop scene, the director put a poster for his first film on the wall behind the characters.

 

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Can't believe there was no mention of Suzee Slater's credit:

 

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I don't understand how the Protectors got up the escalators. Look at the length of their Johnny 5-like bases. The escalator "stairs" are maybe a 1/4th of that. If you told me they could ride across the edge of several steps with some sort of grip, maybe, but it's pretty clear they are just sitting there riding the escalator up.

 

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What's up with the inconsistent strength of the lasers? Sometimes a teen could take three or four hits and keep going, other times one shot would be a killshot. These lasers could cut through solid objects, but bulky sweaters and tight pants provide effective defenses?

 

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I can't be the only person weirded out when Michael wipes his mouth after kissing Leslie before talking to her father. So gross.

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This movie passes the Bechdel test and has a strong competent heroine.

 

More feminist films on HDTGM!

 

 

What's up with the inconsistent strength of the lasers? Sometimes a teen could take three or four hits and keep going, other times one shot would be a killshot. These lasers could cut through solid objects, but bulky sweaters and tight pants provide effective defenses?

 

 

 

My real issue with the lasers is that they get reflected with mirrors. Also, I have an issue with how this movie posits that electricity transfers when you smash into something that's being short-circuited. That's how that one dude dies when he drives the golf-cart into the one that explodes. That's just not how electricity works.

 

Also, these robots completely malfunction but then they just go about their appointed rounds like normal and say "Have a nice day." Their malfunctioning is too inconsistent to track. It's almost as if the logic of Chopping Mall is flawed. The most obvious problem is the one that they touch on--these killbots have WAY WAY WAY too powerful weapons for mall security bots. Police brutality for realz. When the Janitor got shocked to death I must have time travelled to 2007 because I suddenly screamed, "Don't tase me bro."

 

Fuck the fuschia, it's Friday. Let's go send these fuckers a Rambo-gram.

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The most obvious problem is the one that they touch on--these killbots have WAY WAY WAY too powerful weapons for mall security bots.

 

And it's a problem that would have been pretty easily solved by having the weapons being the result of the military dumping faulty robots intended for combat use on private industry. Probably could have done it with a bit of ADR.

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I fully support the actions of these robots based on these two points:

 

1) They were bored. The robots' duty is to protect the mall and yet they utilized at night when when there is less of a chance of a robbery. Wouldn't one agree that there is a higher likelihood of items being stolen when there are more people around? This point is clearly supported in the opening credits when we are shown someone successfully leaving a record store with an ungodly amount of vinyls shoved into his shirt.

 

 

 

2tMCTCl.png

 

 

2) Not one death was unprovoked.

  • Technician 1: Looking at porn and not doing the job he was paid to do
  • Technician 2: Stealing Technician 1's donut
  • Janitor: Abrasive language and mopping the floor with what appears to be mud.
  • Gum Chewer: If in fact he's suppose to be a teenager, he's illegally buying cigarettes. And if that's not enough, he was rude and lied to the caller who accidentally rang the pay phone
  • Gum Chewer's Girlfriend: walking around a closed mall with no ID
  • Remaining Teens: They drew first blood by attacking the robots. Sorry... They drew first robot blood.

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Absolutely hilarious episode and Mary Holland is the best. But I have to come in with the biggest omission in the history of HDTGM.

 

The night shift technician enters the control room not knowing that they day shift guy has been murdered. He complains about him leaving a mess. Then:

Timestamp 16:47: He puts the leftover half of a donut in his mouth.

We stay with him in real time as he chews, reads, chews, looks around suspiciously, chews, answers the phone, and chews.

Timestamp 18:50: He is attacked from behind and as part of his shocked reaction he opens his mouth to reveal it full of donut.

 

What the fuck kind of everlasting gobstopper donut is that!?!

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So I'll be the nerd and breakdown the financial obligation the mechanics think they owe to the mall. It's important to note, that when these calculations were done, the only major damage the teens have done to the mall is to the elevator and a few storefront windows.

 

Our female mechanic says they will be in hock to the mall for the next 85 years and will need to perform 2,900,432 tune ups.

 

From my quick research, "a standard tune up can cost $50 to $200, while more complex tasks can range from $500 to $900." (https://autoservicec...om/tune-up-cost)

 

So for this example, I'm going with the average of $200-$500 which is $350.

 

In today's market, $350 x 2,900,432 comes to $1,015,150,850.00 (one billion, 15 million, 150 thousand, 850 dollars.)

 

Taking that calculation and converting to what it would cost back in 1986, it would be $260,197,665.01 (260 million, 197 thousand, 665 dollars and 1 cent.)

 

So I'll just leave it at that.

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RANT ALERT:

 

loved the episode but i really don't get the love for this move at all. i was bored from the start to the awful ending. usually with these "so bad they're good" movies there's a charm to them or unintended humor throughout but this had neither. and it's really badly made. i said in the mini i was in a bad mood before starting to watch it and by about half way i was ready to switch it off. i watched it with headphones on and all those chewing and swallowing noises did my head in. nope. i did not like this one at all.

 

and those guys on the commentary, with their locker room talk, are assholes.

 

0rR8j3t.gif

 

 

Q: now that this is out of the way, is the last dragon the last previously announced movie we're waiting on? i'm after losing track.

