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DVD review: 'Bad Milo'

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'Bad Milo'

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Every week, movies are released straight to DVD and quickly forgotten about. Most of them feature washed-up old action stars, hastily-assembled children's subject matter, and/or not-yet discovered talent.

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Occasionally, you'll get some established talent that is still at the height of their powers who want to try something different in a low-stakes environment.

One such example of this is 'Bad Milo.'

Duncan (Ken Marino) is an overworked accountant who is under a lot of stressed, walked on by nearly everyone and whose girlfriend Sarah (Gillian Jacobs) wants a baby. On top of all this, he has a persistent pain in his stomach. Eventually, this manifests itself, in times of great aggravation, as a small monster that crawls out of his hindquarters and goes on a killing spree before returning 'home.'

With lives at stake, Duncan turns to a therapist (Peter Stormare) for advice on how to manage his stress and to prevent 'Milo' from escaping.

If you're going by the plot synopsis, this sounds like a really dumb movie. By most definitions, it certainly is. Such base subject matter makes the instances of clever comedy all the more surprising. It’s clearly a movie that was made by intelligent people who wanted to tell a story that dealt with a man who loses control of his id. Any psychological theorizing is quickly glossed over and are only explained to serve the narrative and to slightly justify the occurrence.

The violence and crude humor are clearly going to limit the number of people who will connect with this on a comedic level. It has the makings of finding a nice cult audience as it balances and does both the horror and comedy angles rather well (though things never get truly scary).

The involvement of the Duplass brothers (as producers) is a little surprising given their microbudget mumblecore roots. They seem to have been transitioning into more mainstream cinema since 'Everything Must Go'. This looks really nice and is a far cry from handheld video camera style of yesteryear.

Marino is perfect and while Jacobs doesn't have too much to do early on, she is fine. Root and Warburton seem to be having a lot of fun and Stormare brings a nice creepy, yet helpful, intensity to his character.

Special features include: outtakes, a look at the puppeteers, an interview and commentary.

'Bad Milo' is a surprisingly effective relatively low-budget creature horror/comedy. In some ways, you could be reminded of 'Gremlins', 'Critters', 'Ghoulies', 'Basket Case' and maybe even 'E.T.'.

This won't have the staying power, reputation or replay value of the above-mentioned films but if you have low enough expectations and aren't turned off by the premise, then you could be in for a fun ride.

Rated R 84 minutes 2014

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