Monday, December 8, 2008

Fido

In spite of the spate of zombie movies I've reviewed of late, I don't consider myself a zombie genre fanatic. Something about being eaten alive by dead people who are never as sexy as Anne Rice's vampires. I mean, I could tolerate the whole undead, hungry monster, if I could, by becoming a vampire, lose those 25 pounds that I've gained the past 5 years and reclaim the sexy 24-year-old I once was. Almost worth never seeing the sun again. Hey, call me shallow. I'm o.k. with that.

But I digress.

Fido (2006) is a Lionsgate film. It's witty, it's funny, and if you haven't seen it, you're really missing out. It is rated "R," for "zombie-related violence," but the movie isn't about gore. It's been billed as a "boy and his dog" film, and it is that (see the "Fido! Has something happened to Timmy?" scene), but it's also a movie about prejudice and how people change their minds about deeply ingrained ideas.Here's the trailer.
My husband is not a horror- or zombie-film fan. He indulges me because he's just that great a guy. He loved this movie and said he wants to buy it. He even took the rental with him to work to loan to a friend.
Fido takes place in a 1950's period that never was. Mysterious radiation re-animates corpses, resulting in "The Zombie Wars," and the creation of the corporation, "Zomcon." Though Zomcon is unable to eradicate the threat of zombie attack due to lingering radiation, they have managed to contain the threat by building giant fences, controlling old people before they die, and creating a collar which eliminates a zombie's flesh-eating desires. This turns the zombie into a productive member of society (read, "slave")as long as the collar functions properly. (Those of you with teenagers would probably like this invention for your very own.)
Here's the opening. I love the 50s propaganda film style on this. Helen Robinson (Carrie Ann Moss) decides to keep up with the Joneses by purchasing a zombie for the purpose of taking care of the household work. Her husband, Bill (Dylan Baker), is a zombie-phobe and protests vehemently at the idea of having a zombie in the house. His son, Timmy (K'sun Ray), grows attached to the zombie (Billy Connolly) and names him Fido. Fido's collar fails for a brief and disastrous moment, and he eats the next-door neighbor. (It's o.k. She was awful, anyway.) The plot thickens...
Fido opens a window into our ideas of right and wrong, of homeland security, of slavery, and does it without being preachy or heavy-handed. The script is well-written, the actors are absolutely right on. Please, do yourself a favor and rent this thing!

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