Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Blu-ray Review: BAD MILO! (2013)

BAD MILO! (2013) 
Label: Magnet Releasing
Region: A
Rating: R
Duration: 84 Minutes
Video: 1080p Widescreen (1.85:1)
Audio: English DTS-HD Master 5.1 Audio with Optional English Subtitles
Director: Jacob Vaughn 
Cast: Ken Marino, Gillian Jacob, Peter Stormare, Patrick Warburton, Erik Charles Nielson, Steve Zissis, Toby Huss

At it's heart Bad Milo! is a scatalogical version of David Cronenberg's The Brood (1979) by way of 80's horror comedies Critters (1986) and Basket Case (1982) starring Ken Marino (Role Models) as an average put-upon guy under enormous emotional strain. He has a devoted wife Sarah (Gillian Jacobs) who wants a baby, a manipulative boss (Patrick Warburton, TV's The Tick), an annoying co worker (Erik Charles Nielson, TV's Community) and free-spirited mother (Mary Kay Place, TV's Big Love). All of these elements add to his distress and that stress is manifesting itself as a painful gastrointestinal anomaly which he believes might be an ulcer and what the doc diagnoses as polyps. They're both wrong, the cause of Duncan's gut-churning is a vicious, pint-sized ass monster, a toothsome and clawed monstrosity that carries out Duncan's subconscious desire to hurt those who have done him wrong, it emerges from his clenched-sphincter from time to time killing, the ensuing string of deaths are blamed on a rabid raccoon by the media. 

It's a fun watch with some great comedic moments including a nightmare dinner scenario with Duncan's mother who invites an annoying  fertility specialist (Steve Zissis, Baghead) to speed along the baby-making process for her son while her way-younger husband Bobbi (Kumail Nanjiani, TV's Portlandia) whom makes uncomfortable comments about the size of his cock and the difficulty of squeezing into Duncan's mothers ("just-the-tip Tuesday"), eww. 

The film has a great cast heavy with TV comedy players, plus Peter Stormare Toby Huss (HBO'S Carniv├áleplays a humorous proctologist with a colorful bedside manner ("you've got a trooper in your pooper") and an estranged new age father played by News Radio's Stephen Root who is always a pleasure, it's a tremendous cast.
(The Big Lebowski) as a new age hypnotherapist with a mouthy pet parrot who convinces Duncan he must bond with his deadly inner-turd to curb it's murderous tendencies.  

The creature design of Milo is pretty awesome, a cute and dung-demon that's equal parts wide-eyed Gizmo from Gremlins (1984) and grotesque Belial from Frank Henelotter's Basket Case (1982) rendered onset by puppeteers with very little digital enhancement which gives it a particular 80's feel, loved it. Unfortunately the blood spatter is digital but it's not awful. 

There's not a ton of gore but what there is of it is fun stuff, including a painful penis-shredding, ouch. When Milo initially renters Duncan's sphincter the clawed-creature crawls up the leg towards his anal-nest, that made my leg twitch. 

Bad Milo! is a decent horror-comedy with a quirky heart and a fun premise and a great cast who keep this absurd comedy entertaining. It definitely plays up the comedy more than the horror while dealing with real-world issues of fatherhood fears, abandonment issues and relationships wrapped up in toilet humor, fun stuff.

Blu-ray: Magnet give Bad Milo! a very nice 1080p widescreen presentation with an active DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track with a nice set of extras. My only beef with the release would be that they opted not to use the theatrical poster and went with a generic photo shopped cover.

Special Features:
- Audio Commentary with Ken Marino, Gillian Jacobs, Director Jacob Vaughn and Writer Benjamin Hayes
- Trailer (2:10) HD
- Magnet Trailers (9:08) for Last Days on Mars, How I Live Now, Best man Down, Mr. Nobody HD 
- Extended Outtakes (7:40) HD
- Extended Dinner Scene (7:01) HD
- Deleted Scene: Veterinarian (1:20) HD
- Behind Milo: The Puppeteers! (1:33) HD
- Behind Milo: Raw Take (1:04) HD
- Interview with Ken Marino  (9:49) HD
- AXS TV: A Look at Bad Milo (3:03)

Verdict: At the end of the day Bad Milo! is a fun weekend watch. I'd highly recommend this to fans of Deadly Spawn (1983), Brain Damage (1988), Ghoulies (1985) and Critters (1986). A b-movie horror-comedy with heart, that's not particularly clever but pretty darn entertaining. 3.5 Outta 5