Friday, October 26, 2007

"Come here boy!" The story of FIDO

The world has won the Zombie Wars and ZOMCON does its finest to make sure we all stay safe and sound contained rather comfortably withing gated cities and towns. Zombies still reign free outside the protective fencing in the Wild Zones, but we've nothing to fear since the ideas of rogue living dead have become much of a thing of the past thanks to advances in Zombie captive technology! That's right, you too can be the very proud owner of a 'pet' walking deceased as long as you maintain the electro-collar around his or her neck to uphold its docile nature! It's the mid-fifties and life is peachy, giddy, and happy-go-lucky especially when Timmy Robinson (K'Sun Ray) finally gets a zombie just like everyone else in his neighborhood. Sure, apprehensive at first, Timmy finally finds what's missing in his own father, Bill, (Dylan Baker) in the newly-named Fido (Billy Connolly), the kindly animated corpse. Teaching Fido to do ordinary things like throwing and catching a ball or mowing the lawn proves to be a bit daunting, but when it comes to protecting Timmy from school bullies, Fido is the best body guard money can literally buy. Timmy's mom, Helen (Carrie-Anne Moss) turns her jealous desires to fit in within the zombie-owning elite into more of a motherly-turn-attraction for her new un-dead friend and has no qualms about showing it off to her lackluster spouse. Fido becomes so much a part of the family that it becomes a heart-breaking moment when he must be taken away because of a few 'accidental' deaths caused by his hands. Local ZOMCON law enforcer, Mr. Bottoms (played with snide abandon by the excellent Henry Czerny) spends his days trying to convince the Robinson's that befriending a zombie will eventually lead to trouble since, regardless of their collar, things can, and, inevitably do, happen. Timmy decides to enlist the aid of former ZOMCON employee and neighbor, Mr. Theopolis (Tim Blake Nelson) in order to rescue his best friend from the clutches of the more sinister than all together good company. The end is a bit melancholy as Bill Robinson ends up dying in the face of a battle, but everything works out fine with Fido becoming a full-fledged member of the family.

Sure, comedy in zombie flicks has been around for quite a while, what with Dead/Alive, Shaun of the Dead, and a host of others, you'd think that the gamut has for all intents and purposes been run... right into the ground. Then along comes FIDO, a movie so naturally heart-warming and fun you'd almost forget you were watching a spawn of the horror genre all together, were it not for the minor bits of gore ere and there. Obviously borrowing heavily from the LASSIE films of the same 'time period', FIDO learns, acts, and otherwise behaves almost as though he were a dog instead of a lumbering alive again stiff. Never once does Billy Connelly (phenomenal as the zombie, by the way) utter a single word, relying instead on barely emoted grunts and perfected eye motions to convey his little bits of happiness or anger. The humor in genuine and innocent, and you really do feel bad for Fido when he happens to murder and consume a few people who were disliked anyway. And when he's taken away in the ZOMCON truck, gripping the iron bars like a lost child, it stings just enough. Find out just how fantastic FIDO is for yourself, whether you're a horror fan or not, this movie is a top-ten for sure.

Stew Miller

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