Interview with Chopping Mall Director Jim Wynorski, Guest of this Year’s Massacre in Chicago

| October 15, 2014

With 100’s of beloved cult films in his eclectic oeuvre, Jim Wynorski has been providing fodder for fan boy dreams for over 25 years. Happily, Chopping Mall, one of his most cherished titles, will be presented this Saturday, October 18th, at The Massacre in Chicago. Wynorski, who will be present at the event, recently spoke with Fangoria journalist Brian Kirst about the creation of this classic slice of robot influenced mayhem. Meanwhile, more information about The Massacre, where Wynorski will be signing memorabilia and taking photos for free, can be found at https://www.facebook.com/events/683261171729311/.

Brian: Chopping Mall has quite an amazing cast of female genre stars. There’s Mary Woronov, Kelli Maroney, Barbara Crampton and Karrie Emerson. How did that come about?

Jim: Well, I had seen Kelli in a couple of things and I wanted to date her. So, I figured the one way to make that happen was to put her in a movie. We actually did go out a bit for awhile.

Brian: She and Barbara and Mary have stayed active with the fans through movies and the convention scene, but Emerson has kind of disappeared.

Jim: Karrie was great. She was actually a last minute replacement for someone and she did an excellent job. But, yeah, I don’t know what happened to her. Suburban mom-hood, maybe? That whole cast was terrific, though.

Brian: Chopping Mall had its share of relative newcomers in the cast. Is there a difference in working with someone who is just starting out and someone who is established?

Jim: You know, they all have had one thing in common and that was that they were professional and wanted to get the job done. So whether it was Angie Dickinson or Morgan Fairchild or Heather Locklear or someone just starting out, that is the thing that has stood out for me. The only one I have ever had any problems with was Tanya Roberts. I can’t say too much because I don’t want to get sued, but I had a lot of difficulties with her.

Brian: Did you have any problems with Roger Corman and the concept of the film? I understand he was asking for a traditional ‘kids get killed in the mall’ flick and Chopping Mall is definitely something a bit different from a slasher.

Jim: Actually, he was nothing but supportive from the get-go. He loved the idea.

Brian: It must be bizarre that your original idea has become such a beloved cult classic.

Jim: You know, it did okay when it was released in theaters. It got some okay reviews and did decent business. But it really found a life on VHS and cable. That’s when it really was embraced.

Brian: It’s still being embraced today, as well. England’s Death Waltz Records has just released a very glossy version of the soundtrack on vinyl.

Jim: Oh, that cover art sucks! It’s got nothing to do with the film. When I saw it, I refused to let them use my liner notes. I hear they may be reissuing it with a different cover. I hope so. Maybe the fans weren’t buying it. I wouldn’t have.

Brian: You’ve worked with a wide variety of beautiful women on some truly amazingly fun projects. Do you still pinch yourself when you wake up in the morning?

Jim: Not anymore. I’ve been doing this for too long. But, it’s still a lot of fun. It’s always been a lot of fun.

About the Author:

Jef is a writer and educator in Chicago, Illinois. He holds a degree in Media & Cinema Studies from DePaul University, but sometimes he drops it and picks it back up again. He's also the Editor-in-Chief of FilmMonthly.com and is fueled entirely by coffee (as if you couldn't tell).
Filed in: Interviews
×

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.