Wednesday, September 10, 2008

FIDO - A BADASS MOVIE REVIEW


Fido is a film from 2006 that got past the bulk of us, including me. It is a zombie film that pushes all boundaries yet remains strangely sweet until the end.

Set in what seems to be the post apocalyptic 1950s, the viewer is forced to accept a GRIP of improbability before they can enter the storyline.

Apparently there was a big zombie war. After learning to shoot zombies in the head, scientists later learned how to make zombies into menservants. This is all through the use of a collar that is placed on a zombie's neck. If the red light is on, the zombie is open to taking orders and serving their master. If the light turns green, then run for cover, because the master just became the dinner.

Obviously, this fickle level of zombie security goes haywire regularly. This is a complete failure within the script. It is an easy out for the writers (there were 3 of them) to move the plot along. Collar malfunctions and the beating on of collars or just the yanking off of collars becomes the main way to propel the plot.

The story is about Helen Robinson (Carrie-Anne Moss) and her desire to fit into her neighborhood. So she gets a zombie as a manservant. Her husband (Dylan Baker) is completely detached and living in a zombie-inspired, golf-medicated fantasyland. Her son Timmy, is lonely and neglected. He latches onto the zombie whom he names Fido, and the adventures begin.

The adventures basically lead to an indictment of corporate America. Along the way however, we are treated to a concept of sweet (is that even possible?) necrophilia. We see a kid get shot, and we know that another kid is being killed by a zombie based on his screams. We are also treated to a series of splatteriffic headshots, dismemberment and traditional zombie cannibalism.

How are such levels of gore and shocking material conveyed with such a gentleness? It all has to do with Timmy's relationship with Fido. We have to accept that the world that Timmy lives in is a violent one. Timmy has had to process an apocalypse and the concept of the dead coming to life. So when he is out with his class shooting at targets and being coached to aim for the head, the audience is lulled. This is LEAVE IT TO BEAVER with zombies in the background.

I am hard pressed to recall if there is any profanity in this film.

In the end, as I mentioned, it is a corporate America takedown. It isn't bad, and it isn't good. What the film IS however, is completely hypnotic. The old cars, the pastels and the array of beautiful clothes that Carrie-Anne Moss wears all symbolize a part of America's past that is gone. This part of our history seems unscathed, even with a completely horrible zombie template.

In the end, necrophilia seems OK, especially when feelings and love are present. The necrophiliac theme (as hinted at by the above poster) is so sugar-coated, that it took awhile for me to determine the abomination taking place. It wasn't as simple as any number of zombie pulp short stories that I have read. Sex with the dead is still sex with the dead, no matter how animated and "into it" that corpse might be.

Fido is a diversion. It is a conversation starter. I suppose it could also be a conversation finisher. It is light, and should be treated as such.

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