BAD MILO Movie Review
I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for puppet creature movies if they’re well made. The irony of that statement is that I can just about count all the really good ones on my right hand. Jacob Vaughan (writer/director) and Benjamin Hayes (co-writer) had two big obstacles to climb. One was overcoming the odds that I’ve mentioned above and second was the even tougher task of creating the right balance to pull off the horror/comedy genre, which takes serious skill to get right. I must admit that I had my concerns being acquainted with the premise concerning a demon that crawls out of the main character’s anal cavity and unleashes carnivorous mayhem. A setup like that could easily slip into bad Troma movie territory. I let out a breathe of relief as Bad Milo didn’t just go for easy poop jokes but managed to balance horror and humor competently, thanks to inspired casting and a witty screenplay.
Without the right actors this could have easily become a disaster because when you’re dealing with territory this absurd, you really need characters that keep things believable.
Ken Marino has that relatable everyman quality and a gift for slapstick. The situations that his character is required to be in needed restraint to maintain credibility and Ken didn’t have a problem with that task at all. Then there’s
Patrick Warburton playing Ken’s boss in his traditional dead pan style that really suited his character’s sleazy traits. Warburton has this ability to get laughs out of his akward gaze and there’s no exception here.
Peter Stormare loves to play over the top and like in the case of Fargo it works to maximum capacity or in other cases not so much. He’s especially hammy here as the eccentric hypnotherapist but giving the premise I don’t think it was out of place. Last but certainly not least I have to mention Stephen Root who plays the dead beat dad.
Root never disappoints and not only is he an undeniable comedic talent but has the acting chops to steal any scene he shows up in.
The overall plot is straightforward and revealing it will only spoil your fun but fear not, this screenplay was in reliable hands. Jacob Vaughan really pulled the diraction off, managing to maintain a consistent tone of suspense and belly laughs. The creature effects are outstanding and practical, which is quite a big deal these days. Some of the dialogue driven scenes were improvized by the actors and there’s some great outtakes you’ll want to stay for during the closing credits. There’s almost a Judd Apatow like feeling to the way these actors would duel one another with punchlines. Most importantly the title creature had personality and has earned cult icon status. One minute he’s cute as
Gizmo and the next he’s repulsively unsettling. Vaughan and Hayes most certainly deserve credit for originality here and for making one hell of a funny creature feature that can join the great campy company of Critters and Night of the Creeps.