The second film in the New Jersey Trilogy.

The hillarious exploits of TS and Brodie as they try to win back TS's girlfriend at the local mall.

This film includes a cameo by Stan Lee.

Once again Kevin Smith demonstrates his mastery of rapid fire, quick witted dialog.
The mall scenes in Mallrats were actually filmed in the Eden Prairie Center in Eden Prairie, MN. It's a pretty nice mall, but not many people go there due to its nearness to the Mall of America and other malls, which probably made it a great place to film a movie.

Another small piece of trivia: in Chasing Amy, Alyssa (Joey Lauren Adams) mentions Eden Prairie in a conversation with Holden (Ben Affleck), and as far as I know, there is no Eden Prairie, NJ.
The opening credits for Kevin Smith's Mallrats take the form of the covers to a number of comic books based on the movie. Most are parodies of existing comics; comics are also a recurring theme through the movie. The comics are as follows:

  • Angry Pop Comix
    • Parody of: Nothing.
    • Issue #: None.
    • Price: "You wish this comic was 12¢"
    • Approved by the Comics Code Authority
    • Characters: Brandi and her father.
    • Description: Brandi is portrayed as an empty-headed, scantily-dressed teen in the background, saying "Oh no! You've added T.S. to your collection! Gosh Dad! When will I ever get to keep a boyfriend?" Her father, appearing as a muscle-bound, armor-clad warrior, holds T.S.'s head on a chain of skulls, saying "He... just... wasn't... RIGHT!" He also has a tattoo reading "Punk is DEAD! So are YOU!", and two smiley face pins.
  • Legends of the Dork Knights
  • Adventures of The Man
    • Parody of: "Stan the Man", a nickname for comics pioneer Stan Lee.
    • Issue #: 1 (Super First Issue).
    • Publisher: Unspecified.
    • Characters: Stan Lee, extras.
    • Description: Stan Lee stands over hundreds of scantily-clad women, opening a leather jacket to reveal a shirt with a winking dollar bill.
  • Defective Comics
    • Parody of: Detective Comics, another Batman comic.
    • Issue #: 69 (January).
    • Publisher: View Askew, implicitly DC Comics.
    • Characters: T.S., Jay, Silent Bob, a hero appearing to be T.S.'s alter-ego, and a whole lotta robots.
    • Description: T.S. is trapped by a horde of malicious-looking robots; his alter-ego (the character Madman, by Mike Allred attempts to pull him out as Jay and Silent Bob battle a large robot on the side.
  • New Jersey 07732
    • Parody of: The logo resembles Beverly Hills 90210, but the overall look is very Image Comics. 07732 is Highlands, New Jersey.
    • Issue #: 1 (1st Explosive Issue!) (July)
    • Price: $1.95 ($2.75 Canada)
    • Publisher: None (looks a lot like Image).
    • Characters: Renee
    • Description: Renee appears in a seductive pose, holding a serrated knife in a shadowed hand. She bears a belt buckle shaped like a skull. Art by Jae Lee.
  • Buttman Adventures
  • Brandi - The Last Babe On Earth
    • Parody of: None.
    • Issue #: 1 (1st Issue) (November).
    • Price: 20¢
    • Publisher: KS Comics
    • Approved by the Comics Code Authority
    • Characters: Brandi.
    • Description: Brandi flees across a lava field from an imposing dark shape. Collapsing buildings are visible in the background. Subtitle: "Men who act like beasts! Beasts who act like men! See the world of...", leading up to the main title. "A sensational Mall-Rats blockbuster!"
  • The Incredible Bulk
    • Parody of: The Incredible Hulk.
    • Issue#: 1 (October).
    • Price: 12¢
    • Publisher: KS Comics
    • Approved by the Comics Code Authority
    • Characters: William, two children.
    • Description: William, a hulking beast, crashes through a wall holding a Magic Eye painting labeled "Sailboat". The children flee in terror; the boy's shirt reads "Kudzu Tech." A caption reads "He's the Magic Eye Misfit."
  • Weapon Sex
    • Parody of: Weapon X, a Wolverine comic.
    • Issue#: None.
    • Price: None.
    • Publisher: Mallrats Comics.
    • Not Approved by the Comics Code Authority (actual caption).
    • Characters: Tricia
    • Description: Tricia appears, nude, but concealed by a plethora of cables all over her body, similar to the Weapon X cover. She also bears Wolverine's adamantium claws on both hands. Visible are a wedding ring, a book ("Boregasm", and a gas tank (all flying through the air.)
  • Fantastic Two
    • Parody of: Fantastic Four.
    • Issue #: 273 (December).
    • Price: 60¢
    • Publisher: Mallrats Comics.
    • Approved by the Comics Code Authority.
    • Characters: Miss Ivannah, Brodie, T.S.
    • Description: Ivannah appears with *ahem* assets emphasized. Brodie and T.S. appear, staring, two the left. Caption: "Can T.S.™ and Brodie™ survive the AWESOME POWER of Ivannah's crystal balls?
  • Gwen13
    • Parody of: Gen13.
    • Issue #: 1 (March).
    • Price: $2.50 ($3.50 Canada)
    • Publisher: View Askew Comixx.
    • Characters: Gwen.
    • Gwen appears in a traditional Gen13-style costume (spandex and colors), with an indistinguishable emblem on her right shoulder. Credits: Smith | Hughes.
  • Brodieman
    • Parody of: Nothing in particular; resembles the Hulk.
    • Issue #: None.
    • Price: None.
    • Publisher: Mallrats Comics.
    • Characters: Brodie, T.S., Renee.
    • Brodie appears at twice-normal size, with glowing green skin. T.S. and Renee look on on right and left, respectively. Brodie's shirt bears a "B" emblem resembling Superman's.
  • Mallrats
    • Parody of: Nothing.
    • Price: None.
    • Publisher: Kitchen Sink Press
    • "For Mature or Troubled Audiences"
    • Characters: Full cast.
    • Description: La Fours fumes at a portable phone; Jay and Silent Bob aim a Batarang upwards; Renee clings to Brodie's leg as he stands triumphantly on a heap of comics; William stares threateningly; Renee's father eats a pretzel; T.S. and Brandi embrace; the corner reads "in this issue: Stan "The Man" Lee!" By Kevin Smith. Splash: "Superhero Anatomy! Topless Fortunetelling! Bunny Bashing! And More!"


