Imagine if Troma decided to adapt Michael Crichton’s classic novel The Andromeda Strain then you have a good idea of how director/co-writer Neil Meschino’s Mold! plays out. While it may not be quite as filthy as one of their productions — the female lead (Ardis Campbell) only winds up in her bra and granny panties — but it’s still just as off the wall and drenched in the requisite blood to satisfy the hungriest gore hounds.
In the Arizona Sonoran Desert, we enter the Metabiotics facility where Dr. Peterson (Derrick Peterson) is attacked by the mold spores he’s working on, infecting him and his lab rats. Quickly gunned down, three days later we find Dr. Julia Young (Campbell) and Dr. Dave Hardy (Chris Gentile) meeting up with Dr. Roger Bolton (Lawrence George) and Dr. Matthew Kane (Rick Haymes). Kane has been brought in to replace Peterson and give a tour of the facility to Congressman Stu Blankenship (James Murphy) who has brought along the Colonel (Edward X. Young), Sergeant Brisco (Mike Keller), and Rhodes (Nicholas Russo). Soon enough, everyone is slowly becoming infected and they must all fight for their lives and get Carter (David Pringle).
As I mentioned, Troma is known for their splatterific filmography and I’m surprised they didn’t find this little gem to release under their banner. Director Meschino makes it clear throughout the feature commentary (along with cinematographer Robert Fattorini) that CGI is for the weak, and Monster in the Closet FX gives it their all to come up with some nasty gore effects. The jokes fly fast and furious featuring a wide array of movie references. If you’re wondering why one character is named Rhodes, where this movie’s going, they don’t need Rhodes. They also include some hilarious nods ranging from Marathon Man, Pulp Fiction, American Psycho, G.I. Joe, Talladega Nights, Ghostbusters, Scream, and a particular Tommy Tutone song.
The only special features are the audio commentary, which is where they point out some of the references which even I didn’t pick up the first time. “Behind the Scenes of Mold!” runs 24 minutes featuring interviews mostly with the cast. There’s also a slew of trailers for additional WildEye Releasing features Disco Exorcist, Dropping Evil, Exhumed, Tight, The Story of Rock N Roll Comics, Night of the Living Dead Reanimated, and Mold! itself. So for anyone who’s been longing for a fantastic throwback to ’80s gore films with a B-movie sense of storytelling than Mold! is the hilarious, squishy-splashy blood bath you’ve been looking for.