I hate push up bras. Seriously, push up bras are a promise that rarely delivers. You meet a young lovely with a nice pair of boobies that sit up and beg to be looked at. Then, the push up bra comes off and disappointment sets in: the promise, the advertisement, if you will, doesn't pay off. Throughout the history of home cinema, video, DVD and Blu-ray Discs have done the same thing: offered something that does not reflect the underlying package. Mold is a perfect example of this.
|Director: Neil Meschino
Starring: Edward X. Young, Ardis Campbell, Lawrence Georde, Rick Haymes, Mike Keller
Screenplay: Dave Fogerson, Neil Meschino
The cover has a super scary looking dude in a gas mask and hazmat suit who looks like the bastard son of The Crazies and a character from Call of Duty. Sufficed to say, this guy never appears in the film at all, but what does appear is a badly shot, dull scripted effort that at times makes less sense than a drunken meerkat driving a Maserati. Inside the DVD cover is an alternate illustrated cover which is a much better choice, with the more accurate tag line of "This isn't Science... IT'S MURDER!" rather than the "You Breathe, You Die" used on the front.
It's 1984 and U.S. president Ronald Reagan is at the height of his anti cocaine crusade. As a part of this, a lab has been set up to develop a mold with the intended purpose of spraying it on drug crops to destroy them, and cripple the economy of the international criminals.
Our film starts with a scientist, Dr Peterson, being bitten by a lab rat and dropping a vial which instantly infects him, causing a mold like substance to spread all over his face. He is very quickly dispatched by guards in hazmat gear. Sometime later, at the same lab, during a demonstration to governmental bigwigs and the military, some of the mold escapes, and infects one of the visitors, Congressman Blankenship. He dies, but not before infecting one of the soldiers who attempts to get rid of his infection by burning his own hand. The infection enters his bloodstream and he becomes a frothing lunatic who has to be isolated. We soon learn that one of the scientists is a saboteur and the rest of the team are being used as guinea pigs, and chances of survival seem remote at best, especially considering the volatile personalities amongst the group...
Essentially, this movie has a lot of heart, and it really wants to achieve more than it's obviously meagre budget allows. The script had a lot of potential, but probably needed someone to cull it a little, like pull out quotes from other films or references to film titles that probably seemed funny at the time, but just made me roll my eyes. The acting was fairly uneven as well. Some of the cast were actually pretty good, and there were some over the top performances that suited the ridiculousness of the characters they were portraying, but as we so often see in in low budget stuff, there were a couple of guys who felt like they just turned up for a paycheck and free food.
The musical score was laughable as well. In the early seventies, the makers of Doctor Who started using synth scores to cut costs, but they always sounded cheap and tinny, and the effects sound the same here. The music rarely set the right b-movie mood and at times just annoyed me. I am typing this review on an iPad, and with apps like Garage Band, Nave or Nanostudio, I probably could have performed a better score. And my musical training is pretty minimal.
It's not all spectacularly terrible though. Whilst the mold itself is done with some pretty poor stop motion, and the spores some average CGI, there are a couple of smushy gore effects, and a lot of green vomit, but it comes too little, too late.
I could bang on about the obviously bad fake moustaches, but I'll resist the temptation of such a cheap shot. Like the fake moustache and the push up bra, a cool DVD cover belies a substandard film that with more cash could have been something cool like Street Trash or Basket Case. Instead, this just persistently misses the mark.