There's no meat on this bone


on June 15, 2007 by Shlomo Schwartzberg
Like every idyllic '50s American community, this neighborhood has the expected white picket fences, stay-at-home wives and uniformly Caucasian families, but there's one significant difference: Its maids, paperboys, et al, are zombies. Yes, you heard right. After the human-zombie wars ended with most of the flesh eaters eliminated, the survivors were domesticated and outfitted with a special collar to keep them docile and harmless. At least, that's what ZomCom, the corporation that traffics in zombies, claims in its ads, but Timmy Robinson (K'Sun Ray), whose family has just bought one of the undead, has his doubts, especially when Fido (Billy Connolly), the Robinson's new acquisition, begins killing off the neighbors.

Canadian filmmaker Andrew Currie has seized on an interesting idea for a movie but lacks the outrageous temperament--think John Waters or early Pedro Almodovar—to pull it off. Fido , more sweet than scary, is also inherently illogical: If zombies are notoriously and consistently clumsy, dropping the pot roast or constantly missing the mark when delivering newspapers, what's the advantage in owning one? And since they're only one step away from reverting to flesh-eating killers, wouldn't ZomCom have a harder time marketing them to the public?

The movie also has difficulty settling on an appropriate tone; its graphic horror is undercut by pointed satire, so one doesn't take the gore seriously. Much more provocative is the tentative attraction between Timmy's mother (Carrie-Anne Moss) and Fido, whom she perceives as more caring than her neglectful husband; it's like a macabre Douglas Sirk movie. That bold relationship doesn't really go anywhere interesting, however, as the film retreats to political allegory—evocations of the Bush administration's so-called fear-mongering on terrorism—and obvious pot shots at family values. More than anything, Fido is a missed opportunity.
Distributor: Lionsgate
Cast: Carrie-Anne Moss, Billy Connolly, K'Sun Ray, Henry Czerny, Dylan Baker and Tim Blake Nelson
Director/Screenwriter: Andrew Currie
Producers: Blake Corbet and Mary Anne Waterhouse
Genre: Horror/Satire
Rating: R for zombie-related violence
Running time: 91 min.
Release date: June 15, 2007 NY/LA
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