Thursday, June 16, 2016

Thursday Movie Picks: Store/Supermarket/Mall Movies


Welcome to Dell on Movies. How may I help you? I used to say some variation of that when I worked at Blockbuster a few years back. I started just as the company was starting to recognize Netflix as a viable threat, or about two years after everyone else already had. I left Blockbuster just as their nosedive was beginning. That stretch of a little over two years marks my only experience working in retail. I actually liked the job. The work wasn't that hard, and I got to talk about movies for a few hours each night. Unfortunately, they paid us in bubblegum and paper clips, and it was only a part-time gig, so I split soon as I had the chance.

I just used the word split to denote leaving. Age shown.

Anyhoo, I'm going on about my time as a video clerk because the topic for this week's Thursday Movie Picks, hosted by Wanderer at Wandering Through the Shelves, is movies set in a store, supermarket, or mall. There have been some great films that fit the bill. Nah, we won't be discussing any of those on this site. If you don't like it, take your business elsewhere.


Hollywood Hot Tubs
(1984)
Like all teens in 80s movies, Shawn is a bit mischievous. When he gets caught vandalizing the iconic Hollywood sign, he's given two options. One of them is jail, so obviously he chooses the other. That one is going to work in his uncle's hot tub repair store. Of course, this is a job that requires to make housecalls. When he does, it's sexy time! This is all well and good until he starts to develop feelings for the girl who works with him at the store. What follows is one of the decade's most heartfelt teen romances. Okay, I'm lying. It's not that. It is, however, so bad it's awesome!


The Malibu Bikini Shop
(1986)
Alan and Todd are fresh out of college and ready to take over the world. No wondering what they're going to do with their lives since they've just inherited their aunt's bikini shop. Alan is the serious-minded sort who wants to turn this failing business into a success. Todd is just there to scope out the chicks as they try on bikinis courtesy of the two way mirrors in the dressing rooms. By the way, Todd is played by a young Bruce Greenwood. How he survived this to actually have a career is anyone's guess. Anyhoo, for both guys to get what they want, they have to keep coming up with increasingly zany ways to drum up business. The thing this film is most known for is its ending. I've no problem spoiling it since you're not going to watch it. Anyhoo, there's a huge bikini sale/fashion show, the climax of which is all the girls running into the ocean. As they do, we're told of a very unique feature of the suits they're wearing. They dissolve in water. So bad. So, so bad. So bad it's awesome!


Chopping Mall
(1986)
The synopsis for this movie on imdb.com reads: "Eight teenagers are trapped after hours in a high tech shopping mall and pursued by three murderous security robots out of control." That premise sounds like this is a serious examination of our inherent fears of machines taking over the world, and our growing dependence on those machines. It also leaves out two important things. One, how did these kids get trapped in the first place. The other is just why those robots are murderous. The first one is because these...ahem...kids, and by kids I mean a bunch mid to late 20 somethings, decided to stay behind after hours and have a party where they can pair up and have sex in one of the stores where a couple of them work, cuz that's how it goes down when the mall closes, I guess. As for the robots, they were perfectly fine when the movie started and were all set to patrol the mall properly. Big storm outside, lightning strikes the main computer, or something, and now they just want to kill up everything. They're equipped with deadly lasers and some hellified pincers for hands. It's basically a slasher flick, but with a trio of robots in place of a singular psycho. It's also so bad it's awesome!


More Thursday Movie Picks:

28 comments:

  1. OK, I don't remember if I saw any of these films but I do love those 80 B-movies. They're just good ol' fashion fun.

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  2. Holy shit these all sound f--king awesome.

    The question, as usual, isn't which one I'm going to watch. It's which one I'm going to watch first.

    (though, full disclosure, I think I've seen parts of the first two...you can guess which parts [older brothers, VHS tapes, etc.])

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    1. Pretty sure you can find them all online, somewhere.

      Yes, I remember rewinding and/or fast forwarding my way through certain movies just to watch those most special moments.

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  3. The movies sound bad but fun. Great picks!

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  4. You always pick the best sounding movies. I need to see these!

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    1. If by best, you mean worst, then yeah!

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  5. As I was reading your description of Hollywood Hot Tubs I thought "Gee they use to show this all the time on late night cable paired up with The Malibu Bikini Shop." And lo and behold I scrolled down and there it was!! Both are lame-brained but I think I enjoyed Bikini Shop marginally more because of Bruce Greenwood. As to how he survived this and had a career I guess it was the same combo of tenacity and luck that let Brad Pitt move on from Cutting Class and Johnny Depp & Rob Morrow overcome the dreck that is Private Resort. Ya gotta start somewhere!

