Motivational Growth

Motivational Growth

Motivational Growth

directed by Don Thacker

starring Adrian DiGiovanni, and Danielle Doetsch

Imagos Films

Gross out film? Horror film? Dark comedy? Postmodern surrealism? It’s hard to pigeonhole this eccentric and self-referential film but it’s endlessly entertaining if occasionally confusing. Ian (Adrian DiGiovanni) has locked himself in his apartment for the past 67 weeks, and the trash is up to here. Life is reduced to eating, pooping and watching 1990’s television or playing 8 bit games on his faithful 1966 Concord color television set named “Ken.” External interactions are scary for Ian: there’s threatening visits from his landlord Box the Ox (Pete Giovagnoli) and the punk grocery delivery girl (Hannah Stevenson.) Occasionally his peephole stalks his neighbor Leah (Danielle Doetsch). But one more person enters his life; it’s a gray, gross mold living next to his bathroom sink. Since Ian has already tried suicide by mixing household cleaning products, how bad can advice from a slime mode be? At first is seem to help: Ian shaves, cleans out the trash and get intimate with Leah to the point they can puke on each other and just laugh it off. But after a while, the advice is more and more ominous, and why should an animated Chromalveolate Heterokontophyta help a man with terminal agoraphobia?

I’m thrilled to find a weird movie that doesn’t rely on zombies and total immersion gore to create fun and entertaining situations. The Plasmoday Television guy (Ken Brown) is a pleasant cousin to Mr. Whipple as he tries to sell Ian the future. Ms. Doetsch is both sexy and creepy, and you know what they say about doing it with creepy. It’s not clear there’s a message here, and I thank the producers for that, and the 1990’s TV and video world is a pleasant memory of a time when electronic communication was more subversive and less obsessed with tracking us. May be that IS the message: something is always tracking us, and what would you prefer, Google and NSA, or a homey fungus that sees to you get laid occasionally? I vote fungus. Plus, it’s delicious on pizza!

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