With a title like Mold!, there’s not a lot of guesswork involved in the plot of this gooey gorefest, and all it took was one glance at that poster for me to determine that there had to be something to enjoy here. Thankfully, that was exactly the case, especially since I consider myself the ‘correct’ audience, which I’ll expand upon later.
Director Neil Meschino’s debut feature film pays tribute to the SOV sci-fi horrors of the 80’s and early 90’s with its simple structure, gross-out gags and gory effects. As you would suspect, the story revolves around a strain of mold that has been developed in a lab as some form of bio-weaponry. There’s not much detail given on its intended use, but what we do learn is that it spreads quickly and aggressively. Despite countless precautions (although somewhat clumsily heeded), the mold spores escape their dehumidified chamber and begin to grow on or in whatever moist environment happens to get in the way, in this case most often than not human bodies. When it does attack a human, the results vary from a green death partly reminiscent of Creepshow to a rabid outburst.
The plot is actually quite original, and avoids all temptation to devolve into a standard zombie film or a typical disease-horror. So for those of us looking for something unique, if cheesy, Mold! really hits the mark in that sense. What tends to distract from the story though is the inconsistent caution exhibited by the characters. Although the mold spores apparently move very quickly and coming in contact with just a single spore proves to be a death sentence, the characters are usually anything but cautious. For example, and it happens several times, immediately after scanning someone and finding spores hovering around an area, one of them almost always then proceeds to stick their hands or face right in that area. So from time to time that feeling of “come on, you literally just saw spores right there” can get a little distracting. Not that it’s an overly serious film, because it certainly gives off more of an air of a tribute to poorly-acted SOV crap, so those moments can be overcome in favor of enjoying the absurdity.
There are plenty of great gore moments, and for the most part the effects work. Although not the best of practical effects, they still deliver lots of entertainment, particularly in the context of the 80’s tribute framework. Throw in bucketfuls of green goo and a few gross-outs and you’ve got the chief reason for watching Mold!.
Without a doubt the acting is sub-par, but again it works in context (are you tired of me saying that yet?). There’s a definite emphasis on the goofiness of the whole scenario from almost all the characters, and a self-satirizing sense of humor.
There’s a right audience for Mold!, and there’s a wrong audience. Those looking for a serious horror, high-budget polished scares, or a slick psychological thrill are the wrong audience. Those of us who love the SOV horror and sci-fi films from the 80’s and 90’s, along with their over-the-top VHS box art, are the right audience. So as I said in the beginning, I’m one of the viewers whose tastes align with the intentions of this film. Still, it’s not a movie that really excels at anything, even as a tribute. It serves its purpose as an entertaining throwback, but it’s certainly no hidden gem. That said, I’d highly recommend it to Troma fans and anyone who loves cheesy gore and grime filled flicks like Slime City or Street Trash. If you’re in that group, definitely don’t pass this one up.
You can watch Mold! for free right now thanks to our friends at the Movie and Music Network. Just click the button below, and look for the “click here to watch with commercials” link.
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