Sunday, October 7, 2012

Worse Than Montezuma's Revenge: "Phantom of the Mall: Eric's Revenge" (1989)

Somewhere between the Food Court and Zip's, the mall in this film has an explosives store. This is the only place the title character can purchase the bomb he plants in the mall in the dull finale.

A fictional town has a new mall, built on some land that was condemned. Cute Girl (I didn't catch her name) gets a job as a waitress there. She lost her boyfriend in a fire at the site where the mall stands. The villainous mall owner hires the arsonist responsible for the fire as a security guard after his first security guard ends up dead. Rob Estes, eons before "Silk Stalkings," is a photog/reporter trying to find a story. He hooks up with Cute Girl, and their mutual "funny" friend Pauly Shore, and try to find out if Eric is still alive. He is, living in the mall basement (?) and traveling through the air ducts and offing different people who upset his former girlfriend, including the arsonist. Eventually, he kidnaps her and the finale involves the bomb and everyone running from the scene before the big kablooey. Morgan Fairchild is along for the ride as the mayor...yes, she's the mayor.

Of course, you probably did not need a plot sketch since the entire story is in the title. Someone named Eric is taking revenge against people as a phantom of a mall. This also means there is no suspense. We know Eric is behind this, but we still have to see Estes and Cute Girl go through the motions of a silly investigation.

Watch as Fairchild, who we know has been in cahoots with the mall owner all along, pull a gun on our heroic duo in the middle of a crowded party, yet no one says a word as she leads them to her office, and her eventual death. The fictional town is huge, yet nary a policeman is ever called, everyone relies on mall security for order.

Eric has been hiding since the mall was built, but I am not sure where. He seems to live in a basement area, but you would think some construction worker would have found him. He also has furnished his love pad quite well, and found a few outlets, since he has electricity. It might be nicer than your own apartment!

Pauly Shore fans, both of you, take note. He tricks a security guard out of his booth by mooning the camera. Yes, stop scanning Celebrity Skin and Playgirl, this is where you get to see a grainy black and white shot of Pauly's south shore, although, thankfully, no weezil.

This film is not Eric's revenge, it is the film maker's revenge for me being dumb enough to watch it. Here is my revenge: I do not recommend it. That'll show 'em! (*) out of five stars.