The Movie Buffer

Thursday, December 18, 2008

DVD Review: Fido


Spoilers, bad!


There’s not denying that Shaun of the Dead reopened the zombie movie door. Now, we’re seeing a renewed interest in the genre and some pretty interesting takes on the classic zombie movie. One such film is Fido, which is part Dawn of the Dead, part Lassie and part Pleasantville, as strange as that sounds.

In typical zombie horror fashion, the world has been overrun by zombies, so the humans have had to setup a safe zone with electric fences, sentry guards, the whole nine yards. There are also neighborhood zombie extermination squads, marksmanship taught in schools and up to the minute zombie reports on the news. To further combat the zombies, a mind controlling collars has been developed to pacify and reintegrate zombies back into civilized society, many of them are used for menial labour or as household servants. Now, set this paranoia against the wholesome vibe of Leave It to Beaver and the stage is set for Fido.

Fido is the Robinson’s servant zombie, who is picked on constantly by family patriarch, Bill. Though everyone thinks that he is an unthinking monster, Timmy tries to befriend the zombie and humanize him a little by giving him his name and teaching him to play catch. Timmy believes that Fido is a good zombie, but when his zombie control collar malfunctions reverts to his cannibalistic ways. This Jekyll and Hyde back and forth is the pivot of the story as Fido and Timmy try to figure out ways of fixing the trouble they create.

Billy Connelly plays Fido and is terribly likeable as the zombie. We see that perhaps even zombies have a lighter side to them and the viewer is made to sympathize with his plight. I liked Carrie Ann Moss as the dainty housewife who is far more rugged than appears. Though she is treated as just the lady of the household, she quickly becomes fifth business and really pushes the action forward. The rest of the cast is pretty one note but they get the job done in a humourous fashion.

Fido was a pleasing experience, if a little saccharine at the end. It wouldn’t have hurt the film to end on a less absolutely happy ending, but it fits in with the 50s sitcom theme. I would have liked a little more depth to the mischief that Timmy and Fido get into, but really, Fido’s a zombie so the worst he could do is eating people. This is a well made zombie centered film, but a comedy at its core. For the zombie enthusiast, this is a lightweight but a nice one.


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