2006
Rated: R for graphic violence, gore, and adult language.
Genre: Horror Comedy Suspense Romance
Directed By: Andrew Currie
Running Time: 1:31
Review by: Felix Vasquez Jr.
Review Date: 10/19/07
Special Features:
N/A.
FIDO

 


Helen: Bill, just because your father tried to eat you doesn’t mean we all have to be unhappy.

It’s really tough to find great horror comedies. While “Shaun of the Dead” was the primary example to filmmakers on how to make a movie both scary and hilarious, there were many predecessors that got it right as well. Stuff like “Young Frankenstein,” and “Return of the Living Dead” were all basically great horror comedies with leaning genres. Ever since “Shaun of the Dead” though, every country has been looking to create their own version of the tale to garner their own critical acclaim. “Boy Eats Girl” almost got it right, as did “Severance” but as good as those movies were, there’s just no topping the “Spaced” crew. “Fido” is another attempt to tap that sweet zombedy ass and hopefully show that lightning can strike twice. “Fido” is definitely in the school of Romero in which it pays homage to the “Dead” series at every turn. There are black and white home movies, and of course the entire theory created in “Day” that zombies could possibly be domesticated thanks to a home movie that explains the primary hook of the movie.

There’s even an excellent homage to Bub in the climax. Billy Connelly is our Bub character named Fido who really sells this movie to the skeptical few clutching to their “Shaun” DVD’s to this day. While “Shaun” started the continued the idea of domesticating zombies, Currie attempts to develop this concept in to a full story with this idea serving as the central premise, and basic source of the tongue in cheek darkly comedic atmosphere and horrific aftermath. There’s always that tension in the air that a collar could break, and with the mass population of undead servants, would anyone really know?

“Fido” is set in a world where it’s perpetually the nuclear era fifties, where zombies have almost ruined the world, every man woman and child carry and are trained in basic fire arms, and have a special safe room for protection against the walking dead. Thanks to winning the war, surviving humanity has managed to take remaining zombies and domesticate them as house pets thanks to a corporation named Zom Con who has created collars that can tame the zombies.  

But if a collar should break… the shit hits the fan. “Fido” is not just a demented bit of dark horror, but it’s also a bit of a commentary, not just on wealth and suburbia, but more in depicting these zombies as a minority. In some way they play the slaves, not a far gone conclusion as Currie presents shades of immigration and civil rights in some instances. “Fido” though is mainly just a simplistic and rather good horror comedy that doesn’t completely strive to preach and tack messages about society in its story. One of the highlights of this indie horror flick is the excellent direction from Currie who presents such luminous shades of bright colors and pastels that add a much more demented twist to the environment. Some of the scenes of pure zombie carnage are beautiful. The performances from the respective cast also elevate this above a simple indie horror film.

Dylan Baker is hilarious as the inept dad Bill more concerned with conformity than he is with maintaining the relationship with his son and wife, while Carrie Anne Moss is attractive as the sympathetic mother Helen who seeks attention from Bill and gains an attraction to Fido as the days progress. Billy Connolly is great as Fido providing a sick and sad glimpse into this title character acting as a combination of Peter Boyle in “Young Frankenstein” and Bub from “Day of the Dead.” “Fido” becomes less comedy and much more angled in horror once his collar breaks after a run in with a cranky old neighbor. Hunger takes over and lo and behold, neighbors and town folks turn up as the living dead. One starts as two, two turns into four and another zombie apocalypse is born. Currie makes no doubts about his love for Romero and that benefits “Fido” turning it into a sly and rather funny little story of a boy and his pet Zombie.

Think of it as “Pleasantville” a la George Romero with a dash of Tim Burton, and “Fido” is a basically entertaining and funny little horror comedy gem with great performances from Nelson, Moss, and especially Connelly. “Fido” is not as good as “Shaun,” but it’s a great contender for one of the best zombie comedies; it sure is an under-appreciated one.

 

 

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