Click here for Ryan Daley’s review:
Something missing from most horror movies today is originality, which is why I find many of them mundane and boring. I understand that movie making is a business to a lot of studios, which is why I really love Lionsgate – the studio takes more risks than any other studio, including New Line. Their latest venture into uncharted waters is with their zombedy, FIDO, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this past week. This is one of the most unique and obscure horror films that I can pretty much guarantee you’ll love.
Welcome to Willard, a small town lost in the idyllic world of the 50’s, where the sun shines every day, everybody knows their neighbor, and rotting zombies carry the mail. Years ago, the earth passed through a cloud of space dust, causing the dead to rise with an insatiable hunger for human flesh. Terror spread across the land, until a collar was invented that made the zombies docile, even useful. A company was born: ZomCon. Thanks to their patented domestication collar, zombies became gardeners, milkmen, servants, even pets. ZomCon would like everyone to believe that they have the world under control. But do they? Timmy Robinson (K’Sun Ray) doesn’t think so. He thinks the world is “phony-baloney”. An awkward loner, Timmy spends so much time in his room even his own parents don’t notice him. So when Mom (Carrie-Anne Moss) buys a zombie (Billy Connolly) to help around the house, Timmy is surprised, and even curious, when the beast wants to play catch. When the zombie saves him from the local bullies, a true friendship is born, and Timmy names the zombie “Fido.” But Fido’s collar goes on the fritz, and the neighbors start paying the ultimate price. To complicate matters, ZomCon’s notorious zombie-control specialist, Mr. Bottoms (Henry Czerny), has moved in across the street. What begins as a small town story about a boy and his best friend becomes a biting satire about our world, the price of fear, and the rewards of risking love. FIDO will rip your heart out.
The best way to describe Andrew Currie’s film is that it’s a cross between PLEASANTVILLE, SHAUN OF THE DEAD and DAWN OF THE DEAD. So basically FIDO is a funny, vibrant, colorful, bloody good time with a social commentary. In short, it’s a perfect zombie movie.
Although the film might be a difficult sell to many of you horror hounds, I assure you that this is something you will really enjoy. The screenplay by Robert Chomiak and Andrew Currie is brilliantly crafted into a nicely paced unique blend of sub genres that you’re all into. There are tons of great laughs, you get plenty of gore and you also have a story that really takes some time to examine the state of mankind.
Although the production looks like a period piece from the ‘50s, I look at FIDO as a timeless entity that takes place at “anytime”… this could be tomorrow, today, 50 years ago or even in another dimension. I guess you can say that FIDO is the “perfect” TWILIGHT ZONE episode. And although the production design and colors schemes were so extraordinary I still kind of wanted to see what it would be like to see FIDO in black and white. But it’s not in black and white – what you get is that “fairy tale” memory of what we imagine the world was like 50 years ago: peaceful, small towns, quiet, charming, colorful, vibrant and gee-golly relaxing (bring on the Lemonade). So imagine a TWILIGHT ZONE episode – in color – that imagines a perfect world only with zombies. It’s the perfect “what if” question for the horror genre. What if we could domesticate zombies? The jokes and scenarios are endless, which is why this film is so incredibly entertaining.
I also loved the fact that the film kept the “zombie rules” in tact and spent more time dealing with family problems than focusing on the zombies. It’s easy to get lost in the storytelling and end up focusing on the wrong elements of the film. The story of the Robinsons is what’s important and how they are trying to fit in this new world filled with zombie servants. They all have different issues to deal with, Bill (Dylan Baker) is afraid of the zombies and doesn’t trust them, his wife Helen (Carrie-Anne Moss) wants to fit in with the neighborhood and have a zombie of her own, and their son Timmy (K’Sun Ray) just wants a friend, whom he finds in the family’s zombie Fido (Billy Connolly). The Robinsons’ story is more interesting than the sub-plot of the domesticated zombies and the focus remains in tact throughout the entire 91-minutes.
FIDO is looking to hits theaters on March 9th and I think that every single one of you should make it to the theater that weekend, so excuses. This movie is perfect for any age, any sex, anyone… so there’s no reason you shouldn’t dig it. FIDO is going to grow on you and become your new favorite pet… go fetch.