Duncan (Ken Marino) is a man with issues. His father (Stephen Root) left when he was just a kid. His boss (Patrick Warburton) is a complete dick who’s stealing money from the investment firm they work at. And his wife (Gillian Jacobs) is pressuring him to have a baby. Basically all of his relationships are fucked up in one way or another. Then there’s Milo, a demonic manifestation of Duncan’s misery and frustration that lives in his anus. It’s kind of like a skinless “mogwai” with bipolar tendencies and an appetite for blood.
That’s the basic premise of Magnet’s latest release, BAD MILO, but the actual story is much more of a twisted family drama as Duncan struggles to deal with his abandonment issues and ultimately comes to term with being a dad himself. Luckily, Marino portrays Duncan as a genuinely likable guy and not some whiny loser which makes him a much more interesting character. Likewise Peter Stormare plays Duncan’s new age therapist, Highsmith, pitch perfect as he guides his unusual patient along – in his own, eccentric way. With Highsmith’s help Duncan is able to “liberate” Milo from his rectum, but must then confront the creature before it can kill again.
Things… don’t go well, however, and Duncan is soon chasing after Milo who’s taken to killing his co-workers and chomping on pediatrist penises (don’t worry, that part makes sense in context). Eventually Milo goes after Duncan’s wife and unborn child which forces Duncan to finally deal with his “little problem” using actions instead of words. In the process Duncan unearths a bit of family history. It’s a secret that’s as humorous as it is horrifying, though I do wish that we got to learn a little more about Milo and his connection to Duncan.
In fact, the relationship between Duncan and Milo doesn’t play out quite like I imagined at all. In truth I expected something more along the lines of Basket Case, but aside from the film’s middle act (and Duncan’s ass) there’s not much that bonds the two together. However, I can appreciate how much the movie played with my expectations and certainly applaud Vaughan’s decision to use puppetry to bring Milo to life. It’s a choice that showcases the director’s appreciation for low budget features like Ghoulies and Critters while helping to establish the film’s absurdly comical tone.
Ultimately the movie boasts a solid script, good direction and a great cast. In lieu of bad CGI “mega-sharks” and uninspired (not to mention highly unnecessary) remakes, Bad Milo will no doubt bring back memories of some classic creature features while clawing its own niche in the genre as the first horror to boldly go where no other horror movie about demons has gone before… straight up a man’s anus.
OVERALL REVIEW: 4/5 – GOOD
BAD MILO will be available on iTunes and Video On Demand August 29th and in theaters October 4, 2013.