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Bad Milo!

2013 | 85 min | R | 1.85:1

Bad Milo!


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Movie appeal

Dark humor23%


Theatrical release date

 04 October, 2013

Country of origin

 United States

Box office




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Bad Milo!


Screenshots from Bad Milo! Blu-ray

Bad Milo! Preview  

 / 10
Preview by Brian Orndorf, October 3, 2013

Most films flirt with an anal fixation, shooting off flatulence jokes and assorted rear-end reminders that reveal a stunning lack of creativity in the comedy department. “Bad Milo” is about intestinal distress, forgoing cheap gags to focus entirely on the pressures of digestive woes, making it the rare movie that kinda, sorta requires tense moments of bathroom straining and fecal matter-flecked shenanigans. Imagine a Troma production with a little more money to spend and a few familiar faces, and there’s “Bad Milo.” It’s ugly but amusing, ideal for those who enjoy a grislier side to their silliness, satisfactorily imagined by co-writer/director Jacob Vaughn.

Duncan (Ken Marino) is a troubled man. Wrecked by debilitating intestinal pain, resulting in extended bathroom time, Duncan also struggles with his day job as a corporate accountant, failing to work around the duplicitous interests of boss Phil (Patrick Warburton). Married to Sarah (Gillian Jacobs), Duncan is also under pressure to produce children, pleasing his mother Beatrice (Mary Kay Place). Facing all this stress, Duncan comes to understand that what he originally was led to believe was a polyp in his lower intestine is actually a physical manifestation of his anxiety that leaps out of his anus and kills his enemies. With the help of therapist Highsmith (Peter Stormare), Duncan learns to trust his demon, nicknamed Milo, working to find a peaceful balance to his life to quell the monster’s thirst for blood. However, to achieve inner peace, Duncan must face his past, reuniting with estranged father Roger (Stephen Root) to help settle his mind.

“Bad Milo” isn’t a total goof. Sure, the picture concerns the murderous appetites of a little demon that lives in the lower intestine of a nervous accountant, but there’s a psychological aspect to the screenwriting that keeps the film from becoming a one-note routine of bathroom humor. Duncan is a defeated man, taxed by almost every relationship in his life while facing excruciating pain on the toilet. He’s a raw nerve in search of relief, taking him to Highsmith’s couch, where he explores his skyrocketing stress levels, a disturbance rooted in a troubled relationship with his father. It’s not a profound mental exploration, but enough to lend “Bad Milo” a tone of purpose beyond the normal serving of irreverence. The screenplay is at least attempting to generate some personality, allowing the feature to develop a human side before it dives into the carnage. Perhaps the pop psychology is negligible, but hey, in a movie like this, baby steps toward any sort of reason count.

Milo is an amusing creation, a puppet with massive black eyes and razor-sharp teeth that tears around the movie, popping out of Duncan’s behind when the going gets tough for the accountant, slaughtering those who’ve wronged the man, causing his stress levels to explode. Thankfully, Vaughn doesn’t try to hide the creature, revealing Milo in full after the opening act, sending him off to devour antagonists in gruesome ways. One sleazy fertility doctor is relieved of his genitals thanks to the little monster, while others are ripped to shreds -- the local media chalking up the deaths to a vicious raccoon on the loose. Duncan’s ensuing confusion and panic over his anal buddy (it’s bad enough to have Milo exit his ass, but the critter eventually has to return to its home) fuels much of “Bad Milo,” with Vaughn hitting frantic beats of discovery that eventually slide into acceptance, watching the fatigued main character attempt to make peace with Milo, treating the ghoul as the son he never had, helping him taste the family life Sarah craves.

“Bad Milo” isn’t a deep picture, perhaps burning through the bonding process too quickly, leaving ample room for a battle finale that goes on too long. And despite a wacky premise, Vaughn doesn’t overdo the slapstick, selecting his bathroom meltdown scenes carefully, more interested in workplace satire and situations of familial discomfort. Although performances are adequate, with Marino a capable lead, “Bad Milo” isn’t as explosive a viewing experience as hoped, with the jokes more chuckle-worthy and the film’s command of screen insanity strangely limited. However, it’s not every day one encounters a story about a man and the goblin that uses his rectum as a home, making the little triumphs of the feature worthy of a look, but only for those in the mood for something odd and a little icky.

Starring: Ken Marino, Gillian Jacobs, Patrick Warburton, Mary Kay Place, Stephen Root, Peter Stormare
Director: Jacob Vaughan

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