By Karol Krok
Sometimes there is nothing better for soul than a really bad horror film. It can really be the greatest cure for all sorrows. And even better thing might be the one about a murderous demon living in a colon – it is precisely the problem the main character Duncan is dealing with in this film. There’s no point analysing (pun intended) this premise too much – it’s not what this sort of genre is all about. However, what’s even more amazing is that Bad Milo received surprisingly good reviews from mainstream critics. Which proves that even those people are not completely without sense of humour.
The film receives an energetic score from Ted Masur. The opening track (‘Bad Milo’) is a frantic and fast-paced piece, very much in the spirit of black comedies of old – the kind of film music Danny Elfman would write in the in the 1980’s. It’s a small-scaled work but exploring interesting colours. For instance, ‘Work’ is a quirky piece led by cimbalom and plucked strings.
Cimbalom and percussion both seems to form the identity for titular monster. It’s an off-kilter lullaby for a infant entity that is tormenting main character (‘Firing Montage’). There’s a more ominous side to it as well and that is explored through more traditional horror elements and funky electronics (‘Funky Milo’). Both of which point towards the “great tradition” of low budget B-movies. It’s interesting that those elements seem to be more representative of Duncan and his identity crisis, rather than any supernatural elements. And that is something Ted Masur does quite well in his compositions.
Bad Milo, being a semi-horror, gives an opportunity for composer to explore some darker textures as well. Charmingly titled ‘Buttface Nightmare’ opens with a tense and frantic atonal horror passage. Indeed, some fragments in this funny score are quite intense – the low ominous rambling of ‘Evil Phil’ can really frighten the inattentive listener. ‘Ralph vs. Milo’ goes even further in its opening bars before seguing into a more accessible action material. The climactic ‘Stand Off’ combines all the thematic material and instrumentation into one powerhouse showdown.
But there are also more wondrous cues on this album as well. There’s a gently mythical quality to ‘Myth of the Anus’ (another great title!) complete with subtle choral effects that add necessary ethereal feel. ‘Family’, a cue that closes this MovieScore Media soundtrack album, offer us a gentle lullaby. Surprisingly, without a last stinger at the end.
The entire score reminds of early quirky works of John Ottman, the ones he really used to excel at back in the 90’s. Among all the serious genres, comedy and horror are often the most neglected in terms of fan appreciation. While Bad Milo is far from status of masterpiece, it nevertheless offers an entertaining 35 minutes of colourful genre-bending music. Entertaining and, unlike the film, quite tastefully done.
Bad Milo is out now from MovieScore Media