Whether or not you want to watch Bad Milo will depend entirely on your reaction to this quick plot synopsis – this movie is about a monster that lives in a dude’s butt and emerges to murder people who are causing him stress and anxiety. When my wife was told that was the plot, and was assured a few times that I wasn’t kidding around about that, she knew pretty quickly that maybe this one wasn’t for her. Me though? I mean how could I ever pass up something like that?
Dan Marino stars as Duncan, a man who has been suffering from severe stomach problems his entire life, spending upwards of ninety minutes in the bathroom each day. He is in a happy relationship with Sarah (Gillian Jacobs) but everything else around him is completely falling apart. He and Sarah are unable to have a child, his mother is now dating someone younger than Duncan, his boss (Patrick Warburton) has put him in charge of firing people and his work office has been moved into a bathroom that he has to share with an overly irritating co-worker. He is unable to cope with everything and it turns out that whenever he gets too stressed, a little monster named Milo will emerge from his butthole and run around murdering anybody who is responsible for this stress. It’s a pretty glorious concept that does not make for a fantastic movie, but at the very least makes for an entertaining one.
Marino is great as Duncan, selling the comedy well but also doing a credible job both with the horror and drama, the latter of which there is a surprising amount of. Jacobs is also good but her role is pretty thin, only getting a little bit of screen time and largely spending that time worrying about Duncan but it’s a credit to Jacobs that she manages to make Sarah likable with what she was to work with. Warburton is also great as the asshole boss though I feel at this point he could sleepwalk through a role like this. The highlight for me was Peter Stormare as the therapist Duncan goes to see and the person who explains the myth behind the ass monster. I’m used to Stormare being stuck with mostly generic villain characters, at least lately, so it’s great to see him a lot looser here and getting to take part in the comedy.
I’ve ranted numerous times about my preference for practical effects over CG so you can imagine how happy I was to discover that Milo is an entirely practical creation. Yes the puppet often looks silly and when he lunges at someone it really looks as though the puppet is being hurled at the actor, but it still makes everything work so much better as the actors, primarily Marino, are able to interact directly with the creature. Also when he is in innocent mode with his huge eyes and Gizmo-esque squeaky noises he is pretty god damn adorable.
Bad Milo is definitely more a comedy than a horror movie and while it’s got some good laughs it’s usually more chuckle worthy than anything. I will say I expected a lot more ass and shit jokes and while there are definitely a good handful of them, they aren’t as plentiful as anticipated and instead much of the humour comes from the straight-forward way the premise is approached. The tour de force performance by Marino definitely helps as well.
Not surprisingly there isn’t a huge amount of genuine horror here. Milo is kept off screen for the most of the attack sequences but they aren’t really suspenseful and once Milo is revealed and you see him committing the violence, it becomes funny because well, look at that fucking thing.
Bad Milo is certainly worth a watch. It’s a fun creature feature with a unique take on the material and a great central performance from Ken Marino. It won’t blow your mind in either the comedy or horror department but it’s an enjoyable and fast ride. Plus how often do we get movies about ass monsters? We have to give these movies our full support whenever we’re lucky enough for one of them to come around!