Director: Jacob Vaughan
Starring: Ken Marino, Gillian Jacobs, Peter Stromare, Patrick Warburton
In the vast array of movies out there “sub-genres” usually don’t make for great movies. Take the comedy/horror sub-genre for a start. ‘Young Frankenstein’ is a great film, which shifts between the two but weighs heavily on the comedy side with little to no horror. ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’ to me at least, makes no sense and isn’t a film I rate, but many would describe it as a comedy/horror movie. For all its ups and downs, it is a pretty diverse sub-genre, but where does our film in question ‘Bad Milo’ land? It’s hard to tell, but despite pitching itself in this sub-genre, it ends up being neither a comedy nor a horror movie.
‘Bad Milo’ is rife with all the blood, guts, and gore you’d expect from a horror movie, but sadly suffers from a measly story. It’s tonally all over the place as well; too dark to be funny, and has too many dumb moments to be a convincing horror movie. They do a poor job at introducing the titular character. Usually monsters have some kind of hidden reason behind them being the way they are or how they were created. With ‘Bad Milo’ its one quick scene in a therapists office which pretty much amounts to “things like Milo have always existed because reasons.” This didn’t sit well with me because it could have, and should have been explained in more depth, giving some kind of backstory like every other movie monster seems to receive. This is essential in building the characters reputation of being something to fear, and without this, it just didn’t work.
The actors I think get the short end of the stick with this movie. Ken Marino is known for doing obscure comedy, that is both off-beat and entertaining, and whilst we get to see a little of his dramatic side here, his character development is pretty rubbish. Gillian Jacobs is severely underutilized; she’s talented in most of the drama and comedy I’ve seen her in previously, yet she only gets about 20 minutes of screen-time in a movie that goes nowhere and doesn’t know what to do with her! Peter Stromare is great at being the oddball characters, and while he excels in this, his dialogue doesn’t do a whole lot for the plot. Patrick Warburton has a great talent for playing the straight man, however his character in this was so one-note, and easy to read that it left nothing interesting about the role.
The way the script under-utilizes characters is its major downfall. It’ll introduce important characters, either too early in the film or too late, and leave you with no reason to care about them. One good example is the Dad, sure it reveals a major plot point, but there’s no reason to care about him, and to some extent there isn’t a reason for the main character to care about him either! The film full of really brief scenes that basically have the characters complain about the past with little to no substance. Sometimes it amounts to ‘you treated me bad,’ and that’s about it.
The clue is in the name, but ‘Bad Milo’ is bad. Its rife with loose story telling, and full of too many subplots that go no where or don’t develop well. Many of the actors are under utilized, and even if you are a fan of any of them, you might still struggle to see the point to them being a part of this film. You could put anyone else in the role and people wouldn’t have noticed! Finally, as a comedy/horror movie there is very little comedy and the horror is really lackluster. Sure it’s super grotesque with plenty of blood and guts, but not much else. The only reason to watch this is for some intense gore, if you’re into that kind of thing, otherwise this is definitely one to skip!