MILF (2010)
Asylum // Unrated // $24.95 // October 26, 2010
Review by Tyler Foster | posted November 15, 2010
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Full disclosure: through a series of strange and unlikely events, I found myself creating a facebook fan page for The Asylum, a low-budget company that cranks out what they lovingly call "mockbusters": riffs on the latest movies. Anyone who's gone into a Blockbuster in the last few years has no doubt seen one or two: The Da Vinci Treasure, Transmorphers, and, perhaps my favorite, The Day the Earth Stopped are among their similar-but-not-the-same oeuvre. More recently, their output has expanded to more general genre riffs, like the reknowned Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus. Since I started that page, The Asylum came along and turned what was basically a joke into the official page for their movies, just around the same time I ended up with several of their DVDs in my possession. Unfortunately, the first one I'm going to review, MILF, is the lesser of their two T&A comedies I watched, illustrating the fine line between good schlock and bad schlock.

MILF is, well, about a bunch of college slackers on the hunt for older women. No real reason is given or why, unless you count the tagline on the DVD case: "they really do know best!" Brandon (Jack Cullison) is the leader of the motley foursome, and perhaps the least personally invested in the chase, yet he finds himself in the crosshairs of Holly (Amy Lindsay), who is fresh off a divorce and looking for some fun. It'd all be well and good, except Holly is also the mother of Anthony (Philip Marlatt), his best friend. While Anthony crawls around town with their two stupid roommates, Nate and Ross (Joseph Booton and Ramon Camacho), Brandon keeps slipping back home for some fun with his best friend's mother, even though he knows it could all come crashing down at any second.

MILF was written by someone named Jonathan Haug, and if he's any older than these characters, it doesn't show. This is worse than it sounds, because the characters act like they're 13 rather than 21. I think it'd be fair to say that most sexism and male brainlessness when it comes to women is ingrained by peers and is inherently innocent, or at least unintentional. Sadly, our "heroes" take women-as-objects to new lows, especially Nate and Ross, who drag the movie down at least a star all by themselves. There isn't a single line that comes out of Nate's mouth in particular that doesn't fly at the audience like a poisonous spitball dipped in hamburger grease, and yet, there's no real challenge for these characters to get what they want. Unlike American Pie, one of the vague goals in the film is to rack up as many MILF belt-notches as possible, and somehow these hapless morons have no trouble bedding every big-breasted blonde in town.

One of the movies The Asylum sent to me directly was #1 Cheerleader Camp, and I was thoroughly surprised upon watching it that there was a sort of earnest innocence to the naughty bits. It wasn't great, but it wasn't hopelessly sexist or painfully stupid, and something about the tone, some deep-seated pleasantness to the whole experience made it worth a look. MILF is the opposite, a mouth-breathing neanderthal of a film that barges through its beats without the absolute faintest, minimal traces of grace or subtlety. Despite a potentially funny germ of an idea in the central plotline, the filmmakers are more interested in bookending scenes of gratiuitous nudity with high-fives and/or gay panic than anything worth watching.

I appreciate The Asylum, and not just because I'm acquainted with them, but they don't seem to take themselves too seriously. The world of low-budget filmmaking is a challenging battlefield on which to stake out a day job, and yet, these guys come in and do it with a sense of humor about themselves and the projects they create, both in their shameless nature and the hit-and-miss polish these things get when compared to multi-million-dollar Hollywood productions. None of that changes the fact that MILF is -- having endured all of them -- a clear step below the bar set by even the American Pie direct-to-DVD sequels, and any viewer will get more "coming-of-age" action by being wise enough to skip it instead of giving it a spin.

Online artwork has a blonde standing next to a toilet seat (?) with a photo of the three guys inside of it (?), with a banner labeling the disc the "Desperate Housewife Edition", but the final retail copy just shows the nerds standing at a distance between a set of fine-toned legs, and relabels the package the "Unrated Experienced Edition". Hmm. The back cover is a collision course in extreme mugging and cartoony Photoshop, and there is no insert inside the case.

The Video and Audio
I'm somewhat surprised to report that the 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer offered by The Asylum is one of the best SD-DVD transfers I've seen in a long time. The contrast appears to run a little hot, with whites burning just a touch, but the colors are vivid, fine detail is shockingly high, and I didn't detect any blocking or mosquito noise. The credits mention that the studio uses HD cameras to shoot their material, and this may be, essentially, a direct digital port, free of any tweaking.

Dolby Digital 5.1 is less impressive. The dialogue is clean and clear, and any music comes through just fine too, but the mix for a jokey comedy like MILF just isn't particularly dynamic, layered, or notable. No player-generated captions or subtitles were found, but the disc is closed captioned for televisions with such a feature.

The Extras
A short, extremely echo-ey making-of featurette (5:54) opens with Marlatt promising the film will be "everything you wanted in ninth grade". Hmmm... Beyond that, a weak gag reel (1:56) and a selection of deleted & extemded scenes (5:43) reveal the height of the movie's invention and cleverness: a bar called "The White Swallow".

The disc opens with trailers for #1 Cheerleader Camp, Titanic II, Airline Disaster, 8213: Gacy House, Ballistica, and The 7 Adventures of Sinbad play before the main menu.

Even if you're approximately as mature (or less mature) than the film's humor, I imagine you'll still find yourself embarrassed to be watching it. Skip it.

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