“In the brain and not the chest, head shots are the very best.”
The Scoop: 2006 R, directed by Andrew Currie and starring Carrie-Anne Moss, Billy Connolly and Dylan Baker.
Tagline: Good dead are hard to find.
Summary Capsule: In an alternate world where we’ve subjugated zombies as slaves, one boy forges a friendship with a zombie who’s a bit… off.
Justin’s rating: Zombies — is there anything they CAN’T do?
Justin’s review: Why are zombies always portrayed as being the bad guys? After all, their only sin was dying in the first place, which will happen to most all of us, so we have no excuse to decapitate them or coat them in napalm at the first opportunity. What if zombies could be redeemed, somehow? What if our zombie-infested planet could not only be reclaimed, but put to good use?
In Fido’s alternate 1950s suburbia, people save up for expensive funerals, breaking zombie laws results in being banished to the “wild zone”, schoolkids are trained in firearms, and having your own zombie servant is a status symbol, much like owning a new car or television set. Over it all, the benevolent Zomcom watches and protects the good citizens – and in rare cases, enforces a stern martial law. As odd as these actions might seem to you or me, to the good folks of Willard, they’re just facts of life as normal and ordinary as apple pie and wholesome network programming.
On the surface, Willard seems to be the stereotypical ’50s utopia – a community of whites-only who train their women to be subservient while the men chomp down on pipes and practice their golf swing. It’s only when Timmy’s family gets a zombie of their very own – whom Timmy names “Fido” – does Willard face collapse. It’s a subversive statement on conformity, racism, walled communities, the breakdown of the nuclear family, and decomposition.
If nothing else, the creators of Fido had a blast creating this little world and doing something wildly different in the zombie genre. The Pleasantville/Stepford Wives aura gives this film a quirky shine – brightly colored houses, period fashion, and giant metal blocks of cars make this something a bit more fun than if Fido would’ve been shoved into our modern environment. There’s something both sinister and admirable about the “good ol’ days” before the hippie revolution, which is only magnified when women are firmly instructed to stay in their place while arming them with pistols.
Fido, however, is not very funny, nor is it scary. It nails down the era, makes a few swipes at political satire, but goes little further than that. As much as I would love to have a trained zombie slave at my beck and call, I’m just going to have to pine after Fido and hope that Santa will make me a happy boy next year.
- The awesome 40’s newsreel opening
- Zomcon! I want to work there!
- Why, headshots ARE the very best!
- Zombies throw like girls.
- Hehe… “Where’s Timmy?” Why, he’s down the well!
- “Death” magazine
- How the zombies’ looks degrade with time
Bill Robinson: Now, I know you’re not supposed to have a hand gun until you’re twelve… but it can come in real handy.
School Children: [singing] In the brain and not the chest. Head shots are the very best.
Little Girl: Grandpa fell down and he’s getting back up!
Bill Robinson: Well, she is over sixty-five, Helen, and old people can’t be trusted.
Bill Robinson: We’re all getting funerals – all three of us!
Helen Robinson: Bill, get your own funeral. Timmy and I are going zombie.
If You Liked This Movie, Try These:
- Shaun of the Dead
- Return of the Living Dead
- Dead Alive