‘This isn’t science… it’s murder!’
Mold! is a 2012 American science fiction horror feature film directed by Neil Meschino (Maggots; The Mildew from Planet Xonader) from a screenplay co-written with Dave Fogerson. The movie stars Ardis Campbell, Robert Fattorini and Chris Gentile.
Channelling a distinctly Eighties horror vibe, 2010 low budget shocker Mold! comes to DVD from the usually-interesting Wild Eye Releasing and proves to be fairly entertaining, if unremarkable.
Set in 1984 during the height of Ronald Reagan’s doomed War on Drugs, the film takes place in a research facility where a new form of bio-weapon has been developed – a fast growing mold that can take out entire coca fields.
Unfortunately, it can also take out any human who comes into contact with it, and when a congressman (James Murphy) and military Colonel (Edward X Young) arrive to assess the new weapon, it isn’t long before all hell breaks loose.
It seems that the sinister government figure Edison Carter (David Pringle) has decided that this is an ideal opportunity to both test the potency of the mold and get rid of everyone involved in its development (no, that doesn’t really make sense, but stick with it), and with the assistance of a mole has arranged for the flesh-eating bacteria to be released.
Clearly satirical, Mold! works best when played with a straight face – scenery chewing characters like Murphy, a classic political hypocrite who we see snorting what looks like kilos of coke in the bathroom, tend to be a little too broad to really work.
On the whole, however, this is a no-nonsense, old school infection horror that smartly plays to its strengths, keeping most of the action to a single room where the bickering scientists and military brass try to work out a plan of escape. Inevitably, the infection spreads from person to person, with different symptoms – some stay alive but go insane (a la’ The Crazies), others quickly start to rot and one character explodes. A potential antidote proves as bad as the infection, leaving one character with no eyes, and the survivors are warned that the building is surrounded by snipers with orders to kill any escapees.
Performances are decent enough on the whole, over-acting aside, though pretty much all the characters are pretty horrible (a deliberate move). Director Neil Meschino does well with his limited resources – the film looks pretty slick for something made on zero budget and seems authentically Eighties (even if a couple of the moustaches sported by almost every male character seem a little unconvincing).
Slimy, gory and messy, Mold! manages to be pretty good, retro-styled fun. There’s nothing here you haven’t seen before, but as a body horror throwback, the film is pretty enjoyable and should satisfy the tastes of melt-movie enthusiasts.
David Flint, MOVIES and MANIA