When ever see a movie like this, about scientists being terrorized by their own creation, it makes me wonder about all those “underground research facilities,” known and unknown, in the world that may have had something similar happen and precautions were implemented that made sure their fuck-ups never got out and we the public were never the wiser? That’s scary to think about, but, anyway, onto the movie . . .
It’s a period piece taking place in the mid-80s in a desert research facility where the current batch of scientists have created a new mold/mildew that can devastate foliage of any kind where ever its dispersed. Testing has gone wonderfully on animals I assume and foliage but what about the effects on human beings? The corporate suit, Edison Carter (David Pringle), in charge of the facility has plans to rectify this oversight, and it’s going to involve a lot of random deaths of everyone who works there. A bad day to start this experiment, if you ask me, since Congressman Stu Blankenship (James Murphy), coke-snorter from the Appropriations Committee, is there to see how things are progressing. With help of traitor, Dr. Dave Hardy (Chris Gentile), a fragment of this mold is slipped into his baggie of coke and he unknowingly snorts it into his system, making him victim #1.
Picking out the two sanest scientists in the bunch Dr. Julia Young (Ardis Campbell) and Dr. Roger Bolten (Lawrence George) should make them the closest thing to hero and heroine, and ultimate survivors, the movie has. But, if you did, you’d be wrong. No one survives this, well, I shouldn’t say that. Young kind of does, but that’s only because a rival corporation has sent goons to infiltrate Benten Labs and bring back a sample of the mold along with an infected person. Young is that infected person, so done and done. And by the way this mold is really an alien organism from outer space the higher ups tricked the scientists into believing they created it. The title of this movie is misleading too. There’s no mention of any planet Xonader in the flick at all.
Anyhow once the mold/mildew infection begins people melt down and out bursts random mutants that either run off or turn on the corpses they came from. The only remedy, and I use that term loosely, is an experimental defoliant that’s never been properly tested. This leads to the one effect that grossed me out, primarily for it involving “eye trauma.” Yeah, eye trauma in movies gives me the willies. Horror Express (1972) traumatized me when I was a kid, and for some reason a scientist decides to spray this defoliant in the eyes of his fellow scientist, who willingly complies even after we see how it burned off the mold on his arms. Yeah, sure, it worked, but for fuck’s sake it acts like acid! He sprays it in his eyes and they melt right off in gruesome fashion. He lives, but now he’s blind for the rest of the movie, which doesn’t really matter since he gets killed at the end. At least this way he never saw his death coming.
The movie is full of gory, low-budget effects and the production value, for a little while anyway, reminded me of any episode of that horror show from the late 80s, Monsters (1988-1990), and at times of Italian monster movies like Contamination (1980) and Alien 2: On Earth (1980). All of which I’m a fan of. I don’t know, I want to say I liked this movie, but in all honesty it didn’t do anything for me. And it’s not a straight forward horror show, there are moments when tongue is firmly planted in cheek, and a lot of the chuckles it got out of me came from this Colonel (Edward X. Young). There’s a torture scene that has some funny moments with him and the dude they’re torturing.
This movie is actually an augmented version of a movie in release here in the U.S. called, Mold! (2012) from Wild Eye Releasing. An Italian company called, Necrostorm, got a hold of it, re-worked the plot and inserted all new gory effects. I’ve never seen Mold!, so I can’t tell you how close or how far from the original version this new version is. Mildew From Planet Xonader has been only available overseas until now. Bayview Entertainment sets its release for April 11 on DVD only! Buy here it on Amazon!
Video/Audio/Subtitles: 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen—2.0 English Dolby Digital (Stereo), 2.0 Italian Dolby Digital (Stereo)—English & Italian subs
Extras included . . .
- Fun At Work (1:05)
- FX Tutorial (2:55)