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As if this movie wasn't crazy enough, the cherry on top was during the end credits sequence, where the filmmakers decided the headshot to use for Suzee Slater was a literally a HEAD SHOT. I can only assume someone with morals felt a shot of her head exploding was more tasteful then using the shot of her naked in bed.

 

 

EBY60Er.png

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Correction:

 

This movie came out before both Short Circuit and RoboCop. Short Circuit was only a couple months after Chopping Mall, but RoboCop was a couple years later.

 

Super nitpicky correction:

 

The robots in this are more like ED-209 from RoboCop than Robocop himself. I think this scene bears a striking resemblance to the opening scene of Chopping Mall and the scenes where the Protectors refuse to acknowledge badges.

 

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Sorry for the double post

Cameltoe

If this is the woman about whom they discuss high waist pants, these pants are neither jeans nor khakis. They look like chinos. Jeans are pants made from denim cloth. Khaki is just a very light tan color and, unless color grading or lighting is off, these aren't khaki colored. Chinos is a type of fabric that these pants are commonly made from.

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Why does a mall need a 24hr technician in a control room with no cameras? Also did anyone notice that the doughnut in the control room is torn up in the first shot and then whole in the next?

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OMG MARYYYYY!

 

giphy.gif

 

So, we've had Lauren and Mary. Now we need Erin and Stephanie!

 

Correction:

 

This movie came out before both Short Circuit and RoboCop. Short Circuit was only a couple months after Chopping Mall, but RoboCop was a couple years later.

Robocop was the next summer (1987).

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Not one mention of the after credits scene? I laughed as I walked by the tv that there would be such a thing, yet low and behold there it is. #marvelstyle

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If the robots can remotely control the automated systems in the mall then why do to they need to audibley talk to one another? I know its a movie, but geez.

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This movie passes the Bechdel test and has a strong competent heroine.

 

Does it pass the Bechdel test, though? I agree that Alison is pretty badass, but when do any two women have a conversation that doesn't eventually lead back to a guy? In the pizzeria, they're complaining about the nasty customer ("MORE BUTTER!!"). In the locker room, Suze convinces Alison to come to the "party" by promising her that Ferdy has a good personality. And in the heating duct, although the heat is the main complaint at first, Suze ultimately decides to turn back because she thinks the guys might be in trouble. I don't remember another scene featuring just two women. Does it count that Alison and Linda later make a plan to take down the central computer, even if the other three guys are there, too?

 

This comment brought to you by: Creeps -- we can't be stopped.

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Paul made me feel real old when he had to pull up Barth so that people would know who he's talking about.

 

les-lye-barth.jpg

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  • Janitor: Abrasive language and mopping the floor with what appears to be mud.

 

 

 

That's one thing I wanted to point out. The water the janitor was "cleaning" the floor with was disgusting.

 

chopping-mall16.jpg

Like why even mop the floor with that? If he's lazy or doesn't care about his job--fine.. but in this case it'd be better to not mop at all. That disgusting water is probably going to make the floor look dirtier and look like he didn't mop. If he's going to be lazy with his job, be a smart-lazy at least--so it's less obvious you're slacking off.

 

guys, this really bothered me..

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It's funny that Chopping Mall and Short Circuit came out in the same year, because the first five minutes of both movies are strikingly similar ... both movies open with the robots in attack mode, followed by a reveal that it was all just a demonstration to a lukewarm and skeptical audience. In CM, someone says that the robots look like the 3 Stooges, and in SC, Johnny 5 loves the Stooges and even reprograms some of the robots to act out a Stooges scene. And of course, both feature lightning as the root cause for robots' malfunctions.

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How about a shout-out to the movie's real unsung hero -- the surprising versatility of screwdrivers. Cars are repaired and elevators are turned into booby traps using just a screwdriver. And during the movie's climax in the paint store, who's there to help Alison with those lids? That's right:

 

36068868165_b7c7860578_b.jpg

 

35260407113_304ff89b38_b.jpg

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How about a shout-out to the movie's real unsung hero -- the surprising versatility of screwdrivers. Cars are repaired and elevators are turned into booby traps using just a screwdriver. And during the movie's climax in the paint store, who's there to help Alison with those lids? That's right:

 

Screwdrivers,

 

 

giphy.gif

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2) Not one death was unprovoked.

  • Technician 1: Looking at porn and not doing the job he was paid to do
  • Technician 2: Stealing Technician 1's donut
  • Janitor: Abrasive language and mopping the floor with what appears to be mud.
  • Gum Chewer: If in fact he's suppose to be a teenager, he's illegally buying cigarettes. And if that's not enough, he was rude and lied to the caller who accidentally rang the pay phone
  • Gum Chewer's Girlfriend: walking around a closed mall with no ID
  • Remaining Teens: They drew first blood by attacking the robots. Sorry... They drew first robot blood.

Imagine someone with a BB-8 avatar being a robot apologist. "What's its mission?" Unequivocal robot advocacy, it seems.

 

But in defensive of all us humans, if being rude, goofing at work, cursing, and stealing donuts were really justifications for brutal robot death, would any of us here really be alive today? I suspect most of us are doing most of those things right now.

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