Fido (2006) Written by Robert Chomiak, Andrew Currie & Dennis Heaton. Directed by Andrew Currie. Starring Carrie-Anne Moss, Billy Connolly, Dylan Baker, K’Sun Ray, Henry Czerny, Tim Blake Nelson.
Fido sort of picks up where Shaun of the Dead left things, with zombies being assimilated back into society as manual laborers–if Shaun of the Dead had ended in 1950s American suburbia. This film mixes two of my favorite things: it’s a zombie flick with a 1950s retro-aesthetic. And I love that the film opens with a schoolroom full of kids being shown a black-and-white educational short film reel about the “zombie war” and its causes and effects. It’s a clever way to bring the audience up to speed and set up the premise–a world where zombies are an part of everyday life.
Timmy’s father wants nothing to do with him and his mother gives him only the pretense of attention–she’s actually more worried about how his being bullied or his response to his father’s neglect affects the neighbors’ perception of her than about his feelings. Timmy also has a lot of questions about zombies that most seem afraid or embarrassed about. So when mom buys their first zombie, Timmy soon goes from seeing it as a thing to liking it as a pet to developing something closer to a human relationship with it. (It soon becomes clear that naming the kid “Timmy” is a Lassie reference.) Even Mom starts taking an interest.
Carrie-Ann Moss, Dylan Baker, Henry Czerny, and Tim Blake Nelson are all great in their roles as typical 1950s adults dealing with the usual 1950s issues of status, public intimacy, repressed emotions, corporate loyalty, and zombiphobia. And of course, there is Billy Connolly, walking (or maybe shuffling) the fine line between zombie and human.
My only quibbles with Fido are that the climactic scene at Zomcon headquarters needed to be more thought out–perhaps they were cramming to keep it close to a 90-minute running time–and that the child actors tend to be distracting, either not well-cast or not well-directed. Other than that, it’s a great movie and goes immediately into my zombie movie canon.
My Netflix rating: 4 stars (out of 5)