Macabre…ish Horror Review: Motivational Growth



Motivational Growth, 2013/ 1 hr 45 min



After 67 weeks, Kent the floor model television that’s been in the family forever, dies, and 30 year old depressed recluse, Ian (Adrian DiGiovanni), falls apart. He’s been systematically neglecting his life for weeks, letting his plants and fish die, he’s been questioning the point of life and has found it pointless. He simply no longer cares and plans to end it all. The plan is to mix sulfuric acid and bleach to make chlorine gas in his bath tub. He figures it should take about 6 months to work.


Surprisingly he cracks his head after slipping in the bathroom, Kent clicks back on and when Ian wakes up, a giant patch of mold (Jeffrey Combs) is talking to him and it keeps calling him Jack. Ian returns to his couch and chastises himself for failing to die from the fall.


After trying Kent again and it sparks out, he calls for a tv repairman. Returning to the bathroom to get dressed, he ends up unconscious again after apparently arguing with the mold again. (Which was shown to us on the broken tv in the form of an animation.)


A knock at the door, wakes Ian and excited to get his tv repaired, but instead his aggressive and violent landlord (Pete Giovagnoli) barges in with a weird story, strikes Ian and demands something on his rent. Ian has the money but hasn’t bothered paying it because he has a new fear of going outside. He hasn’t left his apartment in 16 months.


Then another strange man arrives just as Ian closes the door, who does turn out to be the tv repair man. His methods are unique to say the least. He lays across the top and licks the screen. He is then tackled by Ian then announces that the tv is dead. Suddenly the man seems to be possessed by his bathroom mold. The man finally leaves and Ian throws up on his face and the man appears to convulse.


In the bathroom, the mold then demands the Ian not open the door again. Then someone knocks again but the mold won’t let him open it. The mold insists it’s trying to help Ian and requests the weekend, if it doesn’t work then Ian can get back to his plan. The mold pushes out a part of itself and tells Ian to eat it, which he does. Then he passes out. He appears to be in a series of old tv shows that are playing on Kent.


Once again he wakes up, opens the door and when he steps out, he wakes up in his tub. After vomiting again, the mold says he’s coming around and Ian passes out again, this time on the bathroom floor.


When he wakes up later, his groceries are being delivered but he’s upset that it’s not his regular delivery guy. She enters and throws all his stuff on the floor. And he has no idea who ordered this stuff but she, Vanessa (Hannah Stevenson), shows proof that he did.


After she leaves, the mold asks Ian if he’s ready. After saying he was, Ian gets to it. He leaves raw meat laying around. He shaves, cleans up, does laundry and starts hyper focusing on the neighbor, Leah (Danielle Doetsch) and watching her through his key hole. She catches him and introduces herself.


Ian excitedly goes to the bathroom to share it with mold and us horrified to find and terribly decomposed skeletonized corpse on the floor. Ian needs the mold to convince him that the corpse on the floor isn’t him. But the mold convinces him no one is there. Then Ian vomits a giant mushroom, which the mold, eats.   


Once again, someone knocks on the door and he seems to know a lot about antique tv’s and wants to look at his. After poking around in the back, he finds it has a mold problem but says he can fix it. Ian is pissed and confronts the mold.


Oh and Vanessa returns with the rest of Ian’s order and since Ian has no cash for a tip, she settles in and watches tv. Suddenly a weird plants grows out of the wall and shoots something in her neck, knocking her out.


And again, he consults the mold for help after the tv blinks out again. The mold suggests a saw and trash bags and Ian is absolutely against what is happening. Ian thinks he’s losing his grip and he might be.


This story gets weirder before it’s over.


This was directed by Don Thatcher and it was really interesting and entertaining. Very few characters but they were interesting and the fact that one character was mold is kind of awesome. I enjoyed the narration, the animation and even the little tv show clips…all the odd touches and twists were well done. And Don Thacker and the actor who played Ian, Adrian Di Giovanni, came on my podcast, Macabre…ish Cults, Classics & Horror, click here for the interview!