Thursday, 2 October 2014

"Motivational Growth" - US BD/DVD review

Occasionally a film comes along that really does make you wonder just what the bloody hell it is you’re supposed to be watching and “Motivational Growth”, which comes to DVD and BD in the US this month, is certainly one such film.
The story follows a reclusive chap named Ian (Adrian DiGiovanni), who seems to be having a number of severe depression issues. He hasn’t ventured outside his dingy apartment for months, won’t even answer the front door unless there’s someone delivering groceries or pizza on the other side of it and hasn’t even bothered to wash, shave or even tidy up his flat in god knows how long.
But following a botched suicide attempt, in which he only succeeds in knocking himself out on the edge of the bathtub. He awakes, to find that the huge lump of mould, that had accumulated behind his filthy bathroom sink, has started talking to him (voiced by horror icon and Re-Animator star Jeffrey Combs).  However, not only is the mould talking, its trying to give him advice on how to clean himself up and get on in life.
Initially, this seems to have a positive effect as he starts washing, shaving, and wearing clean clothes again and his flat looks almost spotless (apart from the huge lump of talking mould in the bathroom of course). But then things get really weird (if they weren’t strange enough already).
A TV repairman comes to call and he throws up toxic green puke over him. The grocery delivery girl comes round and Ian appears to accidentally kill her, but then she’s seen later on in the film alive and well. The girl next door, Leah (Danielle Doetsch – Bikini Girls on Ice) decides to pop round and introduce herself and something similar happens. Then there’s a weird hallucinogenic scene where Ian imagines himself as a character on a TV show and then as an 8-bit computer character. Plus there's this whole thing about the TV set and the Mould not getting on....
As you can probably gather, this is a very weird and “trippy” sort of film. If the visuals and plot weren’t bizarre enough, the soundtrack also sounds like it was composed on an old 8-bit computer. What's going on is never really clear and the ending (which I won’t spoil for you) is decidedly ambiguous, so make of it what you will.
My initial reaction to seeing this was to wonder what peculiar substances the director had been smoking when he envisioned this. However, I have been reliably informed that this wasn’t the case, so the fact that this came from the mind of a person who WASN’T high at the time is kind of scary!!!
If you like weird, arty sort of horror films, or you just like hearing Jeffrey Combs smooth voice, then you should enjoy this. Personally, I thought the film was a bit on the slow side and seemed to drag on a little bit, but then I do have a short attention span.
The film is released to DVD and BD in the US October 7th, exclusively through the Parade Deck Films website. There were no extras on the screener copy I watched, however the press release I was given states that the DVD will include an audio commentary track, with actors Jeffrey Combs and Adrian DiGiovanni, and director Don Thacker, a photo gallery and trailers. Whilst the Blu-Ray edition will also include an hour of behind the scenes material.

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