After first hearing about it back at the end of 2012, I have finally got to see the truly bizarre Bad Milo!. I don’t know about you, but I feel that in recent years genre films have lost their way somewhat; more specifically genre films with monsters have become dime-a-dozen. It seems that lately they are aiming to be intentionally bad as they try to pass themselves off as a ‘so-bad-its-good’ type of feature.
It also seems that ‘bad’ sells, as more and more people want to watch these laughable features. Yet they are, at least in my opinion, actively missing something that made the creature films post-Jaws so enjoyable – charm (yes i’m looking at you Sharknado). When I first heard of Bad Milo! I was genuinely intrigued to see how the concept would play out; admittedly I was a little sceptical as well, could this actually be a remedy to all this charmless trash?
At the time of writing this I have just finished watching Bad Milo! and I can honestly say it exceeded my expectations – something that doesn’t tend to happen often (if at all). I don’t think I have intentionally laughed this hard at a film since, well, I actually can’t remember when I have done in the last few years. What is also interesting as well is the handful of moments where it genuinely surprised me.
For starters it has a twisted and unique idea as stress-head Duncan (Ken Marino) soon finds out his anal polyp is in fact, a vengeful demon living in his intestine. You see Duncan has bottled up all of his anxieties and emotions for so long they have formed themselves into a butt demon, one that goes around killing people who stress Duncan out. After his psychologist (Peter Stormare on cracking form) finds out about said demon, he believes that Duncan should bond with it (as its effectively part of him). Thus a rocky relationship is born between Duncan and his murderous anal friend Milo.
I mentioned charm earlier in this piece and I truly believe that if a monster film (no matter how gory or violent) has a dose of charm, it can transcend passable viewing into recommended viewing. Bad Milo! is one such film; a lovingly crafted creature feature with charm, wit, surprises and sincerity with a dose of gore thrown in for good measure. Ken Marino as Duncan comes off as the type of guy you’d want to have a beer with and avoids the tired genre clichés of what a loser or downtrodden guy should adhere to. He’s a genuinely nice guy who just isn’t very good at handling stress; I think a lot of us can relate to that.
Then there are the creature effects of Milo which where a breath of fresh air in this CGI-filled climate. Its clear to see that Milo is a practical effect and because of that (once the more emotional scenes hit) you really do care for Milo. The practicality also lends it a certain 80s creature feature charm that most other films of this ilk tend to miss by a long shot.
Even each of the times when Milo attacks his hapless victims, director Jacob Vaughn still manages to inject a sense of fun as well as belly laughs into each one. I honestly don’t think I can say anymore about the actual film for fear of spoiling it for those who wish to see it.
When I finished Bad Milo! I just wanted to run and tell everyone just how good a film it actually turned out to be – I don’t think it bored me once (again that’s another rare achievement with modern horror). At the end of the day it feels fresh, unique and is downright funny – I think you’ll be hard pressed to find another film about an arse-dwelling demon that’ll tug your heartstrings as well as your gag reflex; Milo you are anything but bad in my book! (yes that was deliberately cheesy).