Tuesday, October 1, 2013

BAD MILO! (Review)

Bad Milo! (2013)

review by AARON ALLEN

Directed by Jacob Vaughan

Written by Benjamin Hayes and Jacob Vaughan

Starring Ken Marino, Gillian Jacobs, Patrick Warburton, Mary Kay Place, Stephen Root and Peter Stormare

The phrase "butt hurt" takes on a new meaning in Bad Milo!, the new horror comedy coming to VOD on October 4th. 

Ken Marino (of Children's HospitalParty Down, and The State fame) stars as Duncan, a downtrodden attorney wracked with guilt and stress over his professional and family life in this bizarre and ultimately unsatisfying stab at outlandish horror comedy. Tormented by horrible, stress-induced gastrointestinal problems, Duncan visits a spacey hypnotherapist (played by the appropriately spacey Peter Stormare) to get to the root of the problem in Duncan's subconscious. They both learn, however, that the problem is rooted not in Duncan's mind but, rather, where the sun don't shine. Duncan discovers that the cause of his stomach pain is Milo: a small tumorous demon that lives in Duncan's ass. Whenever Duncan is upset or angry, Milo emerges from Duncan's butt and goes on a rampage.

He Came From Your Anus
As Duncan attempts to bond with the little poop-dweller in order to curb its subconscious murderous appetites, increasing tensions between Duncan and his wife (Community's Gillian Jacobs), his horrible boss (Patrick Warburton), his nosy and newly-married mother (Mary Kay Place), and his deadbeat absentee dad (Stephen Root) makes them all potential targets for Milo's rectal rage.

Marino practices his rectal reactions
Married to an outlandish premise (an anus-residing demon) that's so crazy you just can't take it seriously, Bad Milo! fails to go far enough in any genre direction. It's not funny enough to classify as an outright comedy, it's not scary enough to be horror, and it's not committed enough to the elements of magic-realism or family drama in the script to really sell its emotional moments. The usually hilarious Ken Marino and Gillian Jacobs are asked to tone it way, way down and play it straight against a preposterously awkward monster puppet that's part Basket Case (without the scares) and part Gremlins (without the fun), but even in the best light it becomes, unintentionally, the funniest thing in the film.

Marino and Milo take a break for some daddy/demon bonding time.
Despite a strong leading performance by Marino, a smattering of shock moments, and some off-hand laughs (likely improvised) by the comedic cast, Bad Milo! never finds a consistent balance between horror and comedy. It's an interesting enough movie on paper, and I'll be damned if that cheesy Milo puppet didn't occasionally tug at my heart strings, but overall Bad Milo! is a straight on down the line average horror comedy.

BAD MILO! is available On Demand/iTunes and in theaters this Friday, October 4, 2013.

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