77 min., 1986
Written by Jim Wynorski/Steve Mitchell
Directed by Jim Wynorski
My rating: ★★★★★
Killer robots running around a mall killing teens, awesome!
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Our movie begins with a thief breaking into a jewelry shop and being chased by a robot that tazes him. We then see that it’s just a presentation about a new robot that Secure-Tronics Unlimited is selling, called the Protector 101 Series Robot, and the Park Plaza Mall has already decided to try them out. Alison (Kelli Maroney) is working in the fast food restaurant in the mall with Suzie (Barbara Crampton) and they have plans to stay after work with some friends. Suzie’s boyfriend Greg (Nick Segal) works at a furniture store and they are thinking about spending the night there and having some fun. Along for the ride are Ferdy (Tony O’Dell), Michael (John Terlesky) and Leslie (Suzee Slater). The problem is that lightning has struck the place where the Protector 101 robots are and they have started to go a little crazy.
So the acting in the movie is just okay, with it being very 80’s. Kelli Maroney is pretty darn good in her role, from shy to tough girl. Everyone else does a decent job but sometimes they just seem bored with their part and it shows.
The effects are actually great, well for the most part. There is a great head-exploding scene and I just have a blast (yes pun intended) every time I see it. The robots (aka Killbots, even though they are actually never called that throughout the movie, but that was the original title of the movie) are actually pretty cool too. They look good and I could actually see them as a form of defense even today. The laser blasts are pretty good, but the sound effects used for them are a bit cheesy. So overall, the effects are really good.
This is one of those movies where you just sit back and enjoy the craziness that ensues. Teens in a mall after closing with “experimental” robots as security, what else do you expect to happen. There are a lot of good nods to other movies throughout; actually they are all from other Roger Corman movies. At the beginning where Alison and Suzie work, there are movie posters on the wall, including The Slumber Party Massacre and Galaxy Of Terror. There are also a few cameo appearances. The legendary (at least to me) Dick Miller appears as the janitor and there is also Mary Woronov and Paul Bartel who reprise their roles from the classic Eating Raoul. This is one of my favorites from the 80’s. It may be cheesy and the overall look (it was the 80’s after all) hasn’t aged well, but it’s a whole lot of fun to watch. If you’re into “bad” 80’s movies, this is at the top, but totally worth it.Have You Read...?