Fido

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

The film takes place in a 1950s-esque alternate universe where radiation from space has turned the dead into zombies. This resulted in the “Zombie Wars”, where humanity battled zombies to prevent a zombie apocalypse, with humanity the ultimate victor. The radiation still plagues humanity, as all those who die after the original contamination turn into the undead, unless the dead body is disposed of by decapitation or cremation. In order to continue living normal lives, communities are fenced with the help of a governing corporation named Zomcon. Zomcon provides collars with accompanying remote controls to control the zombies’ hunger for flesh so as to use them as slaves or servants.

In the town of Willard, whose name is a reference to the town in the original 1968 Night of the Living Dead, housewife Helen Robinson (Carrie-Anne Moss) buys a zombie in spite of her husband Bill’s (Dylan Baker) zombie phobia, as Bill has had bad experiences with zombies having been a veteran of the Zombie Wars. Their son, Timmy (K’Sun Ray), befriends the zombie, naming him “Fido” (his true name is never revealed, and little is revealed of his “pre-zombie” life, except that he died of myocardial infarction, and at one point Helen wishes she had met him before she got married and when he was still alive). One day, Fido’s collar malfunctions and he kills their next door neighbor, who turns into a zombie. Timmy “kills” the zombified neighbor later, but not before she kills and infects another person, causing a small outbreak. Zomcom security forces quell the situation and then investigate what caused the outbreak.

When a pair of local bullies are blamed for the missing neighbor, they capture Fido and Timmy. Fido escapes and runs to find Helen, who comes and rescues Timmy from the bullies (who, through misadventure and Fido’s hunger for human flesh, are now zombies), and they try to forget about the whole thing. Several days later, the neighbor’s body is found and the murder is traced back to Fido, who is taken away to Zomcon where the public is told he will be destroyed. Timmy learns through Cindy Bottoms (Alexia Fast), daughter of Jonathan Bottoms (Henry Czerny), Zomcon’s abusive security chief, that Fido is simply working in a factory at Zomcon. Timmy sets out to rescue him with the help of Mr. Theopolis (Tim Blake Nelson), previous security chief of Zomcon who was forced into early retirement when it was discovered he was found guilty of fraternization with his female zombie, whom he has remarkably preserved well to retard her decaying process, thus giving her a relatively attractive appearance.

Meanwhile, Timmy locates Fido, but is captured by Mr. Bottoms, who attempts to throw Timmy into the zombie-infested “wild zone” that exists outside of the fenced communities. Bill comes to the rescue and is killed by Mr. Bottoms, who in turn is killed by Fido. Timmy is set free and the news media propagandizes that the Zomcom security breach was the fault of rednecks who venture out into the wild zone to hunt zombies for fun. Helen finally learns not to belittle Bill’s bad experiences from the Zombie Wars by paying for a headless funeral in order to prevent his zombification. The film ends with Fido as a surrogate father and husband, Timmy, Helen and Helen’s newborn baby by Bill as a new family. They, along with a few neighbors happily enjoy their new domestic lives together, including the zombified Jonathan Bottoms who is now more attentive to his daughter.

REVIEW:

Continuing with the horror comedy theme I seem to have going on this Halloween, Netflix actually recommended Fido. I’ve been seeing this thing pop up every now and then in various categories, but never really had an inkling to watch it. For some reason, today on a whim I figured it couldn’t hurt.

What is this about?

Director Andrew Currie’s imaginative horror-comedy follows the misadventures of typical boy-next-door Timmy Robinson (K’Sun Ray) and his very unusual pet — a loyal, lumbering zombie named Fido (Billy Connolly). Problems arise when Fido breaks loose and noshes on a neighbor. Timmy is suddenly forced into damage-control mode while he tries to persuade his parents (Carrie-Anne Moss and Dylan Baker) to keep Fido.

What did I like?

Welcome to the 50s. I’m a big fan of all things retro, and this film has that retro look down pat. Starting with the opening school film about the zombie wars and continuing with that bright-colored motif that tends to be prevalent in films that use this retro style. Remember how bright Speed Racer was? The same color scheme applies here, and I loved it!

Zombies. Before I started watching this, I caught a piece on ESPN about how former Pittsburgh Steeler Hines Ward would be guest starring as a zombie in an episode of The Walking Dead. What does that have to do with anything? Well, zombies on that show are mindless savages. The zombies here aren’t as violent, or so it seems, but  I’m sure if they were to lose those collars this nice little 50s utopia would become hell on earth. Zombies seem to be what vampires were a couple of years ago, so it is good to see different variation of them. Let’s just hope we don’t get any overdramatic, sparkly zombies!

Billy Connolly. This guy is seriously one of the most underrated actors around. He doesn’t have much to do here but limp around, grunt, and do zombie-type stuff. However, it takes some real talent to do all that and still come across as lovable. Kudos to Connolly for making this character endearing to the audience. That could not have been an easy task to accomplish!

What didn’t I like?

Trinity. In The Matrix, I loved Carrie-Ann Moss, despite her cold nature. This film allows her to show some emotion, which she does, but it is her look that doesn’t work for me. She just doesn’t seem to fit in with her costume and the look and feel of this world. I don’t know why she doesn’t, but it just doesn’t work, which is a shame. Maybe she should have done something with her hair?

Lizard. Dylan Baker has all the sympathy in the world from me since he was screwed out of being the Lizard in the Spider-Man films since they just had to reboot it. Don’t get me started on that. With that in mind, this whiny bastard he plays sort of makes me wonder if they just didn’t think he could handle such a role. It is ok that he is scared of zombies. That makes for a nice little backstory for him, but the fact that he whines about it and impedes on everyone’s life with his daddy issues.

Tammy. The whole film we see this creepy couple next door, Mr. Theopolis and his zombie, Tammy. Tammy doesn’t look half bad for a zombie, and as it turns out she has been well-preserved by Theopolis due to his ties to his former employer, Zomcon. Every neighborhood like this has to have that weird couple, but it just seems weird that he seems to have a relationship with this zombie. Having said that, it seems as if Carrie-Ann Moss’ character is ready to start something with Fido if she wasn’t married.

Fido is a fun film when all is said and done. I really enjoyed it and found very little that made me question why I was even watching it. Is this the perfect film? No, there are plenty of plot holes and oddities that leave you scratching your head, but it is the entertainment factor that really sells this film. To answer the question of if I recommend this or not…yes…yes, I do.

3 3/4 out of 5 stars

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3 Responses to “Fido”

  1. It’s not a great flick, but it’s definitely funny and very twisted in it’s own version of the future. Good review.

  2. Mystery Man Says:

    Yep, sometimes funny and twisted works!

    Thanks for the comment!

  3. […] with as a warm-up, or if you’re into the horror comedy thing, couple this with something like Fido, This definitely worth checking out and is better than people give it credit for. Admittedly, I […]

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