Entertainment Weekly - 11/03/1995
"...[Lee makes] an impressively charming acting debut..." -- Rating: B
Variety - 10/16/1995
"...It's a picture with an innate charm and honesty....MALLRATS is effortlessly engaging in its totally unselfconscious manner and humor..."
When a couple of well-meaning slackers, T.S. (Jeremy London) and Brodie (Jason Lee), lose their girlfriends, they set about trying to reclaim their pride (and their ladies) in the most obvious of places--the mall. Once there, the pair push the limits of decency and mall etiquette, encountering an array of mall denizens, including Jay and Silent Bob from CLERKS and legendary comic book creator Stan Lee. A surprising number of misadventures ensue, bringing the boys the possibility of regaining their lady loves.
Director Kevin Smith's sophomore effort is bigger and more farcical than CLERKS, but, at its center, remains the story of two guys who know a lot about STAR WARS and comic books and all-too-little about women. T.S. (Jeremy London) has just been dumped by girlfriend Brandi (Claire Forlani), while Brodie has finally played too many games of Sega hockey for Rene (Shannen Doherty). The boys go to the mall to console themselves around establishments such as Burning Flesh tanning salon, Rug Munchers carpet outlet, and Buy Me Toys, but they can't seem to stay out of trouble. Their misadventures finally come to focus around Brandi's involvement in a DATING GAME-like show being taped in the mall. While trying to win back their respective girlfriends, the duo manage to do quite a bit of damage with the aid of Jay (Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob (Kevin Smith), who have even less to do on a Saturday in suburban New Jersey than T.S. and Brodie. Smith's ability to evoke the settings of his youth is as sharp and unerring as ever, while most of the ensemble delights in chewing the scenery--especially Michael Rooker as Brandi's game-show producer father and Ben Affleck as a slacker-hating thug.
Black Comedy |
Coming Of Age |
Scams And Cons |
Released theatrically in the U.S. on October 20, 1995.
The film was shot on location in Minneapolis and Eden Prairie, Minnesota. The mall in Eden Prairie was chosen due to its abundance of empty storefronts that director Kevin Smith and crew could convert into their own fake stores.
MALLRATS was not a critical success, and Kevin Smith once apologized for making it. However, the film has still achieved a sizeable cult following.
MALLRATS is a prequel to CLERKS, which takes place on a Saturday in a neighboring town. T.S. and Brandi break up over the drowning of Julie Dwyer, whose funeral is attended by Dante and Randal in CLERKS. Randal (from CLERKS) and Brodie are cousins. Tricia Jones is the sister of CLERKS's Heather Jones, while game show contestant Gill Hicks is Dante Hicks's cousin (both are played by Brian O'Halloran). Smith intended the films to occupy the same "universe," as is the case among many comic books.
The DVD version of the film contains an hour of additional footage, including an alternate beginning.
The names Brodie and Quint are references to characters in JAWS. La Fours is a reference to the lawman La Force from BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID. Jason Lee (Brodie) is a real-life skateboarding champ. This is his first film. The image on Brodie's t-shirt is of the merged faces of three actors who did not get Jason Lee's role.
The character Gwen is named after Guinevere Turner, lead singer of the band Go Fish, who perform in CHASING AMY.
Kevin Smith and star Joey Lauren Adams became romantically involved during the filming.
"Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned for Sega."--Brodie (Jason Lee), to T.S. (Jeremy London)
"I love the smell of commerce in the morning."--Brodie, at the mall
"Cookie stand's not part of the food court."--Brodie "Sure it is."--T.S. "The food court is downstairs the cookie stand is upstairs. It's not like we're talking quantum physics here!"--Brodie "The cookie stand is an eatery, an eatery is part of the food court."--T.S. "Bullshit! Eateries that operate within the designated square downstairs qualify as food court, anything operating outside the said designated square is considered an autonomous unit for mid-mall snacking."--Brodie
"Fly, fatass, fly!"--Jay (Jason Mewes), to Silent Bob (Kevin Smith)