The October Diaries: Bad Milo!

Illustration by Max Brown
Blurbs by Jesse, Sean & Christof

October 9th, 2015:
Bad Milo!

Year: 2013
Director: Jacob Vaughan
Format: Netflix
From IMDB: A horror comedy centered on a guy who learns that his unusual stomach problems are being caused by a demon living in his intestines.
Tagline: Embrace your inner demon.


Jesse’s Take:

What I liked:

First of all. I didn’t like, but I LOVED seeing all the practical effects. This is simply not happening enough anymore, I and I just don’t see why.

Ken Marino’s portrayal of someone with brutal gastronomical distress is 100 percent accurate, there were scenes where he was on the toilet making horrific faces and squirming around all rigidly, you might think that is playing it up for comic effect, but for those who have dealt with the worst of the worst down there, he got it right.

Kumail Nanjiani, I can’t get enough of this guy, and I loved him in this flick. Same goes for Stephen Root, who always brings it, no matter the part.

I liked the POV shots of Bad Milo and how sweet some of the scenes between him and Marino were.

What I didn’t like:

Gillian Jacobs was not given enough to do here, she is a STRONG comedic voice and really could have brought a lot to the table, so it was a shame to see her somewhat sidelined.

Early on the doctors think he has a polyp of the colon, this wasn’t the right choice, as it is a largely asymptomatic condition, so for me that just didn’t fly.

Final Thoughts:

I’m sure that I related to this movie more than anyone else in the living room. It was about a guy super stressed out because of the job he can’t stand, and ends up developing apparent gastronomical issues because of it. So for me, it was a horror, that while I found myself constantly laughing, hit way way too close to home, and made me cringe in ways that other people may just not get.


Christof’s Take:

What I Liked:

Ken Marino in a leading role might be my favorite thing about this movie. I love seeing this guy work.

Practical effects! A legitimate creature feature! If anyone actually reads these things, they might be sick of all the Anti-CGI propaganda. Just so you know: I’m fucking sick of writing it. That’s why this particular horror-comedy is an extra-special treat. It’s comforting that a movie with this degree of practical effects work was made only two years ago. That little butt-demon looks more real and interesting than any of the dino-ditties in the immensely-more-expensive Jurassic World. 

I enjoyed how the writing tried recontextualizing toilet humor into literature. And it’s always a pleasure to see another bizarre shadow self running amok. Very pleased to see Ken Marino being tender with his Stinky Butt Monster Shadow Self while trying to bond with it. We haven’t seen a lot of that this month. 

It put forth an earnest attempt to do justice to both comedy and horror, even if the latter’s far lighter.

What I Didn’t Like:

I’m not saying this movie is perfect, but what ever I didn’t like about it did not seem leave an impression deep enough for me to be eager or able to name it.

Final Thoughts:

It feels comfy, like watching an episode of The Twilight Zone if that episode of The Twilight Zone was really gassy.


Sean’s Take:

What I liked:

Ken Marino. I can’t recall a performance where he’s burned me. Even the most revered actors of our generation offer what amounts to a cinematic clunk every now and then. But not Marino. Even in lesser work, often in supporting roles, he finds a way to be the star of his scene (and sometimes the movie).

Marino’s role, and this movie as a whole, felt like they were precariously balanced on the edge of enjoyability. I did enjoy myself, quite a bit, but a lesser actor would have tilted the scales on this one. Marino has to be in agony for a majority of the movie, and actors playing agony can oftentimes come across as abrasive. Marino has his comic timing to fall back on and, when he does, it alleviates the false-drama of the moment and reminds you this movie is about a monster that comes out of a man’s butt.

The cast was filled with actors who were clearly bringing it, despite the base-level superficiality of the premise (including Kumail Nanjiani, Mary Kay Place, Patrick Warburton, Stephen Root, Peter Stormare and fucking Toby Huss — Artie from The Adventures of Pete and Pete).

Having previously written and directed a feature film (with Christof) where a character’s existential angst/anxieties manifest as a stomach ailment monster (2007’s underrated “says my mom” masterpiece —  The Disgusting Little Shiver) I could easily relate to the themes of body horror (gut problems) gradually turning into real horror (murder problems). A lifetime of acid reflux and stomach ailments will give added poignancy to even your siller G.I. monster movies.

Marino’s affection toward his monstrous Milo is reminiscent of Anthony Hopkin’s love for his ventriloquist dummy and it’s played with the same odd-drama that would have made Frank Henenlotter grin.

What I didn’t like:

The production value had polish, but it didn’t feel like had vision. Didn’t distract from my viewing, but the lighting and cinematography seemed to be aiming for the comedy end of the spectrum while the script could’ve used a grander sense of cinematic world-building and dread.

Final thoughts:

We avoided this one last year, having not heard enough positive things to take the the bait. This year, we finally bit and it was well worth it. A horror comedy came at the right time of the month for us as well, this one acted as a tonal counterpart to the more creepshow mood stylings of Berberian Sound Studio from the night before.




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