Fido

by Evan ODell 2/19/09

(2006) Directed by Andrew Currie. Story by Dennis Heaton. Screenplay by Andrew Currie, Robert Chomiak, and Dennis Heaton. Starring Carrie-Anne Moss, Billy Connolly, Henry Czerny, Dylan Baker, K'Sun Ray, and Alexia Fast.

Winner of thirteen awards. From the Directors Guild of Canada, Production Design - Feature Film for Rob Gray. From the Genie Awards, Best Achievement in Art Direction/Production Design to Rob Gray and James Willcock. From Gérardmer Film Festival, Best Film Score - Don MacDonald and the Special Jurie Prize - Andrew Currie. From the Leo Awards; Best Cinematography in a Feature Length Drama, Best Make-Up in a Feature Length Drama, Best Overall Sound in a Feature Length Drama, Best Visual Effects in a Feature Length Drama, and Feature Length Drama - Make-up. From London Canadian Film Festival, the People's Choice Award to Andrew Currie. And from Vancouver Film Critics Circle, Best Actress in a Canadian Film - Carrie-Anne Moss. It premiered at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival. Fido never opened wide in the U.S., only playing 6 theaters.

The Fifties story of a boy and his loyal, faithful companion. No, it isn't Lassie. But that obviously served as inspiration in part. This boy's companion is a zombie. A zombie that is clearly a take on the character of Bub from Day of the Dead (1985). The sickly sweet alternate Fifties reality calls to mind Pleasantville, or Bob Clark's A Christmas Story, or even some of those insipid Fifties tv shows like Leave it to Beaver, The Andy Griffith Show, and the afore mentioned Lassie.

It starts off well enough. The education news reel with the relevant exposition at the beginning is entertaining and extremely well done. There are some novel concepts introduced such as inequality, slavery, and sexual relations with zombies. But like those Fifties tv shows, Fido never examines much beneath the surface. It certainly is entertaining enough, I just wish it delved a little deeper.

This zombie comedy plays like a family film. The movie started off with a PG-13 rating from the MPAA but was re-rated an R. Aside from plenty of the red stuff, I don't think its any more frightening than Joe Dante's Gremlins. Most of the violence is camp. A nursery rhyme at school teaches the children, "In the brain and not the chest. Head shots are the very best."

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During the Forties, space dust fell to Earth and the dead rose up to become zombies. In the Fifties, after the great zombie war, Zomcon corporation introduced a domestication collar to make menial servants out of the zombies. People live their lives in small communities fenced off from the outside. Inquisitive, alienated, young Timmy Robinson (K'Sun Ray) is an awkward youth who gets bullied at school. His mother Helen (Carrie-Anne Moss), is disappointed they haven't better kept up with the Joneses by having their own zombie and surprises her family with the newest addition to the family, a zombie (Billy Connolly). His father Bill (Dylan Baker), is a bit zombie-phobic and is obsessed with the idea of separate head casket burial. After a bit of bonding with the zombie, Timmy names him Fido. When a glitch shorts his collar, Fido goes into attack mode and starts making more zombies.

 

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