Horror Movies

BAD MILO! Pleasant body horror/comedy

This very private world can become a field for both drama and comedy.

Tomasz Bot

18 July 2023

What happens between our butts and the toilet is usually overlooked by cinema. And even if this matter is highlighted (vide: Dumb and Dumber, the scene in the toilet, or Pulp Fiction – Travolta and his fatal reading on the toilet), the issue of excretion appears at most as an episode. There are also exceptions, but they are rare – for example, Man-penknife, open to the floweriness of corporeality. The creators of Milo – with a much smaller budget – also decided to remind the world that we not only have butts, but also use them quite often. And that this very private world can become a field for both drama and comedy.

Duncan has a job at a big company and a wife who loves him. She wants a child, he still hesitates. For now, the man has to make redundancies at the request of his boss, and he is also suffering from digestive problems. The gastroenterologist points to the polyp as the culprit. But Duncan has another inhabitant inside him. This is Milo – a small, nervous creature. And it leaves the man’s body (a painful process similar to childbirth) whenever he becomes seriously upset. Milo kills all living stressors. So Duncan has to save himself – either he and the therapist will stop the creature, or his life will turn into a slaughterhouse.

Apparently, the creators of the film were inspired by the cinema of David Cronenberg. Apparently, the stimulus for the creation of Milo was the observation of one of the future creators that in no film did a monster come out of anyone’s ass. Already with the script ready, they decided to fill the niche, being aware that they are not creating a blockbuster like Fast and the Furious. However, it turned out that the project quickly finds sponsors enthusiastic about the unusual concept. And I have to admit that it turned out better than with many productions following a “crazy” idea. This is because the cinema is much more professional and engaging than the Gingerdead man discussed in this section or films about murderous condoms or bloodthirsty water pipes. It’s definitely not a movie to be flushed down the toilet of oblivion.

Milo is a simple butt-pussy story. About what we do to ourselves when we hold our anger and frustration. It’s a story about how our fears will eventually catch up with us and make us ow – unless we face them. Duncan is a man overwhelmed by everyday life, unsure of his needs and unable to articulate them directly. Milo’s arrival forces him to reevaluate his life.

The creation of the title character is the greatest asset of this production. The handmade model arouses our keen interest. He is menacing when he bares his sharp teeth and ruthlessly eliminates victims after another. He can be cute when he falls asleep next to Duncan, purring and rolling his big black eyes (they were only created by the computer, but it doesn’t offend or spoil the good impression). Milo doesn’t look like a cheap mock-up. He lives, breathes, has moods, and the final parts of the picture prove that it can also move us. If you watch a movie, it’s for him. The acting isn’t great in this production. All the supporting characters manage somehow – only that much and that much. Things are a bit better with the performer of the role of Duncan. We have sympathy for a man whose anus hides murderous forces, which, moreover, squeeze through the infamous hole in a way that is not easy for the carrier. The actor also spares no sweat and tears in the scenes on the toilet; in a word, he finds himself in the convention of body horror. In Milo, Peter Stormare is doing well – a recognized performer who has graced productions of various quality with his episodes for years; a guy discovered by Ingmar Bergman who is now chasing a monster coming out of someone’s ass. And it’s good, since he clearly plays with his presence on the set, adding flavor to this even nice story.

It’s a mid-budget film with decent cinematography, mediocre music, and so-so set design. But that’s nothing, because the creators wanted to revive the spirit of older cinema with hand-made monsters. They cite the iconic Gremlins as a reference point. The director also wanted to face his own demons – he has been suffering from abdominal pain for years. And he did it in a light style, which is neither too vulgar nor tiresome in its physicality.

It turned out to be a pleasant body horror broken by comedy. A creation that will not scare anyone, but gives the opportunity to penetrate deeply into the character’s interior – we will watch both the gastroscopy and the therapeutic process. Both treated with a pinch of salt, although the main idea of the painting – take care of yourself, otherwise life will be unbearable – resounds quite clearly here.