LIST CANDIDATE: FIDO (2006)

DIRECTED BY: Andrew Currie

FEATURING: Kesun Loder, ,

PLOT:  The usual cloud of radiation has caused the Earth’s dead to rise from the grave and feed on the flesh of the living, etc. In Fido however, the zombie menace has been domesticated and turned into a loveable underclass of servants. They are at the beck and call of those who survived the apocalypse, now living safely confined in small idyllic suburban towns where zombie slaves bedecked with mind-control collars do their bidding.

Still from Fido (2006)
WHY IT SHOULD MAKE THE LIST: Fido has a conventional zombie film plot that is handled in an unconventional manner. Let’s get straight in there: it’s Pleasantville with zombies. The town of Willard where the action takes place is a skewed and nostalgic vision of what the 1950s might have been. The apocalypse is over, and those who have survived live in a walled off vision of a ‘utopian’ American where nothing ever actually happens. As an act of rebellion against the husband with whom she is trapped in a loveless relationship, Carrie-Ann Moss purchases a Zombie servant (Billy Connelly!!!). Hi-jinks ensue. Honestly, I’m not making this up.

COMMENTS: If you’re looking for a combination of a coming-of-age and a loveless marriage drama alongside a healthy mix of the zombie apocalypse, then this is the film you’ve been waiting for. And if you haven’t been looking for that combination, then maybe you should be on a different website?

Not only is Fido gloriously shot and strangely poignant in its handling of the subject matter, it’s a laugh riot to boot. The use of color is rich and vibrant, recalling a nineteen fifties that never was, and the characterization is spectacular in its understatement. The presence of the zombie against the backdrop of  white picket fences is a sublime take on a standard horror trope, and the director has a devilishly macabre sense of humor when it comes to the film’s ‘romances’ (which give new meaning to the notion of suburbia as a living death). I won’t spoil anything, but I will say this: there’s far more to Fido than the panic that results when the zombie-control collars stop working (although that does happen). This film wasn’t cheap to make, but sank without a trace upon its release, leading to a hiatus in director Currie’s burgeoning career (which he has only resurfaced from recently with 2012’s Barricade). A pity, as Fido is surely a modern cult classic.

WHAT THE CRITICS SAY:

“…this is a movie that brings a whole new set of associations to the much-masticated living-dead genre: strangely wholesome, gently splattery and adorably gory.”–Geoff Pevere, The Toronto Star (contemporaneous)

(This movie was nominated for review by “MCD.”  Suggest a weird movie of your own here.)

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