'Fido' Review: Zombies with Heart
Every independent film maker and their pet cats have decided to make zombie movies. Some are comedically bad and others are just plain bad. Frequently, I find that the modern zombie movie is only viewable with a significant number of alcoholic beverages. Unfortunately, as a young man virtually obsessed with the end of the world, I am compelled, by my own fascination, to watch any piece of work in which the dead rise from the dead to feed upon the living.
Luckily, a rare few motion pictures approach the core concept of the zombie from new, refreshing, and sometimes even humorous view points. One such example is called Fido. Released in 2006, starring Billy Connolly as a domesticated zombie in a post zombie apocalypse version of the 1950s, Fido discusses the question of what portion of the human soul might remain within the reanimated corpse of a zombie.
A scientist in charge of a company called ZomCon created defensive walls to protect American towns from the walking dead, before finally creating a collar that eliminated their desire for human flesh. This new invention allowed the zombie to be integrated in to the human life style as domestic servants. When a young boy, strongly attached to his zombie, must protect it from the society that believes non collard flesh eaters are monsters with nothing remaining of the people they were before.
The film gets it's comedic value from the society it depicts as well as the people who live within it. Mr. Theopolis, played by Tim Blake Nelson, owns a young blonde zombie that the town suspects he has relations with. Mr. and Mrs. Robinson are very Leave it to Beaver-esque parents, who dismiss the dangers of zombies in the same manner that they dismiss the bullies harassing their son. The school's version of recess is an outdoor rifle shooting range that trains the kids how to shoot zombies. When Mr. Robinson neglects his family for work and personal privacy, Mrs. Robinson, played by Carrie-Ann Moss, finds herself emotionally and physically attracted to their zombie attendant. Funerals in the society are simply peoples heads put in to a wooden box and dropped in the ground.
In the technical departments, the film is of a similarly high quality. Billy Connolly manages to express emotion, even as a rigor mortis riddled walking corpse. Kesun Loder as young Timmy Robinson manages to be an entertainingly relatable version of Beaver Cleaver. The set and costume design are on the ball representations of a world in which human society never had a reason to pass the level of the 1950s. The musical score is a relatively basic composition of instrumental tunes designed to resemble the classical tunes of the era.
All in all I would say that Fido is a more than watchable feature centered on the shambling, man eating corpses that prowl the night. It's a more interesting, entertaining, and funny zombie movie than most others of the genre. Its dark humor and its refreshing take on the undead horde make it a more than satisfying way to pass the time.