Released: 2013 Country: USA Language: English Directed by: Jacob Vaughan Written by: Benjamin Hayes, Jacob Vaughan Starring:Ken Marino, Gillian Jacobs, Patrick Warburton
Sub-genre: Horror-comedy, Creature
MPAA rating: R
Runtime: 85 minutes
Duncan (Ken Marino)has a problem with stress management. His wife, Sarah (Gillian Jacobs) wants a family, his mother, Beatrice (Mary Kay Place) has shacked up with an oversexed man half her age, his father has dropped off the face of the earth, and his slimeball boss, Phil (played with sleazy zeal by Patrick Warburton) has just relocated his office to a bathroom and put him in charge of layoffs. Things are bumpy for Duncan. To top it all off, Duncan’s stress happens to manifest itself as severe irritable bowel syndrome, resulting in chronic, Farrelly Brothers-style bathroom visits. As tension escalates Duncan’s condition worsens and, eventually, what was first thought an unusual polyp in his colon, turns out to be a literal demon living inside of him. Suddenly, whenever Duncan’s stress levels top the charts, a vicious little hairless monster with razor sharp teeth explodes traumatically forth and kills whomever happens to be the cause of Duncan’s turmoil. With the help of eccentric hypnotherapist, Highsmith (Peter Stormare) Duncan sets out to “bond” with the creature and thereby learn to control his dangerous episodes. The task proves more difficult than first imagined, however, as Duncan’s daily life is about to get a lot more stressful.
Growing up with a profound love for the comedy troupe The State, we've long been fans of Ken Marino, and this is by far his best performance to date. Marino fills the role of the leading man with ease and his comedic timing and talent for witty banter really get a chance to shine in Bad Milo. Amidst all the toilet humor and the more-than-absurd plot, Ken Marino gives a stand-out performance, commanding our attention and empathy throughout the film. When it comes to portraying a man who repeatedly has a small creature forcibly inserted into his rear end, Marino proves he’s one of the best in the business, and hopefully this role will help catapult him to the comedic success he so rightly deserves.
While Duncan and Milo team up to make this one hell of a bloody buddy movie, the ensemble cast of characters really keep the laughs coming. Patrick Warburton gives such a slimy performance as Duncan’s shady boss that you feel the need to shower every time he shows up. Peter Stormare steals each of his scenes as the off-kilter therapist with some questionable practices. And Gillian Jacobs does a great job of grounding the film and giving the audience a reason to invest in the story. It’s easy for a movie like this (you know, a movie about killer ass-demons) to wander too far into absurdity, but Marino and Jacobs reel it in and add that much-needed human connection.
Unlike most monster movies [about a killer creature that lives in a man’s ass], Bad Milo somehow manages to be disgusting and adorable at the same time. Picture a demonic version of E.T., only with more feces. Sure, the little guy eviscerates, dismembers, and dines on innocent (and not-so-innocent) people, but just look at those big puppy dog eyes and listen to that adorable voice! Oh, Milo, we can’t stay mad at you! Credit is due to more than just Milo’s inherent heart-melting cuteness, though... Director/co-writer Jacob Vaughan and screenwriter Benjamin Hayes have put together a story that not only delivers it’s fair share of belly laughs, but runs the gamut of human emotions and effective character development. By way of great casting and plainly determined storytelling, Vaughan and Hayes also managed to pile on the guts, gore, and yes, even smatterings of human excrement, without the film itself becoming a joke.
If the viewer can see past the plethora of anus cracks, there truly is an awkward tale of acceptance and inner turmoil that we found genuinely engaging. It may be hidden deep in the bowels of the film, but it is there. This is a quality flick that would probably receive far more exposure if it was generically watered down, but that would have sacrificed the outlandish heart of the movie. We don’t think we would have enjoyed Bad Milo as much as we did if the filmmakers had pulled punches and created a tamer and more accessible film; but then again, maybe we’re just being anal.