To think, the 1980s almost ended without having a slasher about a killer in a mall. Sure, there’s Chopping Mall, but those are robots, not a traditional masked killer.
That’s where Phantom of the Mall: Eric’s Revenge comes in. It might sound like a sequel, but it’s not. So we know right off the bat that some dude named Eric is going to be killing everyone. This is a movie with minimal mystery, no scares, and very little gore—even though there are plenty of kills. So, let’s look at what’s good about it.
It’s Phantom of the Opera adapted to take place in a mall! SO fricking 80s! Isn’t that really all we need? Let’s see. It’s got a mall. It’s got Morgan Fairchild leading a pack of mall chicks who could easily be mistaken for members of Poison. It’s got a dirt bag bully who was clearly instructed by the director to study the bullies in Karate Kid, Weird Science, Just One of the Guys, Three O’Clock High, etc., and then try to act like them while injecting a touch of Vinny Barbarino. And our killer Eric wears part of a mannequin head as his “phantom” mask and is obsessed with power ballads! Awesome.
Honestly, this movie is SO 1989. Watching this, you can feel that 90210 (the original) is right around the corner. It’s even got Rob Estes, who was in Melrose Place and the new 90210.
The melodrama and backstabbing blonde vixens (aka: Morgan Fairchild) are all in place. Some greedy investor wanted to open this mall. Eric lived in a house on the land. Eric didn’t want to sell his home. Eric died in a fire in his home. Or did he? Well of course he didn’t! The name of the fricking movie is ERIC’S REVENGE. He’s living in the mall’s air ducts, watching over his former girlfriend Melody, who thinks he’s dead and is now working at the mall. But Eric’s other job is to get revenge on those who tried to destroy him to open the mall. So he practices martial arts in his underground lair while listening to his favorite power ballad…on cassette. It was his and Melody’s song, after all.
When not spying on his girlfriend, Eric goes around the mall killing people. There’s a simple stabbing, a head in a fan, a forklift murder, a cobra to the balls, decapitation by trash compactor door, and most importantly for a mall movie—death by escalator. And Morgan Fairchild gets picked up wrestler body slam style and tossed out a window! But best of all is when Eric takes on one of his targets with martial arts spin kicks. Laugh out loud goodness.
Other notable moments include a pre-90s Pauly Shore acting pretty much just like 90s Pauly Shore, a boobtastic fitting room scene, a spotting of the arcade game Rampage, a spotting of a B. Dalton bookstore (fuck you Kindle), a spotting of a Sam Goodys record store (fuck you itunes), and a grave digging scene by Melody and her new man (Rob Estes) to see if Eric is actually dead. And then there’s Ken Foree from the original Dawn of the Dead as a security guard. This poor dude can’t get out of the mall!
But how do you really know this movie is a winner? Pauly Shore saves the day in a motorcycle with a sidecar…