Bad Milo!, 2013
Directed by Jacob Vaughan
Starring Ken Marino, Gillian Jacobs, Mark Kay Place, Claudia Choi, Toby Huss, Peter Stormare, Kumail Nanjiani and Stephen Root
A horror comedy centered on a guy who learns that his unusual stomach problems are being caused by a demon living in his intestines.
When describing Bad Milo! to someone, a fair few comparisons spring to mind. It’s like a 21st Century version of Basket Case, it’s the Tales from the Crypt episode they never made, it’s a big budget version of a skit you’d likely find on Youtube etc. But frankly there is no real way to describe just how odd and bizarre a movie like Bad Milo! is. After all, it’s about a man who has a demon living inside his anus.
Ken Marino plays Duncan, a man who is stressed with his whole life. His family is pressuring him to start raising a family, he is having horrendous stomach pains and his work has just relegated his office to the men’s toilet. But while having therapy, it seems his stress has manifested itself into a living being which shoots out of his back passage and attacks those who cause pain in his life. The creature, named Milo, is now a part of Duncan’s life – and he needs to start taking care of it.
Bad Milo! is a movie that tries to get by on very little just because it has a very wacky premise. But unlike something like WolfCop, there is something missing from Bad Milo! that just makes it a rather average affair. It has all of that Tales From the Crypt dark humour and bizarre joviality to it, but Bad Milo! just doesn’t hit every mark fully. The movie is funny, but it the jokes of Milo escaping from his butt get old quickly and once that is gone, there isn’t much else to write home about.
Perhaps Bad Milo! would have worked better as a short as there really is a lot here to like. Ken Marino is great and gives a wonderful physical performance, Peter Stormare is brilliantly wacky as his therapist and Stephen Root is awesome in the few scenes he’s in. And although it’s Kumail Nanjiani who steals all of the best comedy moments, Bad Milo! has good comedic performances all round, which you would expect with a cast this good. They all seem to believe in the movie and no one is half-arsing it, but the simple plot and lack of humour outside of the toilet fails to excite for the full runtime.
While this review has sounded quite negative, Bad Milo! is not a bad movie, it’s just not as great as it could have been. It promises a lot but delivers very little of it which is disappointing. It’s the sort of movie you would see on late at night on Channel 4 in the 1990s when you were a teenager and loved it, but in 2014 it just doesn’t quite cut the cheese. A few funny moments and good comedic performances aside, Bad Milo! just feels like a missed opportunity.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★
Luke Owen is the Deputy Editor of Flickering Myth and the host of the Flickering Myth Podcast. You can follow him on Twitter @LukeWritesStuff.