When you visit Judge Daryl Loomis, do yourself a favor and stay out from under his sink.
You breathe. You die.
As President of the United States, Ronald Reagan upped the ante in the "War on Drugs" by starting initiatives to involve the military in the elimination of narcotics in the country. Those efforts were utterly unsuccessful, but they did boost the coffers of the science and security organizations associated with the program. It is under these circumstances that director Neil Meschino takes us back in time to 1984 with Mold!, his debut feature that (for better or worse) delivers exactly what it promises.
In order to curb the cocaine trafficking that plagues the United States, a group of scientists have developed the ultimate weapon against the coca plant: a fast-growing, ultra-destructive strain of mold. Once introduced, it will destroy a field in a matter of minutes and, in theory, will cripple the industry. However, one bumbling scientist ruins the whole plan when, on the very day that the military has been brought in to celebrate the completion of the project, a box of infected mice is dropped on the floor. Soon, the whole lab is contaminated and, one by one, the infected fall victim to the mold's deadly spores.
Mold! is a goopy horror comedy that delivers on what it promises…which is to say very little. The film has something of a retro style and a ton of practical gore effects, but that's about the best I can say. It's not a terrible movie and even mildly entertaining at times, but not enough to make it memorable.
he film has a lot of do-it-yourself appeal, with its amateur actors, interesting concept, and low-end effects, but the humor didn't grab me and the characters became more grating as the story progressed. I have an innate affection for zero-budget horror films, but for me to care, I need it to go for scares and atmosphere over laughs and gross-out bits. This one offers far too much of the latter.
Mold! arrives on DVD from Wild Eye Releasing in a respectable release. The standard def 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen image is solid, the transfer representing its oozing effects quite well. The Dolby 2.0 Stereo track doesn't fare quite so well, offering up far too much noise for a modern movie. While not terribly distracting, the lack of any spatial effects or dynamic range makes its flaws the most notable part of the mix.
Bonus features begin with an audio commentary from director Neil Meschino and cinematographer Robert Fattorini; friendly enough, but not terribly interesting. The pair are more interested in making jokes than telling stories from the production. A behind-the-scenes featurette runs about twenty minutes, offering backstage footage and interviews with most of the players. A trailer closes out the disc.
It's all in good fun and the production team clearly had a good time making the film, but there's nothing special about Mold! on any level.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Wild Eye Releasing
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