26th Sep2014

‘Motivational Growth’ Review

by Richard Axtell

Stars: Adrian DiGiovanni, Jeffrey Combs, Danielle Doetsch, Pete Giovagnoli, Ken Brown, Robert Kramer, Hannah Stevenson, Laura Carlson | Written and Directed by Don Thacker


Ian Folivor , a depressed and reclusive 30-something, finds himself taking advice from a growth in his bathroom after a failed suicide attempt. The Mold, a smooth talking fungus who was born of the filth collecting in a corner of Ian’s neglected bathroom, works to win Ian’s trust by helping him clean himself up and remodel his lifestyle. With The Mold’s help, Ian attracts the attention of a neighbor he’s been ogling through his peephole, Leah, and he manages to find a slice of happiness despite his unnatural circumstances. But is all as it seems? Or does the Mold have ulterior motives to all the good it preaches?

Ever so often, you stumble across a film that is just so out there that you are left a bit speechless by it. Motivational Growth is definitely one of those films. Every few seconds of watching will have you saying ‘Eh?’ or ‘What?’ or a variation on those words. But then, when a man starts talking to a mould pile which is growing in the corner of his bathroom, you just know you are in for a strange ride as this story unfolds. Backed with a 8-bit soundtrack, Ian Folivor (Adrian DiGiovanni) regularly turns towards the camera to explain his situation and how much his life sucks. So add forth wall breaking to the ever growing list of fungus filled strangeness that is Motivational Growth.

Apart from the whole fungus fiasco, the film is littered with Folivor eating strange things, projectile vomiting, blood spraying, rotting bodies and many other such things that will make germophobes almost collapse in fear. I’ve never had a film make me as a person feel unclean, until now and I definitely plan to spend the next few hours scrubbing my house within an inch of its life. That being said, Motivational Growth knows it is silly and disgusting so it doesn’t shy away from it. It confidently strides through the filth in its underwear, head held high and the result is an entertaining romp. With the added bonus of it being so strange, you cannot predict at all what it going to happen next.

DiGiovanni does a great job as the film lead, I never once doubted that he was as confused and lost as I was throughout the film. So what results it is a mind bending, slightly insane story. You will start to wonder if you don’t do the washing up for a long enough time, will it become sentient? To say I understood Motivational Growth would be an overstatement, but I definitely liked its style and the story was good enough to keep me with it for the majority. Although if you’re a clean freak, I would definitely say this film is one to avoid.

Motivational Growth will hit VOD worldwide on September 30th (via Devolver Films and Indiecan Entertainment in Canada), Blu-Ray and DVD in Canada on the same date, and DVD in the US the following week (via Parade Deck Films), on October 7th.


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