We like it when things exceed expectations, because it justifies our collective sense of childlike optimism. Life is awesome! Take that, Jonathan Franzen! And we also like it when things fail to meet expectations, because that justifies all of our worldly cynicism, making us into hardened, charismatic veterans of a disappointing existence, like Officer Murtaugh or Jonathan Franzen. But we hate those things that exactly match up with our expectations, like the food at Panda Express. Bad Milo!, directed by Jacob Vaughan, is about a man whose stress, fear, and anxiety manifest as a little demon that lives in his butthole. When he becomes emotionally agitated, he craps out his poo-covered demon—which looks exactly like the baby dinosaur from the 1990s sitcom Dinosaurs—so it can rampage and murder his tormentors. If that doesn’t set the bar low enough for you, the film also includes a lot of extended scenes of agonized shitting, people being sprayed with poop, objects medical and supernatural plunging into rectums, and the oral castration of a fertility doctor. So exceeding the expectations set by that plot summary shouldn’t even be a problem, especially with a cast that includes the wonderful Gillian Jacobs from Community, Patrick Warburton, Stephen Root, first-rate stand-up Kumail Nanjiani, and Ken Marino of Wet Hot American Summer as Duncan, the butt-demon–afflicted protagonist. And look, a tiny, murderous butt demon isn’t even a half-terrible metaphor for psychosomatic conditions. But Bad Milo! meets your expectations right where you left them. Maybe we’re too old for this shit.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 2, 2013