Thanks to Bobh and Chris-O for corrections.

Warning: mild spoilers ahead

Brodie has the best quotes in the film, as Jason Lee often does in Kevin Smith films. Brodie waxes intellectual on everything from women, comic books, the sex lives of superheroes, to why the dirt market is the best place to hide out. His lines are the best known, funniest, and most quoted of all. Here are several examples:

Brodie, on accidental death
Brodie:(in response to a child sitting down on the mall's escalator) Listen, not a year goes by, not a year, that I don't hear about some escalator accident involving some bastard kid which could have easily been avoided had some parent--I don't care which one--but some parent conditioned him to fear and respect that escalator!

On the setup of the mall itself
Brodie: The cookie stand is not part of the food court.
T.S.: Of course it is.
Brodie:The food court is downstairs, the cookie stand is upstairs; it's not like we're talking quantum physics here!
T.S.: The cookie stand is an eatery, an eatery is part of the food court.
Brodie: Bullshit! Eateries that operate within the designated square downstairs qualify as food court, anything operating outside of said designated square is considered an autonomous unit for mid-mall snacking.

On women
Brodie: Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned for Sega.

On superheroes' sex lives
T.S.: But they're engaged.
Brodie: Doesn't matter, can't happen.
T.S.: Why not? It's bound to come up.
Brodie: It's impossible, Lois could never have Superman's baby. Do you think her fallopian tubes could handle the sperm? I gurantee you he blows a load like a shotgun right through her back. What about her womb? Do you think it's strong enough to carry his kid?
T.S.: Sure, why not?
Brodie: He's an alien, for Christ's sake. His Kryptonian biological makeup is enhanced by earth's yellow sun. If Lois gets a tan, the kid could kick right through her stomach. Only someone like Wonder Woman has a strong enough uterus to carry his kid. The only way he could bang regular chicks is with a kryptonite condom. But that would kill him.

On masturbation
Brodie: My cousin Walter jerked off in public once. True story. He was on this plane to New Mexico when all of a sudden, the hydraulics went. The plane starts spinning around, going out of control, so he figures it's all over and whips it out and starts beating it right there. So all the other passengers take a cue from him and they start whipping it out and beating like mad! So all the passengers are beating off, plummeting to their certain doom, when all of the sudden, the hydraulics kick back in. The plane rights itself and they land safely, and everyone puts their penises or, whatever, you know, away and deboard. No one mentions the phenomenon to anyone else.
Gil Hicks: Well, did he cum, or what?
Brodie: Jesus Christ, man! There's just some things you don't talk about in public!

On sex
Brandi: Second suitor: if we were making whoopee, what sounds would you make?
Brodie: What's whoopee?
Brandi: You know, being intimate.
Brodie: What? Like fucking?

On sexuality
Brodie: I would've made a sexy chick!

Mallrats - The Extended Edition (aka, "The Version That Should Never Have Been")

In 1995, Kevin Smith had the arduous task of following up his incredibly successful debut Clerks. The film which gained him prizes from Cannes to Sundance and made its shooting budget 116 times over in theatres. He was on a rather short leash for Mallrats. This time around he was working for a big studio (Universal Pictures) with a bigger budget ($6 million dollars). During production, the decision was made that unlike Clerks, Kevin would not receive final cut on Mallrats as the big studio didn't trust a "kid" (he was 25 at the time) to cut a relatively large scale film. Instead, the cutting duties went to Paul Dixon, who mostly edited made-for-TV shlock. It would end up being the only film never edited by Smith and his producer/right-hand-man Scott Mosier.

Cut to ten years later. Mallrats has gone from box office flop (2.1 million in its original release) that Kevin jokingly apologized for (at the 1996 Independent Spirit Awards) to a cult-classic (DVD sales through the roof, regarded as one of Smith's best, lines quoted left and right). Thus, Kevin has released a new Mallrats DVD, that on top of other great special features, contains the Smith/Mosier cut of Mallrats.

