×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Film Review: ‘Milo’

Yet another attempt to blend gross-out humor, bloody mayhem and monster thriller cliches into a hodge-podge sufficiently appealing to achieve cult status, “Milo” seems ready-made to serve as homescreen entertainment for rowdy fratboys and undiscriminating genre geeks. Magnet Releasing, which picked up this over-the-top mashup shortly after its world premiere at SXSW, doubtless hopes for at least some theatrical action. But it’s questionable whether there’s much of an aud outside of fests and what remains of the midnight-movie circuit for a pic about a guy plagued by a bloodthirsty demon that uses his colon as a condo. 

Credit Ken Marino for remaining as fearless and shameless as the material requires while playing the lead role of Duncan Hayslip, an overworked financial advisor who discovers the cause of his chronic gastrointestinal distress is a toothy, creepy creature that resembles the love child of E.T. and a piranha.

The revelation comes at what might seem like an inconvenient time for Duncan, who’s already stressed out by his new workplace responsibilities — in addition to handling accounts, he’s overseeing management-mandated layoffs — and the none-too-subtle pressures brought to bear by his oppressive mom (Mary Kay Place), who wants to know why he and his lovely wife (Gillian Jacobs) haven’t yet provided her with grandchildren.

On the other hand, as Duncan learns, having a murderous demon occasionally depart from your butt and feast on troublemakers — like an overbearing, embezzling boss (Patrick Warburton), or a clumsily destructive co-worker (Eric Charles Nielsen) — may not be an entirely unwelcome development.

Predictably, the various departures and returns of the demon (nicknamed Milo by his, ahem, host) trigger quite a few bouts of volcanic elimination. As a result, Marino spends a lengthy swath of screentime wearing a shirt intended to appear flecked with human waste.

Some viewers will cackle at this running gag. Others simply will gag. Many scenes in “Milo” are bound to elicit similarly disparate responses.

Working from an anything-goes screenplay he co-wrote with Benjamin Hayes, helmer Jacob Vaughan also bids for laughs with spewing geysers of blood each time Milo munches on a supporting character, and cartoonish performances that suggest Vaughan told his actors to dial it up to 11, and then show him what 12 looks like.

Two of the most valuable overplayers are Peter Stormare as Duncan’s eccentric psychiatrist, who’s fortuitously well-versed in “ass demon” lore, and Stephen Root as the protagonist’s long-estranged (and justifiably so) father. But Kumal Najiani turns out to be the stealthiest scene-stealer as the conspicuously younger new husband of Duncan’s mother, who purrs like a happy cougar whenever her boy-toy says something inappropriately explicit about their sex life.

Special effects and other production values are passable, which certainly represents a marked improvement over the ’80s B-movies and direct-to-vid features that obviously inspired the pic.

Milo

Reviewed at SXSW Film Festival (Narrative Spotlight), March 15, 2013. Running time: 83 MIN.

A Magnet Releasing release of a New Artists Alliance production in association with Floren Shieh Prods. and Duplass Brothers Prods. Produced by Adele Romanski, John Suits, Gabriel Cowan. Executive producers, Mark Duplass, Jay Duplass, John Norris, Clay Floren, Aimee Shieh, Kerry Johnson, Dallas Sonnier, Jack Heller.

Directed by Jacob Vaughan. Screenplay, Benjamin Hayes, Jacob Vaughan. Camera (color), James Laxton; editor, David Nordstrom; music, Ted Masur; production designer, Lindsey Moran; set decorator, Robert Martin; costume designer, Anthony Tran; sound, John Maynard; creature designer, Aaron Sims; creatures and special makeup effects, Fractured FX; assistant directors, Jonathan Southard, Cory Johnson.

With: Ken Marino, Gillian Jacobs, Peter Stormare, Stephen Root, Patrick Warburton, Mary Kay Place, Kumal Najiani, Toby Huss, Steve Zissis, Eric Charles Nielsen.

Popular on Variety

Film Review: 'Milo'

More Film

  • Rey (Daisy Ridley) in STAR WARS:

    Disney and Tencent to Put Out New Chinese ‘Star Wars’ Story

    Disney and China’s biggest online publisher, Tencent’s China Literature, have teamed up to develop a new Chinese “Star Wars” online novel and release 40 older e-books in Chinese for the first time. In an attempt to cultivate grass-roots enthusiasm for a franchise that has not yet managed to find a strong foothold in the world’s [...]

  • A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon

    Film Review: 'A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon'

    No asteroids are hurtling toward Earth in “A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon,” though a flying frozen pizza does softly slice the top off an elderly shopper’s hairdo: That’s roughly the level of quirky peril we’re talking about in the latest outing from Aardman Animations, and as usual, the British stop-motion masters cheerfully prove that [...]

  • Slam

    Film Review: ‘Slam’

    The disappearance of a fearless female Palestinian-Australian slam poet triggers suspense and powerful social and political commentary in “Slam,” an outstanding slow-burn thriller by expat Indian filmmaker Partho Sen-Gupta (“Sunrise”). Starring Palestinian actor Adam Bakri (“Omar,” “Official Secrets”) as the missing woman’s conflicted brother, and leading Aussie performer Rachael Blake as a troubled cop, Opening [...]

  • Igo Kantor

    Igo Kantor, Producer and Post-Production Executive, Dies at 89

    Igo Kantor, whose Hollywood career took him from Howard Hughes’ projection room to supervising post-production on “Easy Rider” and producing B-movies like “Kingdom of the Spiders” and “Mutant,” died Oct. 15. He was 89. Kantor, who was born in Vienna and raised in Lisbon, met “Dillinger” director Max Nosseck on the ship to New York. [...]

  • The Lion King

    Average Movie Ticket Price Falls 4% in Third Quarter of 2019

    Average ticket prices for the third quarter have dropped 4% to $8.93, down from Q2’s $9.26, the National Association of Theatre Owners announced today. However, compared with the third quarter of 2018, ticket price has risen 1.1% from $8.83. The summer box office is down 2.13% from 2018, though the third quarter box office is [...]

  • Tilda Swinton to Preside Over The

    Tilda Swinton to Preside Over Marrakech Film Festival

    Tilda Swinton, the iconoclastic British actress and producer, is set to preside over the 18th edition of the Marrakech International Film Festival, succeeding to American director James Gray. Swinton, who won an Oscar and a BAFTA award for best supporting actress for “Michael Clayton,” has been leading an eclectic acting career. She has collaborated with [...]

  • The King Netflix

    Middleburg Film Festival Brings Hollywood to Virginia

    For the last seven years, audiences have flocked to the Middleburg Film Festival. Running October 17th – 21st, and situated in the wine-country hills of historic Middleburg, Virg., the festival usually highlights some of the year’s buzziest titles, and 2019 is no exception. “We’re a smaller festival with fewer overall screenings than other events, so we [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content