Just when you thought you’ve seen everything, here’s a jaw-droppingly absurd horror comedy with Ken Marino (MTV’s The State, Wet Hot American Summer) starring as Ken, a stressed out accountant prone to severe stomach issues. During the opening credits of the film, we take a visual ride down his throat and through his digestive track before jumping back an incredibly specific 123 hours in time to tell his story.
His wife, Sarah (Community’s Gillian Jacobs), accompanies him to have his pain diagnosed and determine the source of his troubles. His doctor not-so-professionally exclaims “you’ve got a trooper in your pooper” and blames it on poor stress management. After being told that he has to keep his stress levels to a bare minimum, everything that happens in Ken’s life from that point on transpires to make that an impossible task.
He’s asked by his boss, Phil (Seinfeld’s Patrick Warburton), to transition over to human resources to terminate several of his co-workers. After all, Ken is a likable guy who will make the news easier to digest. This only adds to his daily distress and pushes him to a breaking point where he ends up spending several hours a day sitting on the toilet in sheer agony while Sarah puts in earplugs and drifts off to blissful sleep.
Of course, if you’ve heard anything at all about the film, you may already know that Ken’s stomach issues are actually being caused by a demon. That lives in his ass. Affectionally named Milo, this little monster looks like an extreme mash-up of E.T. with a piranha. As a physical manifestation of his stress and anger, Milo emerges and is eager to attack anybody who is making Ken’s life hell. Marino goes for broke and offers a more believably exasperated performance than the material could ever have presented in writing.
Ass monsters are not a common species explored in cinema history, but Milo is presented on-screen with traditional puppetry and practical effects instead of with CGI enhancements. This gives the film a retro feel that would not make it seem out of line in the company of straight-to-video horror fare from companies like Troma and Full Moon Features.
It can be difficult to maintain the proper tone in a horror comedy, but the cast does a commendable job here. All of the actors, especially the terrifically talented Mary Kay Place, treat this genuinely ridiculous premise as though it’s dead serious and the film is better off for it. This is toilet humor to the extreme, and it’s sure to become a cult classic. Bad Milo! is a film with incredibly niche appeal, but it may strike a nostalgic note for those of you who often picked what movie you were going to rent out of the horror section of the video store based solely on the artwork.
Director: Jacob Vaughan
Writer: Jacob Vaughan, Benjamin Hayes
Starring: Ken Marino, Gillian Jacobs, Mary Kay Place
Release Date: Oct. 4, 2013