Friday, October 03, 2014

Motivational Growth (2013)

Ian Folivor has spent the last six months locked in his apartment, in self-imposed, soul-sucking seclusion. His contact with the outside world is minimal; every eighteen days he has groceries delivered to his door, the remnants of which are scattered throughout his dank, dilapidated abode. He spends his days channel surfing on the old television set that was passed down to him--a wood-encased behemoth that he affectionately calls "Kent." Ian is barely hanging on as it is, but after his TV breaks, he decides enough is enough. Yet his attempt at suicide fails, and he wakes up to discover that the mold growing in his bathroom has become sentient--and it has plans for him. Big plans! But as Ian starts to clean up his act, and his apartment, he begins to question whether or not The Mold truly has his best interests at heart.

Six months as a shut-in

Writer/Director Don Thacker's Motivational Growth almost defies description--but I'll try my best. It's a weird, funny, and wholly engaging dark fantasy that relishes in its bizarreness. The unique story is heavily steeped in 80s popular culture, and would have almost been too out-there were it not anchored by stellar performances from Adrian DiGiovanni (Ian Folivor) and Jeffrey Combs (as the voice of The Mold).

The Mold motivates Ian to clean up his act

In fact, the supporting players are equally as strong, providing memorable characters all around. Ken Brown, as the first TV repair man, appears to have walked straight out of a David Lynch production, while Hannah Stevenson, as the no-nonsense delivery girl, makes a big impact despite only being in a couple of scenes. But it's Pete Giovagnoli as Box the Ox, the caretaker of the apartment complex, who really shines. Box is clearly a bully, whose own take on motivational growth is limited to intimidation and physical violence. Giovagnoli's hilarious delivery of Thacker's quirky dialogue is something to behold; you can't help but love this bloody-knuckled neanderthal.

Box the Ox comes looking for back rent

Kudos, as well, to Midian Crosby, Andy Hosmer, Steve Tolin, and Jeff Waltrowski, the team who deftly bring The Mold to life. I highly recommend Motivational Growth, which will surely become a cult classic. I picked up my copy from the Canadian distributor, IndieCan Entertainment, but it can also be purchased on Amazon.

The Mold knows, Jack. The Mold knows...

31 Days of Horror (2014 edition) continues tomorrow...


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