Duncan is an average guy who works at an average office job. But he starts to get pains in his stomach whenever he feels stressed out. Things get worse every time he tries to just hide his stress, by burying it inside. It all comes to a head when that "stress" is turned in to an actual little beast that exits his body via his butt and takes revenge on the things that stress him out. But it soon starts to threaten the one thing he loves, his wife. Written by
Michael Hallows Eve
Not particularly funny or frightening, but better than expected
"Bad Milo" could easily have veered into a repulsive display of scatological humor, but instead maintained a fairly restrained tenor throughout. There have been numerous stories about evil doppelgängers, the most famous of which is undoubtedly "The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde." There have also been movies where the doppelgänger was apparently the personification of the male sex drive, as with "Bad Johnson," which I haven't actually seen. Giving the inner demon the appearance of some giant anthropomorphic turd with moray eel teeth, that resides in the protagonist's colon and escapes through his rectum, was a bold choice that presents some comic potential, but undoubtedly alienated many potential and actual viewers.
The dramatic question here is how should one confront/acknowledge/manage ones inner demons. We all occasionally respond to people and situations with anger, jealousy and other ignoble sentiments. Should we keep these bad feelings inside, possibly engendering inner conflicts, or should we vent them and confront them candidly, or should we try to find some unrelated activity that allows us to vent our frustrations without involving those who are the proximate source?
BM presents two characters with inner demons. One withdraws from society to deny his inner demons any source of inspiration or expression. The other attempts to embrace, contain, placate, then confront his demon. However, I felt the dramatic issue was not explored as thoroughly as it might have been. The demon had only one level of response, to brutally murder. But as people, our darker sides find many levels of expression, such as insulting, slighting, ignoring, ostracizing, humiliating and various levels of violence short of lethal.
Simply unleashing the demon to commit murder and mayhem seems a cheap and obvious ploy. What if the demon wreaked havoc in more subtle ways? Instead of physically assaulting the guy in the alley, it might have taken a video of what was a fairly humiliating sequence of events and posted it on YouTube. It could have stolen the businessman's records and delivered them to the FBI, the press and/or his victims.
While the film explores daddy issues and how the sins of the father are visited on the son and the psychological impact of growing up in a broken home that has been abandoned by the father (all of which are discussed more intelligently in Robert Brewster's review), we don't see how other characters deal with anger, frustration or jealousy.
The film is much better than one would expect and worth viewing. Its consideration of the dramatic issue is narrow but deeper than it might appear at first blush. The production values were adequate and it's always nice to see a film where the cinematographer used a tripod whenever possible. Performances were generally good, if restrained. Even Stomare's performance was restrained.
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