Motivational Growth Movie Review

Written by Richelle Charkot

DVD released by Parade Deck Films



Written and directed by Don Thacker
2013, 104 minutes, Not rated
DVD released on September 30, 2014

Jeffrey Combs as The Mold
Adrian DiGiovanni as Ian Folivor
Danielle Doetsch as Leah
Pete Giovagnoli as Box the Ox



Saying that this is a weird movie doesn't even begin to do it justice. This movie made me feel like I had walked into an empty building with a gas leak and suffered gruesome hallucinations for an hour and forty minutes. It made me feel like I wanted to cover my entire house in bleach and then take steel wool to my skin. Motivational Growth is so profoundly weird that I have no idea who I would recommend it to; but I absolutely love everything about it. It is unapologetically bizarre, disgusting and genuinely incomparable to any other piece of film that is out there right now.

Ian Folivor is depressed to say the least. Barricaded by his own filth, he refuses to leave his apartment under any circumstance. Ian spends most of his days in front of his television mindlessly flicking channels, but when Kent (what he's named the TV) sparks and dies, he finds himself even more submerged in his crippling loneliness. After the death of Kent, Ian becomes solely preoccupied with when his next bowel movement is, because there is quite simply nothing else to do or care about. When the realization settles in that his life is a bleak nothingness, he decides to commit suicide, but his plan goes awry when he falls and hits his head. Ian wakes up with a bruise on his forehead and a weaker ego than before, but his inability to die becomes less of a concern when he finds that the giant, festering growth of mold on his wall has developed a mouth and is telling him that it is going to help him get his life in order.


In spite of its exceptionally nauseating setting and characters, Motivational Growth is a thoughtfully stylistic film from beginning to end. Subtle shifts in cinematography are used to display the feelings of Ian throughout his strange journey to self worth, along with other drastic changes before the climax, when everything is at its most chaotic. Paired with a sharp and witty script that is filled with laugh-out-loud worthy dialogue, along with moments of uncomfortable oddities that will make a viewer not want to eat for the next few hours due to an uneasy stomach, it is a tremendously enjoyable flick for fans of the inane. It is also very well acted on all parts, but with a particularly impressive and dynamic performance from Adrian DiGiovanni, who plays Ian.

Although at one point I genuinely wondered how Motivational Growth could possibly get any stranger, it is an artistic and attentive film that is so shameless in its pursuit of bad taste that I was reminded of the works of early John Waters.

Not for everybody, but perfect for somebody.



Movie: fivestars Cover


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