Title: Mold! (2012)
Director: Neil Meschino
Runtime: 86 minutes
I expected Mold! to be something kind of serious; the cover makes it look that way, even with the blurb on the back and comparisons they make. The inside cover has what I’m guessing should have been on the outside of the box in the first place, as the artwork places it firmly in the realm of Troma, and other ‘80s direct-to-video (DTV) horror productions. With that in mind, to say that I was going into this film with mixed expectations is putting it mildly. As a satire or throwback film to those ‘80s DTV B-movie horror flicks, it works exceptionally well. If the cover has you expecting anything else, though, you’ll be extremely disappointed.
Mold! is set in 1984 when the war on drugs is getting underway. We’re in a top-secret facility where the government is looking to use some organic means to wipe out the plants that cocaine is harvested from. As a result, our scientists have developed a mold that will eat any vegetation quickly. The problem is that the mold likes water. It thrives on it, spreading quickly and growing out of control when exposed to it, so much so that they have to wear suits to protect themselves from it. Thanks to a traitor among the scientists at a demonstration of the mold’s capabilities, the mold is no longer just going after plants, but spreads to humans as well. Being that we’re essentially 70% water I’m not sure why anyone wouldn’t make that leap.
There are some fairly gruesome ends for various people in this. Some look pretty good, while others look like the budget ran out and they were faking it the best they could. When I mentioned this had the look and feel of one of those ‘80s B-movies, I meant it. The acting is so-so across the board, partly because the actors are hamming it up to fit the feel of the film. A lot of the shots are pretty basic, and the sets are bare. Mold! feels like a barebones production. Even the music has that B-movie, ‘80s feel to it while not really ripping any of them off in that regards.
While the mold idea itself is interesting, the film kind of falls into that ‘80s trap of making up things as they go and trying to make the ridiculous work for them. It never really sells it all that well, which ends up making the film feel off. My biggest issue is the mold itself. It only really looks like mold in a few different shots. For the most part, they make it up as this green slime that gets all over everything. It looks more like what they were passing off as nuclear waste in the old Troma films.
That’s not to say Mold! is a bad film, just that it’s only an ok one. If I was a bigger fan of some of those ‘80s B-movies – and I will admit I’m kind of a snob and only have a small handful I’ll watch over and over again – I’d probably be more into this one. I like the vibe from it, and if it had been marketed on the cover as a horror comedy, I’d probably have had a better mindset for it going in. Even a second viewing didn’t really salvage that much for me. However, if you’re a fan of Class of Nuke ’em High, The Toxic Avenger, The Stuff or Night of the Creeps, you may want to add this to your watchlist as I think you’ll get some fun out of it. At the very least, Mold! will give you a distinct feeling of nostalgia as you watch the green spread across everything it touches.
Mold! (2012) was released on DVD by Wild Eye Releasing on May 21, 2013. It was directed by Neil Meschino, and written by Dave Fogerson and Neil Meschino. The film is 86 minutes in length, and is not rated. Cinefessions was provided a DVD copy of the film for review from Wild Eye Releasing.
Born the same year as Star Wars, it seems Ashe was destined to be into films with big impacts, explosions, and laser swords. With a love for sci-fi and horror, Ashe has a thing for games of both the tabletop and video variety. He is living a charmed, married life of sixteen years, along with several cats, a dog, and a bearded dragon. Ashe currently writes for Diehard Gamefan, covering video and tabletop games since 2008. Starting with Cinefessions just a few years ago, he has decided to tackle one of his original passions: film.