--Review by Fiona Young-Brown--
Imagine if you will, the surreally colored world of Edward Scissorhands, combined with the comedic zombie world of Shaun of the Dead, and with a touch of Lassie thrown in for good measure. The result would be something along the lines of Fido, a wonderfully entertaining zombie comedy starring Billy Connelly and Carrie Ann Moss.
Fido is set in an idealized 1950s world. Everyone’s garden is perfect; wives stay at home, preparing the dinner; husbands are breadwinners, heading out to the office or off for a game of golf at the weekend. And the children? They love school, take ballet classes, and spend their Phys. Ed. lessons doing target practice so they can be prepared to protect themselves, their families, and their towns from the zombies. That’s right – zombies. This is a post war world where the war was between humans and zombies. Now towns are protected by Zomcom, a giant corporation that both protects the towns from the zombies that still prowl the wild outer areas, and provides well trained (thanks to an electric collar) zombies for all your household needs. You see, it turns out that once they are “tamed”, zombies are perfect for all those little chores you never liked doing yourself: walking the dog, moving the lawn, delivering the newspaper….
It’s in this wonderfully odd world that we meet Timmy Robinson (K’Sun Ray), his parents, and his pet zombie, Fido (excellently played by Billy Connelly). When Fido’s collar malfunctions and he kills someone, Timmy embarks on an almost Disneyesque adventure to keep his beloved undead friend. Cue plenty of screwball characters, including the next-door neighbor Mr Theopolis (Tim Blake Nelson) and his zombie companion Tammy, the Zomcom security head and war hero Mr Bottoms, and Timmy’s own zombie-fearing father (Dylan Baker) who obsessively pays for his family to have head funerals (to prevent zombification).
This is a fun movie, one that is filled with some great lines, especially those about old people. An ongoing theme throughout Fido is that old people are dangerous. When they die, they will become zombies, so old people cannot be trusted: “We’ve had a lot of trouble with old people.”
Carrie Ann Moss is fabulous as Timmy’s mother, the bright and breezy free-spirited housewife who finds herself telling Fido, “I wish I would have known you before… before you died.” But it is Billy Connelly who steals the show as Fido. I was already a huge fan of his comedy before seeing this movie. Here, he manages to create comedy without saying a word. His facial expressions, complete with wide puppy eyes, make us all wish we had a pet zombie.
If you find yourself wanting to watch something a little gentler than your usual zombie fare, (there is some gore here but it’s all in a fun way), I highly recommend Fido. Just watch out for those pesky old people!