CIFF 2013: Bad Milo!

The Calgary Eyeopener's Mario Trono reviews Bad Milo!

Comedy about a man who births a demon after stress gets the better of him

In Bad Milo! a stressed-out man births Milo, a demon who starts to take out the man's "enemies." (Bad Milo/YouTube)

This U.S. comedy stars Ken Marino as Duncan, a man whose typical middle-class troubles — a troll for a boss, a bully for a mother, a hippie for a dad, and a stress factory for a wife — results in him literally birthing a monster who tries to vanquish what it thinks are Duncan’s enemies.

The writers went for quirky characters but don’t seem to know what real quirk is.- Mario Trono

Silly? Yes, but so was 1989’s ingenious satire How to Get Ahead in Advertising, where we saw an unscrupulous ad exec grow a second head that became the voice of his dormant conscience. The bar is set high for any film riffing of that premise today.


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Bad Milo! attempts a similar storyline, as a series of skit-like scenes unfolds between Duncan and his cubicle partner at work, Duncan and his mother’s young lover and Duncan and his boss (who is played by Patrick Warburton). 

His stress mounts until the demon is born. The writers went for quirky characters but don’t seem to know what real quirk is (maybe they should have checked out a Todd Solondz or Wes Anderson film). The middle-age actors are forced to mouth lines written for 20-somethings, so there’s little authentic dialogue here. Little for the eye, little for the ear. 

Film Buzz

Star Ken Marino, who was comic gold on TV’s Burning Love, a spoof of The Bachelor, was excited to bring his comic touch to the odd story.

And then there’s Milo. The rubbery, demon avenger from Duncan’s gut, is part tapeworm, part Alf, part Roswell alien. It’s as pint-sized as Chucky and every bit as stilted in its movements. Cue the poorly choreographed fight scenes and one starts to wonder what the filmmakers were aiming for.

See it or not?

Is Bad Milo! supposed to be kitsch? Parody? A satire of the low-budget horror genre? A critique of middle-class mores? Nope. It’s just a weak comedy.


Mario Trono

Calgary Eyeopener movie reviewer

Mario Trono, a confessed visual culture addict, is a film and art reviewer obsessed with finding interesting things to look at and tell people about. He daylights as a film professor at Mount Royal University. You can follow him on Twitter at @MarioTrono and hear his DVD reviews Friday at 6:50 a.m. MT on the Calgary Eyeopener.


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