Reviewed by: Daniel Hooper

Ever wondered what a hybrid between the end of Shaun Of The Dead and Pleasantville would be like? It seems like director Andrew Currie might have done, as his film Fido mixes domesticated zombies with a kitschy 1950s backdrop to amusing effect – a world of ‘better living through containment’.

The scene is set with a well-made retro propaganda video shown to school children by the vaguely sinister and ever-present company Zomcon (short for Zombie Containment and a reference to the sub-genre Zomcom); a company who are responsible for taking care of dead / living dead, providing safe funeral services with novel head coffins, and selling zombies as cheap labour.

Introducing the repressed family Robinson - Ma Helen (Carrie Anne Moss), Pa Bill (Dylan Baker), and little Timmy (K’Sun Ray). In keeping up with the neighbours, Helen gets her family their own zombie, Fido (a well-disguised Billy Connolly). The addition of Fido to the family provides lonely Timmy with a friend, and mother Helen finally gets a little affection - the satire of a zombie making a better lover and father than a living man is sharp. Unfortunately Fido’s arrival reminds lacklustre father Bill of a traumatic event from his past.

After an accident in which Fido’s safety device malfunctions and he attacks a nasty old lady, the small suburb of Willard experiences a minor zombie infestation and the local neighbourhood Zomcon officer / war-hero Mr Bottoms (Henry Czerny) starts to get suspicious about his neighbours' attachment to their zombie. The snacking zombies are not excessively bloody or scary, but this suits the overall tone of the film.

Though the film features elements of pastiche, Fido is straight-faced with its high concept and the cast are excellent, especially Tim Blake Nelson as the creep-turned-hero Mr Theopolis. Fido also benefits from good set design and a realistic Fifties soundtrack, but sadly the glossy modern looking footage detracts from the mise-en-scene somewhat.

Fido may not have the big laughs of the aforementioned Shaun Of The Dead and fans of gore may not find much amusement here, but it is an inventive and superior entry into the zomcom canon and Fido will satisfy those wanting to see zombies in a whole new context.

Reviewed on: 15 Jul 2008
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Fido packshot
Zom-com sees a boy befriended by the family zombie... but trouble brews when he eats the neighbour.
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Director: Andrew Currie

Writer: Robert Chomiak, Andrew Currie, Dennis Heaton, Dennis Heaton

Starring: Billy Connolly, David Kaye, Jan Skorzewski, Kevin Tyell, Andy Parkin, Lynn Pendleton, Gary Slater, Taylor Petri, Glenn Richards, Raphael Kepinski

Year: 2006

Runtime: 91 minutes

Country: Canada


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