How can you not love a horror comedy that boils down to being a satire of the Lassie TV series? Fido is all about a little boy and his loyal zombie, and it’s set in an alternate version of Eisenhower-era middle America.
With the heightened, ultra-detailed, pastel colored look and feel of movies like Far From Heaven or Pleasantville, this ditty of the undead follows the humble Robinson family and their tussle with the evil empire in the form of the ZomCon Corporation.
Dad Bill (Dylan Baker ), mom Helen (Carrie-Anne Moss ), and precocious Timmy (K'Sun Ray) seem to be living the idyllic life in their pastoral little town. Sure, zombies live among them, but the flesh-eating monsters have been subdued thanks to a handy-dandy electrical collar ZomCon invented. Now, zombies are like robots: people can buy them and use them for just about anything (labor, household chores, sex).
Helen gets tired of pouting about neighbor Mrs. Bottoms’ six zombies, so she goes against her husband’s wishes and buys Fido (Billy Connolly), a mute, obedient sort who immediately takes to little Timmy… if he had a tail, he would wag it. As time goes on and things ultimately unravel (I won’t spoil anything), Fido’s pacifying collar goes on the fritz and his taste for human blood comes bubbling to the surface.
Not a gory movie by any means, Fido is a fetching comedy with tongue-in-cheek social commentary and a quick wit. Director Andrew Currie deserves a treat for his obvious hard work and devotion to this movie, as do the impeccably-cast actors (the movie also features the welcome comic stylings of Henry Czerny and Tim Blake Nelson). Everyone behind the scenes, from the location scout to the costume designer, also deserve major kudos. I loved the “Propaganda Films” intercut with the movie, ala Starship Troopers. It’s all very clever.
While Fido isn’t quite as much raucous fun as Shaun of the Dead (the gold standard), it’s pretty close in a more subdued way and certainly worth a look for any horror fan who likes a little wink to their walking dead (and doesn’t mind a bit of preciousness here and there… it is a bit too sweet at times).
The DVD boasts some featurettes, but quite honestly they are not very inspired. There are also six deleted scenes, and an audio commentary track with director Currie, actress Carrie-Anne Moss, and producer Mary Anne Waterhouse.
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Reviewed by Staci Layne Wilson