Bad Milo

While there have been some very successful gross out monster movies that inspire the imagination while at the same time turning the stomach (see all the amazing work of Frank Henenlotter!), it is admittedly a tough genre to make work. It takes a tightrope balance of cheese, humor, drama and a cult classic tone to make the inane seem somewhat sane. Unfortunately with the potty humor heavy flick “Bad Milo!” there is such an uneven flow of all of the above that it feels like a film with serious identity issues.

Duncan is a man who doesn’t handle stress well. Whether it’s at work in the form of his passive aggressive boss, being pressured by his mom and wife to have children or dealing with his mom’s new sex-starved boyfriend, things just seem to go from bad to worse. So Duncan enlists the help of a therapist who makes him confront his stress and ongoing intestine problems – face to face.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the pain Duncan is facing is being caused by a poop demon – hence the title of this offbeat outing. Problem here is that what could have been a real B-movie to remember feels like a ship with no one at the helm. Meaning there are only spurts of humor (mostly in the thankless work of hypno-guru Peter Stormare – the only beacon of light in this mess!) mixed with drama and inner reflection, which seems odd in a flick about a monster that exits the anus. Not to mention the fact that the uninspired Milo looks like a deranged version of the alien from “Mac and Me” – a sad sock puppet with serious dental issues. Essentially co-writer and director Jacob Vaughan misses an opportunity here to really make his excrement-ridden alien a source of fear and fun and the film instead becomes an allegory on how to deal with problems in life. (Is this a flick about a butt creature or an afterschool special?!) And what’s most disappointing is not the work of lead man Ken Marino (who has about as much screen presence and comedic ability here as a gnat!), but the wasted supporting cast under Vaughan’s wing. It truly takes talent to make normally hilarious folks like Patrick Warburton and Stephen Root look unfunny.

So on the end what is “Bad Milo?” A sinful comedy? A poignant tale of a man struggling with inner demons? Or perhaps just a gross out flick designed to have the audience heave up their concession items? It’s sadly a dim and low-end mix all of the above and makes for one crappy time at the movies.