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Hellish Fragrance

Sometimes horror comedies can reach a point of campiness that is endearing. This was certainly the goal for the director of Bad Milo, and for the most part he succeeds. While the plot has its reliance on moments of disgusting shock gasps, it also never takes itself seriously and focuses on the ridiculousness of the situation as a vehicle for the humor and the metaphor. Without directly pulling from any of these films, think of Bad Milo as a light-hearted, potty-joke-laden version of The Babadook, with some raunchy Gremlins-esque slapstick mixed in.

So our plot revolves around a man whose anxiety manifests into an anal-dwelling butt demon that expels from his chocolate covered starfish to wreak havoc upon those who instigate his stress. The jocularity of this synopsis carries out throughout the entirety of the film, never letting up on its revelry until the credits roll. The film knows what it is and it embraces the hilarity.

Despite its successes in morbid humor, the film can be seen as nothing more than a grotesque dark comedy. Where it excels in gross and wincing laughs, it rarely impresses in heinous scares. Sure, the creature's origins and behavior lead to some horrific moments, but never do these scenes hold any weight or longevity to establish any real sense of dread. Surely this is the point. The film isn't meant to wade through the horror, but merely skim across it. The film set out to walk through the sandbox, but not play in it. Horror is in the structure of the plot, but not the atmosphere. But you can't call this a failure, because it is so clearly on purpose.

It is easy to respect a film that succeeds in the elements it aspires to, but these films are never designed to be held in high esteem. Bad Milo never attempts to achieve sophisticated recognition, but wouldn't mind a cult following of some degree.

It has a calculable level of entertainment, though that entertainment isn't quite horror. Yet, it would be impossible to classify this film in any other realm. I suppose in the same ways that I hold Tucker and Dale vs. Evil in high regard, I am refraining from giving Bad Milo its due. Perhaps that's unfair, or perhaps it is simply the overall quality of the film wasn't on par with that standard. Either way, Bad Milo is worth a watch if for nothing more than a catalyst for macabre conversation.

Horror Qualifier: 6/10

Horror Quality: 4/10

Film Quality: 3/10

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