“Bad Milo” Movie Review
In baseball, a pitcher will throw what is called a breaking pitch in order to keep batters guessing instead of just sitting on a fastball to knock out of the park. With Jacob Vaughan’s horror comedy about a demon thingy coming and going out of someone’s anus, it’s fair to say we’ve been served up a curve ball straight out of a Gremlin’s nightmare from hell.
First thing’s first: there’s no reason why Bad Milo shouldn’t just be a stupid waste of 90 minutes. In order for an oddball story like this to work, it needs to bring something to the table that one wouldn’t expect from a film featuring a flesh eating rectum monster. The writing team of Vaughan and his co-writer Benjamin Hayes did something smart in not just presenting gore and shit jokes, they took all that blood splatter and toilet humor, and blended it with a rare form of charm – a gesture not common in this particular sandbox of film-making. This gesture alone allows for the film to be more than a throwaway with a few laughs we’ll forget about the next morning.
The story centers around Duncan (Ken Marino), an accountant in a financial office that embodies the slouching pushover ready to dispassionately say yes to whatever his bully of a boss (Patrick Warburton) has in store for him. All of Duncan’s fears and stresses inevitably lead to the manifestation of Milo, the aforementioned booty monster hellbent on killing all the people Duncan subconsciously is hating from all the distress he keeps bottled up inside. Where most films take the metaphorical plunge, this one seems content in representing the actual shit we go through from stress, with a literal shit monster that wants payback in the human eating variety.
What makes this film work isn’t that we relate to the anxiety of Duncan, it’s that amongst all the crazy carnage and silly jokes, we feel a warmness from Duncan and his wife Sarah (Gillian Jacobs). They anchor the fidgeting mess of emotions and give us a cheerful sarcasm that only works when there’s something there to like about them. Add to that the almost father and son like relationship Duncan develops with the doe-eyed Milo, and one finds oneself succumbing to heart tugging glee in the midst of a really demented situation.
This one is full of downright nasty stuff, but through the sewage bubbles up a charming warmth that can’t be ignored.