There’s primal satisfaction in the idea of being able to violently purge all of the day’s accumulated stress.
Review by David Feltman
“There is an ancient myth surrounding the anus.”
When one goes into a movie about a wrathful butt demon, one has certain expectations: gore, gross out moments, a raunchy sense of humor. Yet “Bad Milo!” takes an outrageous exploitation premise and fails to either make it hilarious, horrifying or appropriately ridiculous. Like the first “Human Centipede,” the final product is surprisingly tame and only moderately amusing, but never rises above mere novelty.
Ken Marino stars as a man besieged by a sleazy boss, a meddling mother, an aloof father and a serious gastrointestinal problem. Like fellow schlock flick “Basket Case,” Marino soon discovers he can dispatch the stressors in his life, with an anal troll standing in for the conjoined twin. But rather than defecating vengeance, Marino spends most of the runtime attempting to exert control over his fiendish sphincter goblin.
The digital gore effects are distractingly artificial, but amazing puppetry makes up for it. The titular Milo leaps, mauls and emotes with surprising realism. But director Jacob Vaughn always shies away from going over the top. Where a true blue exploitation director may make it a money shot, Vaughn only ever suggests Milo’s entrances through Marino’s exit. The film also gives talented cast members like Gillian Jacobs and Mary Kay Place little to do. Kumail Nanjiani, as Marino‘s oversexed stepfather, scores some solid laughs, but is only granted two or three brief scenes.
In place of solid character development, “Bad Milo!” occupies itself with examining a host of psychological issues like anger management, abandonment issues and parental anxieties, creating a strange mash up of “Oedipus Rex” and “Eraserhead.” There’s primal satisfaction in the idea of being able to violently purge all of the day’s accumulated stress. Sadly, “Bad Milo!” ends up constipated with such promising ideas.