While Universal amps up the ad-campaign to ship the disc, parading its "ALL NEW EXTENDED VERSION," Smith understands the truth behind this extended cut. On the DVD while introducing the film he claims that the version of the film on the DVD is "Mallrats - The Version That Should Never Have Been." And while the DVD is solid, and definitely worth a pickup for any fans of Kevin or View Askew in general...the version should never have been. And here's why. If you haven't seen Mallrats...(A) You should, it's a fucking great movie and you’ll probably really love it and (B)***SPOILER ALERT!!!*** This probably won’t even make much sense if you haven’t seen the movie.

The big difference between the cut of Mallrats that everybody knows and loves and this cut is the opening sequence. The opening of the extended cut consists of bad guy Jared Svenning (Michael Rooker) sponsoring a Governor’s Ball for the governor that if all goes well, will earn him a grant to help out his small television station. Long story short, T.S. Quint (Jeremy London) manages to ruin the party while visiting with Svenning's daughter and his girlfriend, Brandi (Claire Forlani) and Svenning doesn't get the grant. Amongst fans, this cut sequence is well known as a deleted scene on the previous 'rats DVD, but this is the first time it's been seen in the contest of the film. The theatrical cut does make a couple of slight references to it, such as Svenning fuming to T.S. about "the shit you pulled last night..." and one of the TV executives mentions "the fiasco at the Governor's Ball."

What does this mean for the film? It means it starts agonizingly slow. Gone is the hook-you-right-in teaser involving Brodie Bruce's monologue about his Cousin Walter and the gerbil (done masterfully by the one-and-only-and-boy-do-I-mean-it Jason Lee) as the mall is established as the main setting. The 12 minutes prior to the credits with T.S. and Brandi has only one purpose: to create a solid background on why Svenning hates T.S. so much. Yet with that sequence and COUNTLESS lame references to T.S. ruining the Governor's Ball (that go on throughout the entire movie) we now have to wait over 15 minutes before being introduced to Brodie, we don't arrive at the mall for nearly a half hour and most importantly, Jay and Silent Bob don't show up until 33 minutes into the film. And for what? A little back-story on why Svenning hates T.S.? Unnecessary!

In addition to the opening sequence and the many lame callbacks to it, there are a lot of scenes that were thankfully cut out of this version. For example, the Julie Dwyer subplot over Brandi having to do the game show is gone as well, thus severing that solid story that continued from Clerks, into Mallrats and then into Smith's next film, Chasing Amy. To list all the gags that tie back into the Governor’s Ball sequence would be futile. Instead, I can claim that I could go without a gag about Jay & Bob killing kittens, I don't need to know that Brandi was conceived when Jared was 14 and Mrs. Svenning was 15, and I could've gone a lifetime without ever hearing:

JAY: Holy shit...you spoke!
SILENT BOB: I've just never had anything good to say before!

But now now, understand, I'm just affirming with fact what Kevin said to be true. And while this truly is "The Version That Should Never Have Been," but there are some a few good bits in it that are exclusive to this version. There's the explanation of why in the theatrical cut you can see Tricia (Renée Humphrey) and La Fours (Sven Thorsen) being so close in the credits sequence, with a fine laugh in tow. The scene with Walt (Walter Flanagan) & Steve-Dave (Bryan Johnson) is slightly longer, and it's always good to see more of those guys. The 37 gag continues in a much less subtle fashion. While Walt's hockey jersey has the number 37 on the back (a number repeated in all of Smith's films, sans Jersey Girl) a banner at the Governor’s Ball claims it's the "37th Annual Governor’s Ball." Miss Ivannah saying "Mmmm. Cherry" after putting the nipple in her mouth in a nice touch as well. And perhaps the one reason why this version is worth checking out, a shot of Ben Affleck's face as he is anally probed in prison. I'm not even fucking kidding about that last one.

So, ten years and four films after Mallrats, it still remains the only Kevin Smith movie that Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier didn't have final cut on. And although Paul Dixon never went on to greater things after 'rats (the last thing he cut was See Arnold Run, an A&E movie crapped out to capitalize on Arnold Schwarzenegger election as the governor of California) his editing job for Mallrats is to be commended. While there should be no discredit to Smith, after all he wrote and directed all the great stuff that myself and millions more have fallen in love with in the original, 94 minute cut of the movie, it was Dixon that salvaged all the great parts of the film while leaving the worse bits out. In the process, Dixon turned an overlong 2 hour film with a lot of solid gags, interesting characters and solid potential into a great movie. And although the only compliment that Smith can dig up for Dixon on the DVD is calling him "an able-bodied editor," perhaps he owes a little more to Dixon than he thinks. I’m sure there's a chance that if the original 2-hour, Kev/Mos edited cut of Mallrats had been the cut that the world had seen, there's a possibility that Smith would've never had a third shot at the biz. Which would've been a damn shame.

Regardless of its flaws, any fan of Mallrats should take in The Extended Edition of the film at least once and marvel in Mallrats - The Version That Should Never Have Been...and thankfully, wasn't.

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