Do you love poop and farts, and/or are you a gastroenterologist? If you answered yes to either question (if you answered yes to both questions, God love ya), you’re going to love Bad Milo!, and here’s why! Bad Milo!‘s the latest horror splatter fest from director Jacob Vaughan, and it features all of the scatological jokes you can handle – enough, in fact, to fill a pu pu platter (ooh, that’s a pretty stinky pun). Initial reactions to the film can probably be gauged as follows: “Wow, I love fart jokes!” or “Wow, that movie was idiotic!”, in which case that person is deemed to be a drag and asked not to come back to any movie showings.
Bad Milo! stars Ken Marino as Duncan, a worry-wart who’s been having some stomach turmoil thanks to a lot of stress in his life. He’s trying to deal with his boss Phil (Patrick Warburton), who has practically forced him into laying off a lot of his coworkers, as well as trying to cope with his wife Sarah’s (Gillian Jacobs) desire for a child. To make matters worse, a small polyp was found on a recent ultrasound of Duncan’s stomach, which causes him some more undue stomach churning.
But during a violent outburst in the bathroom one night, Duncan’s insides shift, and he dislodges an alien-like being that runs around the city attacking people Duncan hates. His shrink (Peter Stormare) thinks that this monster living in Duncan’s stomach lining is actually a manifestation of his conscience, and tells Duncan that he’s got to reign his stress in before it kills everyone that’s causing his indigestion. Easier said than done, since every time Duncan gets upset, he literally craps a living organism.
Obviously, Bad Milo! is a film that revels in bad taste. The jokes and the setup, as well as the monster effects, quickly remind of messy horror comedies like Basket Case or Street Trash; it’s the kind of film that wants its characters, and its viewers, to get messy, and instead of throwing out all of the obvious jokes about poop, it simply piles them on like flies flocking to a steaming coil of dog poo.
The film relies on the scatological a little too often; some of the jokes wear out their welcome early in the film and keep reappearing, while areas that could have revolved around different types of comedy aren’t explored. A scene with Duncan’s mother and her significantly younger boyfriend Bobbi (Kumail Nanjiani) shows that Bad Milo! can be funny without resorting to quips about dookie, but the film is reticent to try anything else. It’s funny, but sometimes frustratingly mired in its shit sillies.
Marino carries the film quite well, but Bad Milo! also has a host of other quirky characters. Nanjiani is one of the best, and I always like his ability to improv ridiculous lines (his roles on Portlandia are some of my favorites). Stormare is also animated; he provides most of Duncan’s motivations. It’s nice to see Stephen Root get a part in here as Duncan’s father – he’s always a fun dude to watch, and the office setting certainly made me nostalgic for Office Space. Unfortunately, Jacobs doesn’t get a huge part as Sarah, and there’s no allowance for her to show her comedy chops here.
If you like the raunchy splatter horror comedies of Troma, you’ll most likely get a kick out of Bad Milo! here. Poop jokes are pretty easy to do, but only certain films can make them a staple of the plot. Vaughan’s film does that, but by the end you might get tired of the same style of jokes that keep popping up. Still, Bad Milo! is shitty, in the sense that it’s full of shit, and not a bad movie in any way. Please use that sentence as a blurb.
Thanks to Magnet for providing screener for review.