Movie review: “Bad Milo” goes for the toilet humor

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From the October 10, 2013 edition

If you see only one movie about an ass demon this week, make it “Bad Milo.”

For a horror-comedy that obviously goes out of its way to outrage, it’s fitfully funny and fairly demented, if not quite the instant midnight classic it could have been.

Duncan (Ken Marino) is stressed out from all directions. He just got a promotion at work that comes with a shared “office” located in a restroom. His family is pressuring him to get his wife (Gillian Jacobs) pregnant. And he’s got a mysterious stomach ailment that turns out to be a creature living in his butthole.

Duncan dubs the creature Milo, and with some help from a therapist (Peter Stormare), he learns to control his stress and keep the violent critter happily in his pants.

So, yeah, this isn’t high-brow comedy. It’s literal toilet humor. And when it works, it’s a lot of fun, albeit the kind that calls for a few beers before viewing. Director Jacob Vaughan knows that audience and plays to it.

Marino, a know-him-when-you-see-him actor who got his start on “The State,” is a solid comedic anchor. “Bad Milo” isn’t a laugh-a-minute riot, but it’s steadier than the recent demon-baby comedy from “State” alums Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon. If you’ve seen Marino on TV shows like “Party Down” and “Childrens Hospital,” you know how funny he can be.

Jacobs, on the other hand, is underutilized on the comedic side, although she does add some weight to the more poignant side of things — which is saying something in a movie about a butt demon.

Having more fun and getting more laughs is Stormare, whom you may know from “Fargo,” as a wacked-out quack of a shrink.

“Bad Milo” isn’t as laugh-filled or even as outrageous as its premise might suggest, but if this sounds like your thing, it’s worth a shot.