Mall me, baby!

by shopping emmet

It’s December, baby and that means just one thing. Malls.

I have mixed feelings about malls, of course. Blue Eyes drags me from one end to the other, looking for bargains until my feet hurt (11 minutes) when I seek a friendly couch near the ladies changing room. That is not all bad, especially when I now carry my iPod Touch with me, wherever I go.

This miracle device shows my e-mail, the vital Facebook comments, crossword puzzles, basketball scores, sports radio and 50 or so web sites. Now, when Blue Eyes comes back and says “I can’t find a thing” (too thin), I just say “Keep shopping.”

The longer I stay at the mall, the more I think of Otis Redding. (I sang into his microphone once, you know.) An Otis song (“Can’t Turn You Loose”) was the mighty backdrop for my all-time mall movie scene from “Blues Brothers.”

If you remember, Elwood and Jake are speeding through a mall, chased by the entire Chicago Police force. The car chase terrifies a few hundred shoppers, demolishes a dozen stores and at least 20 cruisers. The best scene in the movie, natch.

In my research on this matter, the website Film School Rejects (love that) rates the scene a mere six among the “most twisted” mall scenes. (They have a lot to do).

FSR tells us the sad tale that the film was shot in the Dixie Square Mall in Chicago, because there was so much theft there that it was scheduled to be demolished. It was open for 12 years before the shoplifting eliminated any profits from the stores. In the final, desperate, two years they spent two million on beefed-up security, which also ate into the profits. The mall has been demolished since the movie.

The very worst mall movie has to be “Mall Cop,” starring one of my favorites, Kevin James. Of course I am jaundiced because I paid something like $25 to watch the damn thing in a Baltimore motel. I thought I was checking out the previews when the $25 was added to my room charge. I tried desperately to cancel it, to no avail. Hey, I had been driving all day, from Charleston and was not in tiptop form.

So I sat and watched it with my take-out food. How bad could it be? If it wasn’t the worst movie I ever saw (“Cocaine Cowboys” tied with “Head above Water”) it was top ten. It was so bad, that I turned it off. I turned off a $25 movie.

For your information, FSR rated the 10 best mall movies and never even mentioned “Mall Cop.” Most of them I have never heard of, let alone seen. I am a Netflix streaming maniac now are rarely attend the flagship Cinema (where the seats are way too small.)

In my defense I am very old. I have never heard of “Mall Rats” which comes in at number 10. FSR compares it to “Jaws,” somehow and notes that it ends with a mall shooting. I have never even heard of number nine, “Observe and Report” something about flashing at a mall.

Pass on both.

I have seen most, if not all of the “Police Story” flicks but I don’t remember Jackie Chan, two Soft Slugger bats, a trampoline and a bottle of scotch, as cited by FSR. Chan allegedly suffered second degree burns by sliding down three stories of Christmas light. (I might look that one up, at number eight.)

You will have to take their word for it but “Crank” with Jason Stratham and Amy Smart made the list at number seven. We won’t linger at number five which was “Eight Legged Freaks,” which is apparently about radioactive spiders attacking J. C. Penney.


Number four is the delightful Terminator II scene when two robots chase a bewildered boy through the mall. The mayhem! I might add that to my Netflix queue.

Naturally “Back to the Future” made the list at number three for the skidding, time travel return which occurred at the mall, natch. I cannot remember if I have ever seen “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” which is an indictment itself. Somehow, it came in at number two.


I promise never to see number one which was “Dawn of the Dead,” apparently another zombie movie. John Purcell loves these because he loves to see people killed. He pretends all the zombies are Pinko Commie Liberals. In this movie, the zombies take over a mall and eat everyone in sight.


I would rather watch “Mall Cop.” Again.