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Archive for December, 2012|Monthly archive page

GHOULS, FRANKENSTEIN & MURDER (Friday 14th December 2012)

In Uncategorized on December 15, 2012 at 7:06 pm

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Thank you to Kino Klubb, Mayhem and everyone for coming to our joint event last night and enduring the triple that is ‘The Devils’, ‘Frankenhooker’ and ‘Chopping Mall’. We had a great time. We will also write more as soon as our hangovers have worn off.

For the time being, read our essay for ‘Chopping Mall’ as included in Kino Klubb’s free brochure. Enjoy!

Chop Till You Drop: A Retrospective
by The Kneel Before Zod Video Club of Nottingham Club

Films come and go, but certain features are forever. After an extensive restoration campaign, ‘Chopping Mall’ has been presented to you courtesy of the British Film Institute. Taking five years to complete, significant funds in financing (eventually leading to the dissolution of the UK Film Council) and two deaths, the film you are about to see (after ‘The Devils’ and ‘Frankenhooker’, we assume) is the product of the most ambitious co-operative film development since the reconstruction of ‘Metropolis’ two years ago.

Panned on its original release, the film has since been considered one of the most vital and daring features of its genre. It dares to ask the burning questions, ‘What happens at night in a shopping mall?’ and ‘Will Dick Miller really say yes to anything?’. The answers are ‘hilarity’ and ‘yes’.
The film tells the story of four unemployed and down-on-their-luck robots, reduced to unpaid voluntary night shifts at the local shopping centre. One night a group of teenagers break in and threaten their reputation and the safety of the facility. It’s up to the droids to chase them out while teaching the important lessons in self-respect and to be considerate of their local public amenities.

Jim Wynorski wrote the script while working with Lindsay Anderson on his acclaimed feature ‘The Whales of August’ where he starred alongside Bette Davis in a number of key scenes. His performance captivated hundreds. So much so, Anderson was so impressed with his work he offered to finance Wynorski’s ambitious shopping mall-centred feature, tentatively titled. ‘Do Robots Dream of Firing Electric Bolts at Blonde Girls Faces?’. It wasn’t until Graham Crowden expressed dismay at the misogynistic undertones of the title, that it was changed to the punchier ‘Chopping Mall’. Coincidentally, this helped secure a lucrative kitchen knife product placement arrangement, placing Crowden on the UK’s rich list.

The disastrous shoot commenced in June 1984, however did not complete until January 1986. The shopping mall set was hit by a great storm of ’84, leaving original lead actress, Molly Ringwald, temporarily paralysed after being hit my a fiberglass pretzel sign on the first floor mezzanine. All of Ringwald’s subsequent scenes in 1985’s ‘Surviving’ were shot from the waist up to avoid any indication of injury. The title of that film a tribute to the actress’s bravery. She was forced to step down from the role, being replaced by up-and-coming actress Kelli Maroney.

Look out for cameo appearances from a number of high profile eighties icons, such as Judd Nelson, Cyndi Lauper, Zach Galligan and a rare appearance from Nicholas Lyndhurst in his first attempt to break Hollywood.

It’s an important film, both for celluloid and the viewer’s personal emotional development. Now it’s time to experience the film Mary Whitehouse didn’t want you to see, Ingmar Bergman desperately wanted to and Molly Ringwald couldn’t. Our lives have been enhanced by its subtlety and depth and we hope yours are too.

– The Kneel Before Zod Video Club of Nottingham Club is a lecturer in film theory and philosophy at Durham University. She lives with her husband and two sons, Ian and Simon and enjoys the art of voluntary rapid-eye-movement while on public transport.’

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