Things that spread like a plague

Parasites, spores, mold…it all leads to infected freaks in my latest movie marathon, which includes one flick with a gay main character.


There are absolutely no new ideas in this film, and it fluffs its runtime with character development, but overall, the limited horror moments were entertaining.

A homeless man is digging through garbage when something falls from the sky and a slug crawls out of it. The man is invaded and pretty much turns into a glowing-eyed zombie. We even get a brief glimpse of a big alien.

Next, we meet a group of thieves. After a robbery gone wrong with plenty of shooting, they hide out in an abandoned apartment building. The only woman in the group begins seeing things in the empty halls drenched in Saw green as she wrestles with past trauma. The tense atmosphere is effective, and dare I say the exploration of the gloomy building and its long tunnels was giving me Session 9 vibes.

Unfortunately, it’s not until 52 minutes into the movie that the parasite comes back into play in this 85-minute movie. Within no time there are only two survivors left with nothing in the way of intense horror to get us to that tally, but the final chase through the tunnels as the big alien chases them is okay. Overall, it’s a disappointingly understated horror experience despite the tight production.

THE SPORE (2021)

I was astounded to realize that as this “zombie” film progressed, I began to like it more and more.

Going for the minimalist approach makes this one particularly eerie. After an opening that begins with voice-over radio reports that do nothing more than clue us into the fact that a virus is spreading and things are getting weird in more heavily populated areas, we shift instead to what is essentially a series of vignettes about individuals in a rural area as they each experience an encounter with a single infected person.

In each case, a character crosses over into the next segment, creating a chain effect of the virus spreading in a very limited way as compared to a fast and frenetic outbreak in a densely populated location.

The isolation creates a highly effective and creepy tone, and the score captures that isolation—it’s tranquil and melancholy, yet haunting.

Each encounter delivers on the sense of being completely alone when coming upon the horrifying sight of an infected person, plus you feel bad for those infected because the suffering they go through is highlighted more than the fact that they transform into monsters.

And in each case, the spread of the spores seems to show the infected in a different state. Some are completely rotten, some are recently changed, and others are suffering within the confines of a nightmarish web of spores.

As the vignettes progress and the infection is handed off, we eventually get to see the final results of how the infection takes over the host. Eek! To top it all off, the movie uses practical effects, and plenty of them. Icky good.

If you’re looking for something with more atmosphere and a slower burn than the typical infected/zombie flick, definitely check this one out.

MOLD (2022)

Yay! A new Crum brothers movie! I love the Crum brothers. Michael directs this one, and Gerald writes and stars in it. Crummy yummy.

There’s a black mold growing in an apartment building, and we meet the main characters—Crum, his girlfriend, and a gay couple including a quiet dude and an old bitchy queen with a predatory edge. Blech. I mean, the guy plays the role perfectly, because it gave me flashbacks to being younger and trying to avoid those types of real-life caricatures.

Anyway, Crum calls a specialist in to check on the black mold and things quickly escalate. The specialist is attacked by the mold and immediately transforms into what reminds me of The Fly. In a way, the feel of this film reminded me of one of Mulberry Street, one of my faves.

However, this film turns into an oddly artsy endeavor, with virtually no dialogue or sound effects, no music score, distracting close-ups of those infected lurking around rooms and hallways drenched in red and green horror lighting (to create claustrophobic vibes, I assume), and a mere three main characters trying to stay hidden from the hideous looking infected for the entirety of the movie.

As much as I love the Crums and the freaky visual experience they deliver here, the movie just goes on endlessly with not much in the way of character development or motivations. There’s literally no story here…just a few people playing cat and mouse with mold monsters. It’s also unclear why there are so few people in the building and why they can’t just get the fuck out of there.

The bright side is that the quiet gay guy becomes one of the main characters, landing this one on the does the gay guy die? page. It also lands this one on my shelves, because I totally bought the DVD after watching it.

About Daniel

I am the author of the horror anthologies CLOSET MONSTERS: ZOMBIED OUT AND TALES OF GOTHROTICA and HORNY DEVILS, and the horror novels COMBUSTION and NO PLACE FOR LITTLE ONES. I am also the founder of BOYS, BEARS & SCARES, a facebook page for gay male horror fans! Check it out and like it at
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