Review: 'Bad Milo!'

By: Heather Seebach

 This is the second horror-comedy of 2013 to star The State alumni but this one could not be more different from Hell Baby. Rather than spoof any particular horror film or subgenre, Bad Milo! aims to be a romantic comedy...about an ass demon. It's silly and crude, but also surprisingly cute.

Ken Marino stars as Duncan, an investment firm drone with a stress-induced gastrointestinal problem. His job sucks, his boss is an asshole, and his wife and mother are pushing for a baby. With the help of a hypnotherapist (Peter Stormare), Duncan soon gets to the source of his abdominal pain - a rectal demon that emerges to kill and eat all who upset Duncan. If he is to control the little demon, he must bond with it and learn to keep his stress in-check.

Needless to say, Bad Milo! is riddled with poop jokes - hell, even the title's initials (B.M.) are a potty joke (unintentionally, I presume). What elevates it, however, is the amount of sincerity and sweetness. Firstly, Milo the butt demon is ridiculously cute. Some seriously talented puppeteers bring this little guy to life and in doing so capture the kind of sweet, emotive face rarely seen on a creature since Gizmo in Gremlins. Secondly, the bigger story of Duncan coping with the prospect of fatherhood, and his own warped relationship with his dad, give the film some surprising depth.

It's gory at times, but the movie is definitely more comedy than horror. Still, horror fans ought to appreciate the practical effects. As a comedy, Bad Milo! is ultimately not as funny as I had hoped, given its fantastic cast that also includes Gillian Jacobs, Patrick Warburton, and Stephen Root. Still, Marino's performance is genuine, Milo is adorable, and I was constantly impressed with the puppeteers' work. It's a charming movie that recalls the bygone little-monster trend of the 80s (Critters, Ghoulies, etc).

Bad Milo! is now available on DVD and Blu-ray. Special features include outtakes, extended and deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes featurettes (including one on the puppeteers), and commentary with Marino, Jacobs, director Jacob Vaughan, and writer Benjamin Hayes. You can pick up a copy of the Blu-ray here. 

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