    I've seen snippets of Chopping Mall but slasher movies aren't my thing so I've never made it a point to watch the whole thing. Fun picks!

    I reached farther back for mine:

    Who’s Minding the Store? (1963)-Dog walker Norman (Jerry Lewis) loves the beautiful Barbara (Jill St. John) but Barbara’s from money, a fact Norman is unaware of. Her family owns a highly successful department store and her mother, Mrs. Tuttle (Agnes Moorehead) is determined to break them up. Norman goes to work in the store and tries to prove himself while Mrs. Tuttle’s minion, Mr. Quimby (Ray Walston) gives him ever more humiliating tasks. Typical Lewis comedy is a bit sweeter than usual and has a great cast.

    The Devil and Miss Jones (1941)-Annoyed to hear workers at one of his stores are trying to form a union the world's richest man John P. Merrick (Charles Coburn) decides to check it out for himself. Going incognito he gets a job there on the hunt for what he sees as troublemakers but discovers instead that the employee’s grips are legitimate when he befriends Miss Mary Jones (Jean Arthur), another worker at the store. In time Merrick ends up carrying the flag for the workers to be treated decently…and maybe has found a love of his own. Played for laughs but with an underlying serious social tone.

    Employees Entrance (1933)-Harsh pre-code tells the story of a soulless bastard (Warren William) and what he does as he ruthlessly oversees the running of a large department store during the depression. He thinks nothing of trading work for sexual favors, throwing people out of work who displease him, demeaning his employees sometimes to the point of suicide. A candid if unpleasant portrait of a contemptible man all the more vivid because of being produced just before the Hays Office would have made its production unthinkable.

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    1. You get the gold star for being the first reader to have seen two of these! Extra credit for having seen parts of the third.

      Haven't seen any of your picks, but I am most interested in Employees Entrance. When a film's description starts with "harsh pre-code" I'm in. There were some great, gritty "talkies" made in the early 30s.

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    2. If you like pre-code two others to catch if you haven't are the zippy (63 minutes) Three on a Match also starring Warren William as well as just starting out Bette Davis & Humphrey Bogart and an amazing Ann Dvorak. It manages to pack infidelity, heroin addiction, bootlegging, kidnapping and a host of other things into its fast moving narrative.

      Also The Story of Temple Drake starring Miriam Hopkins whose main theme is sexual enslavement. It was based on a William Faulkner novel called Sanctuary. It was actually considered so lurid that it was pulled from distribution for over 70 years until it resurfaced in 2011. Even the original poster art was quite brazen as you can see from the one used by IMDB.

      http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0024617/?ref_=rvi_tt

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    3. Thanks for these, I will look into them!

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  6. I KNEW I could count on you to pick Chopping Mall! Like Joel, I've only seen snippets, but the premise ALONE just guarantees a good time. I haven't seen or even heard of the other two, but MY GOD the taglines on that Hollywood Hot Tubs poster are AMAZING.

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    1. The premise to Chopping Mall is gold. Gold, I tell ya. And those taglines for HHT? Priceless.

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  7. Ha! These sound great, just the thing I crave between trying out serious arthouse movies, Great picks.

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    1. Definitely a nice counterbalance to that artsy fartsy stuff.

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  8. Ahhhh yes, I remember the names of the first 2 flicks and know they were the typical sex romps. Poor Bruce Greenwood probably hopes this will never be brought up in an interview and yet...I hope it does:) Chopping Mall ...I had not heard of this until one of my blogger friends, Shady, mentioned it. It's got to have all the typical stuff, like the first 2 to get whacked are the ones making out. Boobs are probably everywhere...at least I. The beginning. I love it that, when you look at these posters and read the names, which usually has nobody we know, it always has and "And" after with a person's name as if they are special....and they are not:)

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    1. If, by some strange chance, I ever get to interview Bruce Greenwood you can bet The Malibu Bikini Shop is coming up. And yes, that's exactly what Chopping Mall is like.

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  9. Never heard of any of these before, but they sound awful-fun.

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  10. "It's basically a slasher flick, but with a trio of robots." It's really hard to top that, isn't it? :-)

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  11. I would so have spent ages to chat to you while I rented the film ha. Those sound memorable films ha.

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    1. Thanks! I loved talking movies with people and, I think, they enjoyed talking with me. It made the hours fly by, that's for sure.

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  12. Not heard or seen any of these - off the wall choices :) Gotta say these sound hilariously bad.

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    1. Not surprised. Hilariously bad sums it up pretty good.

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  13. Cool set. My first thought was Employee of the Month. Whatever happened to Jessica Simpson?

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    1. Haven't seen that one, though I've heard a lot about it. Far as know, JS is happy, healthy, and raising her kids.

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