Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Fido (2007)

Fido is not your typical gore-drenched, post-apocalyptic zombie movie. Instead, it’s a comedy that lightly pokes fun at 1950’s Americana that is light on gore but heavy on laughs.

It’s the 1950s and after the Zombie Wars the zombie threat has been quelled by a corporation called ZomCon, who has invented a collar that subdues the undead. The collared zombies are now servants in the homes of almost all families. All, that is, except for the Robinsons. Distant husband Bill (Dylan Baker) had a traumatic experience during the Zombie Wars and can’t stand to be in the same room as an undead person. His wife Helen (Carrie-Anne Moss), on the other hand, is desperate to keep up with the Joneses. When the head of security (Henry Czerny) at ZomCon moves into their neighborhood, Helen brings home a zombie (Billy Connolly) so her family can fit in with everyone else. Helen and Bill’s young son Timmy (K’sun Ray) soon builds a close relationship with the zombie, even naming him Fido. Things take a turn for the worse when Fido’s collar malfunctions and he starts killing people. Timmy is so attached to Fido, though, that he covers up for him, putting the entire community at risk.

Fido feels like a cross between Pleasantville and Shaun of the Dead. Its colorful and fantastical ‘50s-styled set design, gorgeous costumes and picturesque setting complement its satirical edge very nicely. It’s not as fanboy-fueled as Shaun of the Dead, but there are some very clever quips throughout the film and I was laughing along the entire time.

Gore obviously wasn’t the focus here, so we get a few zombies chowing down on human flesh, but not much else. For this story, gore really isn’t needed, though, so the lack of it didn’t bother me.

The acting was an absolute joy to watch, especially Carrie-Anne Moss as a lonely ‘50s mom who develops a soft spot for Fido. Billy Connolly as Fido did a spectacular job, especially given the fact that his portrayals of emotion had to come solely through body language and eye contact. The rest of the cast did an amazing job as well.

My favorite part of the film, though, was probably the setting of this alternate 1950s. The always perfectly coiffed and made-up housewives, the retro furniture, gleaming cars and the colorful neighborhoods were all a treat for the eyes. The essence of the ‘50s was also captured perfectly, with plenty of satire and humor sprinkled liberally throughout. Co-writers Andrew Currie (who is also the director) and Robert Chomiak and story writer Dennis Heaton did a wonderful job with capturing the feel of the era with their script and story.

Director Andrew Currie has really crafted a fun, colorful and nostalgic boy-and-his-zombie movie! If you are looking for a zombie film that’s different and doesn’t necessarily focus on the gore (but still has a few dismemberment scenes intact), Fido is man’s best friend!

Available from Amazon!

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