Saturday, March 3, 2012
No Singing in the Mall: Phantom of The Mall: Eric's Revenge (1989)
starring: Derek Rydall, Jonathan Goldsmith and Rob Estes
With a title like that, you can't go wrong with the picture of a cheap, B-movie with terrible ideas and set-pieces come in motion. The problem is, it wasn't all that. B-Movie, yes, but terrible? No. It's far durable and bearable as a small-time flick that you can rent, download or catch in a midnight's channel surfing. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the world of The Phantom of The Mall!
It's a grand opening of a new mall, and people are clamoring over it. From Ice cream stops to shoe stores, the mall already had itself two new teenage store clerks working for hard cash, one being our lead girl. Other assorted faces of teen spirit includes a photo-snapping mall journalist and a the mayor's mall rat trouble-maker son.
Within the mall's ventilators, however, hides a figure, a disfigured figure, who practices judo, steals clothes and food at the mall's closing hours and kill people who ventures near enough his turf. This is Eric, The Phantom of The Mall, and he's plotting a big finale for the end that will ensure those who are responsible of building this mall will pay. But why exactly? Doe this has something to do with the fire that torched down his home some time ago? You know damn straight, it is.
It's one of the few titles out there to take on a Shopping Mall Killing Spree, and with the added flavor of revenge and love gave it a mediocre, yet entertaining match. It's short on logic, and realism, but who cares when a guys gets bitten on the groin by a live cobra, or the fact that Eric had spent some time away, unheard, believed to be dead, and later finds himself living in the close-quarters of the mall's ventilation system with no explanation whatever, or the fact that a security guard done a number of elevator stunts and no one seem to take a big notice out of it? You got to hand the film for it's delicious 80s vibe to overlook all this mediocrity, thanks to a fine cast of horror/b-flick veterans, such as Ken Foree (who is low on profile here as a security guard), Morgan Fairchild (who some may remember from the slasher-worthy, Seduction (1982)) as the mall's conniving mayor and Popcorn's own Derek Rydall as the titular maniac.
The kills are your normal, garden-variety murders, only made unique since this is one slasher who practically used the mall as a weapon itself. While most killers would arm themselves with weapons they could find in stores, Eric was creative enough to hang and crush necks with an escalator, sic stolen live pet cobras and even using a garbage chute door for a decapitation. Basic, but favorable all the way.
So, it's not really anything as big as the stage plays, or the movie adaptations that sticks with the original plotting, nor boast a high bodycount, but as a time-wasting good...time, Phantom of The Mall is a worthy excuse.
1 male repeatedly stabbed with knife
1 male forced to a turbine, face shredded
1 male impaled on a forklift and electrocuted to a fusebox, later found with gouged eye
1 male bitten on the groin by a live cobra (!)
1 male lassoed on the neck and got caught on an escalator, neck crushed
1 male and 1 female presumably burned to death (flashback)
1 male decapitated on chute door
1 female thrown through window and lands on a shard, impaled
1 male set ablaze with blowtorch and immolated by propane tank
1 male immolated in bomb explosion