Tuesday, 4 February 2014

BAD MILO - DVD Review By Greg Klymkiw - One of 2013's 10 Best Horror Films Now Available on DVD from VSC

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BAD MILO is one of the funniest, creepiest, goriest comedy horror films of 2013 and it's now available on an extras-packed DVD via VSC (Video Services Corp) in Canada, and now, thanks to a great new multi-picture, multi-platform deal with Magnolia Pictures and its superb specialty arm Magnet Releasing, Canadian fans of this first-rate product will be treated to a myriad of delightful bonbons du cinema. Featuring a genial and, for the most part, info-packed commentary track with writer, director and stars plus a series of genuinely entertaining outtakes, extended scenes, deleted material and, for those so inclined, "making of" featurettes and interviews, this is a genuine must-own DVD - not only for some terrific added value goodies, but best of all, the movie itself. Read on, dear reader. I do believe you'll find plenty of reasons in the prose to follow as to why connoisseurs of delightfully detestable bad taste (in ALL the right ways) will be, uh, crapping themselves with joy, joy, joy!!! BAD MILO is one supremely satisfying cinematic bowel movement.
Bad Milo (2013) ***1/2
Dir. Jacob Vaughan
Starring: Ken Marino, Gillian Jacobs, Peter Stormare, Patrick Warburton, Stephen Root, Mary Kay Place, Kumail Nanjiani, Jonathan Daniel Brown

Review By Greg Klymkiw

Are you fond of scatological humour? Do you find farts, faecal matter and good old fashioned anal action of interest? Do you seek solace in globs of blood and excrement splashing across the screen? Well, hang onto your ass-hats. Bad Milo is the most preposterously priceless gross-out laugh-riot I've seen this year. Furthermore, what is simply inarguable is that this exhilarating, almost rapturous comedy is replete with juicy slabs of exquisitely marbled prime-cut horror, featuring the most odious, stench-ridden, bloodthirsty, flesh-slurping and downright disgusting monster in recent cinema history. That the big-eyed, razor-toothed rectal-cavity-dwelling title creature is also E.T.-Mogwai-cute, is the veritable pièce de résistance of this putridly satisfying vat of raw, untreated sewage. Bad Milo is a glorious non-stop barrage of celluloid wet farts aimed directly at your olfactory senses and leading straight to your funny bone.

At the outset of this crazed cult-classic-in-the-making, screenwriters Benjamin Hayes and Jacob Vaughan plunge us immediately into a terrifying P.O.V. of an angry, growling creature as it chases Ken (Ken Marino), nipping at his heels just before our hero bolts into relative safety and warns his babe-o-licious wife Sarah (Gillian Jacobs) to hide and lock herself in the basement - no matter what happens. As the creature on the other side of the closed door is about to batter its way through, we're zapped back in time as the title cards announce: "123 hours earlier."

A florid aural bleat leads us to a radiologist squirting globs of gelatin on Ken's abdomen to perform an ultrasound. He and Sarah are visiting with a specialist to determine the cause of recent stomach troubles and to see if they're in any way related to Ken's potency issues. The doctor examines the sonogram and asks Ken if he's been under any pressure. Well, aside from the pressure building up in his colon, Ken is rising up the ranks of an accounting corporation under the direct supervision of Phil (Patrick Warburton), a sleazy, loyalty-demanding taskmaster who holds all manner of juicy carrots under the young man's nose to inspire the performance of any number of dubious duties in return for eventual advancement opportunities.

The specialist determines that Ken has a polyp deep inside his poop chute which, he claims, is probably the result of poor stress management. He asks Ken how much time he spends in the bathroom on a daily basis to expunge his faecal matter. Ken responds, “I’m in the bathroom a lot, but it’s not extreme.” The look on Sarah's face says otherwise, so Ken comes clean (so to speak) and admits he averages 90 minutes on the crapper over the course of a day. The specialist utters quite the understatement: "This is hugely concerning."

No matter. The good doctor recommends an Endoscopic polypectomy, an especially horrific experience (to which I can personally attest after a few trips to the appropriately named Rudd Clinic in Toronto) wherein a huge pole is inserted into the anus and a snake-like camera wends its way through the colon until the polyp is spotted and a steel lasso takes hold of the distasteful growth and, in the rather over-zealous specialist's description, "pops it like a plum off a tree."

Ken's job until the procedure is to rest and stay stress-free. This proves easier said than done: things are heating up at work whilst Ken's bowel-movement-and-fertility-obsessed Mom (the legendary Emmy-Award winning Mary Kay Place who portrayed Loretta Haggers on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman) drives him completely nuts. Pressures mount so considerably that Ken's nightly trysts with the matrimonial toilet bowl are so fraught with grunts, groans, screams and noisy expulsions of gas that his beautiful wife goes to bed alone, unsatisfied, but at least able to sleep through the cacophonous bowel movement exertions thanks to the wads of foam plugs she jams deep into her ears.

In desperation, Ken agrees to meet with the unconventional New Age therapist Highsmith (Peter Stormare, unforgettable as Steve Buscemi's laconic, psychopathic partner in crime in the Coen Brothers' Fargo). What's discovered here is Ken's worst nightmare. Actually, it would be anyone's worst nightmare. A rare, ages-old demon has manifested itself directly from Ken's stress and is prime to murder anyone causing undue pressure to our hero. When Ken releases the demon, it's like he's taking a really painful crap, but once it's out, great relief follows.

It doesn't take long for the carnage to begin - punctuated every so often with ultra-extreme rectal activity. Though Ken's poop monster is slowly eradicating everyone causing him stress, the last thing our hero wants is for people to die - especially those who are closest to him.

The laughs come fast and furious, the gore is geyser-like and eventually the film builds to a climax that is as hilarious as it is downright suspenseful. Yet, for all its gross-out qualities, you might be shocked to discover that the writing is as clever as it is disgustingly on (and in) the nose - yes, at its core, the movie is both a love story and a father-son story - with poo, bum and fart gags, of course.

Though co-writer Jacob Vaughn's direction might lack the glorious panache of a Sam Raimi or Brian De Palma, he handles both the comedy and suspense with assurance, impeccable craft and exuberance. Someone also had the good taste to secure and encourage the brilliant music by Ted Masur, who delivers a score that's reminiscent of the work of Pino Donaggio, Angelo Badalamenti and John Carpenter all mashed into a glorious casserole of homage, satire and straight-up scary music styling.

Last, but not least, the design and execution of Milo himself is a thing of unparalleled low-budget beauty and ingenuity. He's a great monster. And yes, he kind of looks like a blob of poo - only with eyes, ears, mouth, teeth and various appendages allowing him to claw, scratch, tear and run like the wind. Like poo, when Milo dives into the comfort of Ken's anus, he's gently reminded, "Be safe in there. Don’t rip anything." When we were first told during the 1978 release of Richard Donner's Superman, "You will believe a man can fly," Bad Milo proclaims: "You will believe that a flesh-eating demon can live comfortably in a man's asshole."

Most importantly, if you ever wanted to see a movie in which the legendary Peter Stormare utters the line: "Maybe your anus is just like a vagina," then I can undoubtedly assure you that Bad Milo is a motion picture that has your name written all over it.