Fido - Good Dog
| Here’s the deal. It’s the 50s and a generation ago, some “space dust” arrived in the atmosphere and reanimated corpses into zombies. The living populace fought the “zombie wars” for survival until an enterprising company called Zomcom discovered a method of “killing” the zombies and a method of domesticating them. Now every suburban family has one to do their chores around the house.
Fido, in all its outrageous plot, is intelligent satire that manages to also be entirely entertaining. The 50s represent hypocrisy and idealism and haven’t been used this well as this sort of symbol since Pleasantville. Zomcom represents the omnipresent omnipotent corporation menace that is slowing taking over our lives. The zombies represent, well they can represent many things, from oppressed peoples, foreigners, “infidels,” anything that we are generally afraid of and like to blame all of our own self-created problems on.
All of this is wrapped up in a funny, insightful script with an entertaining and compelling plot.
Fido takes a completely different track than the other “zombie comedy” of late, Shaun of the Dead. Where that film used the zombie conceit to comment on our passionless, repetitive lives, Fido ironically finds “life” in the zombies and liberates them from their exploitation. There is a great line about halfway through where Carrie-Ann Moss decides that she and her son won’t have a funeral and instead are “going zombie!” Most zombie films, even the funny ones, are about trying to survive a zombie onslaught. Fido is about trying to survive the solution.
And this is a time where trying to survive “solutions” that our governments and corporations are inflicting on us is very relevant. This gives the humour of the film an extra oomph. Not that it needs it. Fido’s script is high wit and the cast is up for it. Besides Carrie-Ann Moss who is wonderfully against type as the typical suburban 50s housewife, there is the delightful Dylan Baker as her repressed husband, the wonderful Tim Blake Nelson (O Brother Where Are’t Thou?) as the odd neighbour and the new K’sun Ray (what were this kids parents thinking anyway?) as the protagonist. This kid has a face of an angel with an old soul behind his eyes. Hopefully he has a bright career ahead of him.
Fido is the kind of refreshing film that comes out of nowhere (although I recognise the years of hard work getting a film like this made) and blindsides you with intelligence, humour and entertainment. Too bad all our trips to the cinema are not this satisfying.