The horror genre is definitely a vast one. There are your run of the mill, straight-forward flicks that provide the common tropes of various sub-genres including slashers or creature features, but then there are those movies that are so out there that you don’t even know how to classify them. That’s exactly how I feel about Don Thacker’s strangely original film, Motivational Growth.
Ian Folliver (Adrian DiGiovanni) hasn’t left his apartment in over a year. He is a filthy, lonely man who is covered in sores and is in a constant state of poor hygiene. His apartment is a perfect match. After his television, which he has named Kent, breaks down unexpectedly, he can no longer take it and decides to try to kill himself. Like at everything else, Ian fails even at taking his own life. When he awakens, he is greeted by a speaking pile of mold that has grown on his bathroom floor.
I have no idea what to call this movie. I guess it can be considered a creature feature… if you consider a talking pile of fungus a creature. With a very tiny cast and a character that you don’t even know is real or not, Motivational Growth is almost like a genre version of Fight Club — “I am Jack’s ever-growing disgusting pile of scum.” Even by the end of the film, I’m not sure what is supposed to be reality and what was fake the entire time. I can take an educated guess, but I’ll just leave that out of this write-up and I’ll let you decide for yourself.
Don Thacker who acts as the film’s director, editor, and writer did a wonderful job with his odd little script. The lines delivered by not only Adrian DiGiovanni, but also by Jeffrey Combs (Re-animator) who voices The Mold, were superbly written and beautifully executed. I enjoyed the back and forth between the two, even if I didn’t understand what was being said half of the time… The Mold certainly had a way with words and I couldn’t make out whether he was there to aid Ian or to make his life even more miserable than it already was.
The horror of Motivational Growth is not your typical one. Sure, a mold pile that can converse can be considered scary, but there are a few other elements that also take this into the realm of horror cinema. A few deaths, a strange television repair man who gets his face burned by acidic mold vomit, and some pretty bloody chopping-up-a-body scenes should be enough to appease the horror gods.
This is not your typical horror film and is definitely different than anything you’ve seen before, but I do recommend checking it out at least once. The film is shot beautifully and with various chapter separating screens and videogame-styled pixelated animations, you won’t be bored with linear storytelling. Available now on Blu-ray and DVD, be sure to pick up a copy today from Parade Deck Films and MVD.
I give this film 3 random mold nipples out of 5.