Sunday, 13 October 2013

Bad Milo (2013): Review

Bad Milo is a 2013 horror-comedy film. Directed by Jacob Vaughan and starring Ken Marino (Role Models, Wanderlust) Gillian Jacobs (Community) and Peter Stormare (Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters). The film’s special effects were largely achieved through practical methods.

Bad Milo, as the poster suggests, is about embracing your inner demons, however, the catch is that this particular demon claims residency inside your rectum. This is the dilemma of Duncan (Marino), a nervous 30-something man in a dead end job who is under great pressure from his girlfriend Sarah (Jacobs) to embark on fatherhood and start a family. This causes Duncan a great deal of anxiety, stemming from his own father issues, and unfortunately for Duncan anxiety = Milo, a vicious ass-demon intent on savaging anyone who wrongs his master. The science behind Milo comes courtesy of Peter Stormare’s hilarious hypnotherapist   who explains that the ass-demon is actually an ancient myth and that in order to quell the beast’s taste for blood Duncan must bond with the creature and resolve a few of his own issues along the way.

It’s impossible to review this film without mentioning Frank Henenlotter. Infamous director of schlocky horror-comedies such as the Basket Case trilogy (81-91) and Brain Damage (1988), if Henenlotter invented the body-horror parody and Bad Milo carries on the tradition with gusto. It must be said, however, that for all the schlock and outrageous comedy on show the film's real strength is it's heart. Both the Duncan and Milo characters are sympathetic and easy to like and it genuinely tugged at my heart strings when the pair would come top blows and eventually reconcile.

Refreshingly, the special effects in Bad Milo (or at least the character itself) are all practical. Milo appears to be a pretty simple puppet setup and wisely the makers opted to use Milo's expressive face rather than give the character the power of speech. These effects work brilliantly given the film's knowingly silly tone and when Milo comes face to face with another ass-demon (called Ralph of course) and engages in armed combat it really does make for one of the most entertaining action sequences of the year.

When I first heard about Bad Milo I knew I would love it based on it's Henenlotter tendencies but, of course, this kind of outlandish type of horror comedy isn't going to be for everyone. Personally I didn't stop smiling throughout and had and if you take it as seriously as it's intended then you should have the same experience. One of my favourite films of the year so far and responsible for birthing (albeit anally) a brand new horror icon I would love to see the further adventures of Milo.

***** 5 Stars

What did you think of Bad Milo? Do you find the concept too far fetched?


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