The Mildew from Planet Xonader is a 2015 English-language Italian splatter horror film, written and directed by Giulio De Santi and Neil Meschino, with additional writing from Dave Fogerson and Tiziana Machella. The film is produced by the independent production company Necrostorm, founded by Giulio De Santi, known for their over-the-top, gore-soaked horror films such as Adam Chaplin (2011) and the Hotel Inferno series to name a few.

The year is 1984. Researchers at the secretive Bentan Labs celebrate the completion of their latest weapons project: a previously unknown type of mildew, capable of spreading and consuming any vegetation… and ideal for attacking stockpiles of enemy food. When a sponsor is accidentally infected, the mildew’s spores are set loose across the facility.

As aggressive soldiers flood the complex and the infected staff begins to mutate, the survivors come to realise that the mildew is, in fact, an alien creature! To avoid an agonising death, the remaining scientists must join forces with “Toxic”—a mysterious mercenary who has infiltrated the building on a covert mission.

Fully embracing the campy sci-fi aesthetics of 80s horror, The Mildew from Planet Xonader isn’t afraid of keeping a nonchalant attitude to its story. Its blend of self-aware, tongue-in-cheek comedy along with its well-crafted narrative of twists and turns alludes to an incredibly fast-paced, action-packed romp that dives head-first into the ludicrous. That being said, while its comedic elements are easily discerned, the story never breaks its serious tone–hardly ever acknowledging its preposterous plot. Nevertheless, the film occasionally suffers from problems, littered with extended exposition that can slow the pacing ascertained during its kinetic action scenes.

Undoubtedly the most prominent aspect of any Necrostorm production, the films’ special effects are the best produced for their films, provided by special effects wizard Mark Bedell. Whilst slightly supplemented with CGI, the majority of the effects are actualised through practical means in an incredibly macabre display. Additionally, the signature smash cut to reveal the gruesome levels of gore without any hesitation has certainly become a defined part of Necrostorm’s productions. Combined with the unflinching cinematography, the amazingly detailed practical effects certainly encapsulate his love for all things splatter.

Featuring relatively unknown American actors for the most part, The Mildew from Planet Xonader’s characters unquestionably ascertain its intended low-budget 1980s sci-fi horror aesthetics perfectly. While the acting could be considered average at best and mediocre at worst, the non-stop cliche-riddled script is delivered with fantastic timing, leading to some hilarious, laugh-out-loud moments throughout. Furthermore, each actor plays their role with the highest integrity, never playing into the absurdity of the film’s narrative–strengthening its delivery and impact overall.

An incredibly chaotic (and moist) homage to B-movie schlock, The Mildew from Planet Xonader is a uniquely bizarre yet undoubtedly entertaining horror comedy. Whilst the narrative sufferers from problems, the acting can be so-so at times, and sufferers from some audio mixing problems towards its conclusion, those that can subvert their expectations and roll with the film’s punches are sure to get an enjoyable experience overall.

The Mildew from Planet Xonader (2017) is available to purchase from Necrostorm’s website here.

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