Bad Milo is an body-horror comedy that riffs on the classic creature features of the 1980s. Ken Marino plays Duncan, a stressed-out accountant who grows a creature deep inside his bowls. When the creature is unleashed it begins to murder those who have made Duncan’s life a misery.
Director Jacob Vaughn doesn’t even try to play this serious. Bad Milo is like a feature length pilot for a twisted sitcom, or a comedy skit that outstays its welcome by being stretched to 90 minutes. This a bit of a backhanded compliment as Vaughn’s film never feels like it’s essential viewing. Some of the humour hits the mark and some of it doesn’t, while there’s no horror, despite ample opportunity. This could have gone into dark Cronenbergian territory, but Vaughn doesn’t seem to have the guts to go there. This is all very placid, despite the grotesque core concept. Why even go there in the first place if you’re not going to commit to the possibilities?
Technically the film looks fine, but again the bright palette makes everything feel lightweight. Cinematographer James Laxton gives everything a sheen that makes you know that there’s not going to be anything dark or dangerous appearing on screen. There’s nothing lurking in the shadows, or waiting to feed into your nightmares.
Bad Milo is a missed opportunity. It’s not funny enough to work as a rewatchable comedy, while it never mines the dark and horrific territory of the premise. What we’re left with is a film with a few sanitised toilet jokes and a rubber monster that fails to match the iconic Slimer from Ghostbusters – a thirty year old film that knew how to balance comedy and horror. Having said that, someone somewhere may be entertained by this; even if it’s just to figure out what the hell is going on with Patrick Warburton’s hair.