Considering I wrote a Zombie/Christmas story, maybe it’s not surprising that I love Fido— a movie about a boy and his zombie. Set in a 1950′s-esque world after mankind has fought and won the Zombie War, the living dead now wear control collars and perform fairly menial tasks. Sort of Pleasantville meets Shawn of the Dead meets Lassie— and it works! Fido stars Billy Connolly as the title zombie, Kesun Loder as little Timmy (and, yes, there’s a scene where Timmy’s in trouble and Fido has to go get help) and The Matrix’s Carrie-Anne Moss as Timmy’s extremely-easy-on-the-eyes suburban mom. The rest of the cast is excellent as well, particularly Tim Blake Nelson as the “wacky neighbor” Mr. Theopolis and Sonja Bennett as Tammy, his personal (maybe a little too personal) zombie. The script is sharp and witty, with some very fresh and clever takes on the ramifications of a zombified world. (Old people can die suddenly! Don’t trust them!)
While it’s tongue is firmly in its cheek, Fido actually follows Romero’s Rules very closely. “Wild” zombies are dangerous, flesh-eating threats that must be dealt with firmly and fatally. By the time the film veers away from those rules, either you’ve been won over and go with it, or this simply isn’t the zombie movie for you. In many ways, Fido is a fun-filled family zombie movie, best summed up when Timmy’s mom says “Oh, Fido— you crazy, wonderful zombie, you!”
Which, right there, is probably why so few people have seen it. Sadly.