Stars: K’sun Ray, Billy Connelly, Carrie-Anne Moss, Dylan Baker, Henry Czerny
Writers: Robert Chomiak, Andrew Currie, and Dennis Heaton (based on an original story by Dennis Heaton)
Dir: Andrew Currie
It’s the middle 1950s and you need to have a servant if you are anyone of status. The times and a cosmic radiation cloud have presented you with a great fortune: a zombie butler.
So begins the premise of “Fido,” where we, the audience, are presented with a very sympathetic, mindless form to satisfy indentured servitude. Despite that overly written, drastic damnation, “Fido” is far more a condemnation of servitude as a whole rather than a commentary on slavery. And, past that, it is more of a condemnation of complacency, distance, and, moreso, a very well-handled parody of the 1950s idea of a perfect family.
Timmy Robinson is a normal kid living in a post-apocalyptic world. Zombies arose and were, for the most part, defeated. What was left of the great “zombie war,” was a company, ZomCom, and a bunch of smart guys took over. They found a way to domesticate the zombies through a controlling shock collar, eliminating the zombie desire to devour the living and, therefore, turning them into mindless servants of the living.
Ellen Robinson (Moss) , realizing her family is the last on the street to not own a zombie servant, purchases a zombie, much to the dismay of her zombie-fearing husband, Bill (apparently, he had to kill his zombie dad, and it is a very, very touchy subject).
Timmy initially hates the new, bumbling, non-verbal servant, until said servant interjects into what could have been a tragic beating/shooting by a couple of bullies. The zombie servant therein earns a name, Fido, and begins a friendship with Timmy and his mother — but not Timmy’s evasive, obscure, and distant father.
After an unfortunate accident involving Fido and a neighbor (well, Fido went all bitey on a nosey old woman), Timmy fights to protect Fido’s “life,” and what ensues is simply ludicrous. And very entertaining, if you like your horror mixed with satire and gratuitous references to obvious films/TV shows.
Romero rules followed: Nearly all, considering Fido was almost a tribute to Bub in “Day of the Dead”
Gore factor: Fairly moderate until the penultimate ending.
Zombies or wannabees?: Zombies aplenty
Classic, fine, or waste of time: Fine
Additional comments: I dare anyone I know to be handed a script and take Connelly’s role as Fido, and do more with it. Here is the description: You are a zombie. You do not say a word. GO! Connelly invokes far more emotion and evocations with a limited role than many Juilliard-trained actors do. He displays more emotion in seconds than many do with bloated, monologue-driven grasps at greatness.