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Fido

Written by Nobuhiro Hosoki

 

Roundtable interview with actor Billy Connolly

Picture an idyllic middle American suburb in the 50's, where flowers are blossoming, the lawn grass is always greener, and the rooftops are always colorful. But these picturesque towns aren't exactly what they seem, particularly when leashed and tamed zombies are hanging around the neighborhood. This is the premise of director Andrew Carrie's new film "Fido," though he spins a fresh type of zombie story that will make you chuckle rather than scare you out of your wits.

After the great conflict that came to be known as the war of "Man vs. Zombie," the human community finally domesticated those gray-faced monsters as pacified house servants, living under the certain protection of a company called Zomcom. They rendered zombies into harmless creatures by wrapping an electric collar around their necks and totally making them into productive members of their community. As long as the collar works, zombies are perfectly safe.

Of course this procedure was perfect for bringing Fido(Billy Connolly) into a dysfunctional family like the Robinsons, particularly for their kid Timmy(K' Sun Ray), an odd, friendless boy, then for the mom(Carrie Ann Moss), a stifled housewife--even though the dad(Dylan Baker) disapproves of the idea, because he has never gotten over having to blow away his own father. Soon Fido proves himself a boy's best friend. Keeping a zombie might be as much as fun as owning a pet.

But there's always a crack in system, as when a technical malfunction sends a rotting servant Fido to devour Mrs. Henderson across the street. Just as it happens, Zomcom's head of security (Henry Czerny) moves into the neighborhood, suddenly feeling the pressure and sensing the tension in the air.

Throughout the film, director Andrew takes a pleasantly twisted approach that deepens our appreciation of this new zombie genre, yet also introduces a very subtle message about political and class distinctions that are similar to those found in our current world. All of the characters are dead on: Dylan Baker fits in this 50's era without making an effort; Carrie Ann Moss comfortably plays a comedic role with a flair of sexiness. And who would thought that the verbally abused comedian Billy Connolly can be this funny without even uttering any word except grunting, or who can also demonstrates such ranges of emotion with a sweet soul? "Fido" is hilarious and jolly, totally resurrecting us from summer's typical dumb-ass blockbuster films.

Directed by Andrew Currie
Written by Robert Chomiak
Director of photography: Jan Kiesser
Edited by Roger Mattiussi
Music by Don Macdonald
Production designer:Rob Gray
Produced by Blake Corbet and Mary Anne Waterhouse
Released by Lionsgate.
Running time: 91 minutes.

Cast: Carrie-Anne Moss (Helen)
Billy Connolly (Fido)
Dylan Baker (Bill)
K’Sun Ray (Timmy)
Henry Czerny (Mr. Bottoms)
Sonja Bennett (Tammy),
and Tim Blake Nelson (Mr. Theopolis).