#261 -- Fido (2006)
Director: Andrew Currie
"Good dead are hard to find." That's the tagline of Fido, and it couldn't be more true. Good zombie movies are also hard to find, but you don't have to look any further. Fido is a unique and heartwarming story that weaves a very different tale of the zombie apocalypse. The outbreak started due to some radiation. The zombie war was fought hard, until a scientist discovered the secret to killing them: by destroying the brain. That same scientist also came up with a way of domesticating the zombies. He invented a sort of dog collar that could curb the zombies' appetites for human flesh. They also worked as shock-collars for, I guess, whenever the zombies misbehaved. Also, if the collars should malfunction, the zombies would return to their flesh-eating ways. The zombies were turned into servants (they worked at supermarkets, as delivery men, crossing guards, etc.), and they were treated with disrespect and disdain. But they were contained, and everyone was safe. They were also safe due to some fences and gates surrounding their town. The area outside of the gates was known as the "wild zone," and that's where all the un-domesticated zombies were. It was also where they sent the bad people to die.
The movie takes place in the 1950s, and it follows a young boy named Timmy. His father works for Zomcon, the company responsible for taking care of the zombie problems. He is the head of security/safety of Zomcon, but he's got some secrets that none of his coworkers are aware of. When Timmy's mother brings a zombie home, those secrets are brought to light--at least for the viewers. Timmy's father is terrified of zombies, and we find out later it's because his own father tried to eat him. From the beginning, Timmy's father is not fond of Fido, but he becomes a very important part of Timmy's life. You see, Timmy is sort of a dork. He's bullied in school, as well as at home. His mother is very concerned about her appearance and how other people see the family. It seems like she's ashamed of Timmy for being such a loner. At one point, she tells him not to play ball by himself because it makes them look bad. But, thankfully, once Fido arrives, Timmy is no longer without a friend. Fido follows orders well, though he is kind of clumsy, and since his brain doesn't function as well as a normal human's, he has some issues. But Timmy teaches him and helps him grow as a servant and a friend. Eventually, Fido begins to stick up for Timmy against his bullies. At one point, the bullies tie Timmy to a tree, and Fido saves him. Those kids end up dead, but hey--good riddance, I say.
In an unfortunate turn of events, Fido becomes a killer. While playing catch with Timmy, he ends up in the yard of a mean old lady.
She starts beating him over the head with her walker, which causes his collar to malfunction. In turn, he starts munching on her. Timmy eventually has to behead and bury her, but it does cause some rogue zombies to show up later. Once it is discovered that Fido and Timmy had something to do with it, Fido is taken away. Timmy's father is happy, but he and his mother are devastated. So Timmy decides to break into Zomcon and get Fido back. While they're there, some of the zombies from the Wild Zone break in (after one of Dad's co-workers shoves Timmy out of the gates!), and it's up to Timmy and Fido to save the day.
The relationship between Fido and Timmy was wonderful. Fido was kind of like a pet, but they were best friends. Like a boy and his dog. It was obvious that Timmy would do anything for Fido, and vice versa. Eventually Timmy's mom begins seeing Fido as if he's a real person, rather than just a servant, and their relationship blossomed as well. There was a hint of some romantic spark between them, but it's never really more than a hint.
It's definitely different. We've seen zombie love stories, and stories that focus on the zombie's point of view, but I've never seen domesticated zombies before. Eventually, Fido got to the point that, even if his collar malfunctioned, he would still stick up for Timmy and his family, showing that he had his own thought process, as well as his own feelings. It's really a beautiful story.
The part of Fido, played by Billy Connolley, was wonderful. He did a wonderful job acting like both a zombie and a friend, and he blended the two personalities quite well.
The movie started off with one of those old '50s like educational videos, explaining how the outbreak started and what Zomcon did to solve the problem. It was way cool!
I'm a big fan of the movie, so there's not much I find bad about it. The only thing I can say is that there's not much action. There's practically no suspense, up until the final moments. It focuses more on the owner/zombie relationship, and Timmy's relationship with Fido as a friend. I don't really have a problem with that, because that's where the movie gets its charm, but lack of action can make some people become bored.
But I never got bored. The relationships alone are enough to keep me interested. It's easy to care about the characters, or hate them, accordingly. It's also extremely easy to fall in love with Fido. He's a sweetheart!
Recommended for: zombie lovers!