“What is that damned zombie doing in my E-Z-boy?”

Neither as consistently funny as Zombieland nor as clever as Shaun of the Dead, this 2006 Canadian zom-com nevertheless should appeal to fans of the genre—or those tired of The Walking Dead‘s grimly serious take on the subject matter.

Title: Fido

Cast, Crew, and Other Info:

Directed by Andrew Currie
Written by Robert Chomiak, Andrew Currie, Dennis Heaton

Kesun Loder as Timmy Robinson (as K’Sun Ray)
Tiffany Lyndall-Knight as Miss Mills
Carrie-Anne Moss as Helen Robinson
Billy Connolly as Fido
Dylan Baker as Bill Robinson
Alexia Fast as Cindy Bottoms
Henry Czerny as Mr. Bottoms
Aaron Brown as Roy Fraser
Brandon Olds as Stan Fraser
Jennifer Clement as Dee Dee Bottoms
Tim Blake Nelson as Mr. Theopolis
Sonja Bennett as Tammy
Mary Black as Mrs. Henderson
Bernard Cuffling as Mr. Henderson
David Kaye as Narrator

Full credits available here

Available on DVD.

Premise:

In some alternate reality, space radiation created zombies in the 1940s, but a company called, of course, ZomCom, found a way to control the flesh-eating recently deceased, and make them slaves of wholesome folks.

You can imagine how well this works out.

High Points:

Night of the Living Dead meets Leave it to Beaver, as conceptualized by the staff of The National Lampoon, circa 1972 (with less dated politics). If that sounds like something you’d want to watch, then go fetch Fido.

Low Points:

The film has a darkly comic take on zombies, but it’s not one that consistently holds up across the film’s running time. You may find that the second half, in particular, wears a little thin.

The Scores:

Originality: 1/6 Zom-Com as social commentary is hardly new, and this one follows Shaun of the Dead, which it recalls in places.

Effects: 5/6

Story: 4/6 The film finds a number of clever ways to play on the idea of zombies as slaves/pets/second-class citizens.

Acting: 5/6 The film features some excellent, often deadpan comedy performances. Carrie-Anne Moss stands out.

Production: 6/6 The film takes place in a disturbingly polished 1950s suburb, a world you’d see in television commercials. The creators clearly took design and production seriously.

Emotional Response: 5/6

Overall: 5/6 Both zombie traditions—the Caribbean’s and Romero’s– serve satiric, parodic, and darkly comedic ends. The film has no single target of satire, though 1950s nostalgia and general repression are central concerns:

BILL: I know when you’re a kid, you feel things. But you have to get over that.
TIMMY: Get over what?
BILL: Feelings.

The script also addresses a kind of culture of death that pervades our society.

In total, Fido receives 30/42.