Fido is a zombie comedy—or zom-com for those who like everything broken down into cutesy abbreviations—that sends up the ‘50s. That’s right, the ‘50s. The decade whose cheery, sunshiny vision of American normalcy has been incessantly deconstructed for the better part of 30 years. Moldiness, however, is only partly to blame for the general limpness of Andrew Currie’s film, as equally culpable is its ill-defined satire. In a U.S.A. recently removed from the ‘40s Zombie War (started by intergalactic space dust that reanimated the dead), zombies have now been domesticated thanks to a mechanical collar created by corporate giant ZomCon that keeps the creatures docile and obedient. Consumer products who perform menial labor and household chores, the zombies are sorta like slaves, though the fact that they were defeated in a world war means they’re sorta like integrated Nazis, while their insidious, subversive assimilation into the ‘50s nuclear family unit means they’re sorta like communists, and their willingness to have sex with Tim Blake Nelson (as a neighborhood perv) means they’re sorta like undiscerning whores. Fido never clearly defines its allegorical story’s actual allegorical focus, instead mining its tale about the relationship shared by little Timmy Robinson (K’Sun Ray) and his new zombie pet Fido (Billy Connolly, riffing on Day of the Dead‘s Bub) for stagnant jokes aimed at Douglas Sirk aficionados. Timmy’s mom (Carrie-Anne Moss) views zombies as status symbols while her husband (Dylan Baker) fears them because of a traumatic childhood experience, with the film getting most of its laughs from the contrast between Dad’s zombie phobia and the neighborhood kids’ blasé attitudes toward murder and carnage. Currie’s execution of his material is competent, and an introductory newsreel primer on the Zombie War perfectly balances period fidelity with tongue-in-cheek silliness. Unfortunately, Fido never goes anywhere interesting or particularly funny with its sketch-comedy premise, content to lazily skewer its chosen era’s repressive atmosphere while dispensing drawn-out spoofs of Lassie.
- 91 min
- Andrew Currie
- Robert Chomiak, Andrew Currie
- Carrie-Anne Moss, Billy Connolly, Dylan Baker, K'Sun Ray, Henry Czemy, Tim Blake Nelson
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