"Clerks" wasn't a smash hit or anything, but the black-&-white debut film did well enough in art houses for Gramercy Pictures to lure its young writer-director into making a colour movie about "Mallrats". After watching the rushes did Kevin Smith wonder for an instant about giving all the credit to Allen Smithee? We may never know the answer to that one, but it would have been a kinder gesture to a promising career if he had.
Although this dreadful film was supposedly written after "Clerks", it feels like the first draft of something that was written in high school, stashed in a closet (and forgotten until Hollywood started panting for a follow-up project). You want a funny mall movie, rent "Fast Times at Ridgemont High". You want excruciating jokes, lousy acting, lame sight gags and a plotline that should have been tossed in a dumpster at the very first story conference, "Mallrats" is the scum de la scum, BENEATH the pile of ultra-bad teen rnovies, in fact.
Anyway, Shannen Doherty's pushing 25 or something, way too old to be lusting after a guy (execrable newcomer Jason Lee) who sticks his fist up his butt and then shakes hands with his best friend's future father-in-law for a laugh. (Are you beginning to get the level of the film-as-agony factor here?) Marvel Comics veteran Stan Lee appears as himself. Game show maestro Art James, Michael Rooker & Priscilla Barnes (in two particularly humiliating cameos are also in this piece of crap). Even if' you can't get into "Seven", don't let yourself get talked into seeing "Mallrats" even for free. Many smart folks outside the Alhambra theatre didn't and they were luckier than they will ever know.
Copyright 1995 Monica Sullivan
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