Toronto After Dark Spotlight – Bad Milo (2013) – Jacob Vaughan

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The Toronto After Dark film festival is one of my favorite film festivals that Sue and I cover, the films cater to the dark, the scary, the weird, and the undeniably fun.

Festival creator Adam Lopez and his crew are gearing up for the 2013 festival in October, but wanted to spotlight some highly enjoyable films over the course of two nights, one in August, and one in September.

The first of those screenings happened August 29th with a double feature…

And this was the one I thought was going to be the tough one to get through.

Bad Milo is a horror-comedy throwback to the 80s, though with the 21st century’s take on humor that almost nothing is taboo.

Jacob Vaughan has crafted a film that under all the fecal material that must cover Milo, has a lot of heart, and deals with the ideas of fatherhood, being a good parent, and letting go of stress.

Ken (Ken Marino) is a hard-working guy with a lovely gal by his side, Sarah (Gillian Jacobs). Sarah is eager to have a child, but the stress and upheaval at Ken’s office, overseen by Phil (Patrick Warburton) is adding tons of undue stress on Ken’s life. Not to mention his mother (Mary Kay Place) and her younger lover (Kumail Nanjiani), and the abondment issues he has around his own father (Stephen Root)…

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So much so that it seems he’s developed a polyp in his rectum. Everyone advises him to relax, including hypnotherapist Highsmith (a scene stealing performance by Peter Stormare).

Saying and doing are two separate things though, and the stress pushes Ken’s gastro-intestinal problems to the limit, and releases his inner demon, literally, who violently removes the troubling factors in Ken’s life, though people seem to think the deaths are caused by a rabid raccoon, until Sarah herself may be the next target…

The best part about this film, including the surprisingly funny dialogue, is the fact that Vaughan eschews the idea of using CG for Milo and goes old-school, making him an animatronic puppet, giving Milo a reality that just adds humor to the situation.

Yes, the subject matter can seem to be a little much, I mean, starting with the opener, we’re going to see a movie about a guy who has a demon in his ass, how would you react?

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But the Toronto After Dark crowd loved it, the film was filled with laughter and applause, and it entertained them completely. Sue and I wandered out of the film already swapping lines of dialogue, and when that happens, it definitely means we had a great time. This one was a real surprise, it’s just too bad that considering the subject matter, or rather Milo’s residence, that some people won’t see it.

I was stunned by how much I liked it, because even the trailer doesn’t do it justice. If you can get past the idea of where the demon comes from, and enjoy the occasional literal toilet humor, then this blood-soaked horror-comedy may just be right up your alley (I could have said up your something else there, but I didn’t :D).

What did you think of it?

The next Toronto After Dark spotlight is September 26th, check it out here! 

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