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  Publicity Stills of "Fido"
(Courtesy from Shaw)

Director: Andrew Currie
Cast: Henry Czerny, Carrie-Anne Moss, Tim Blake Nelson, Billy Connolly, Dylan Baker
RunTime: 1 hr 31 mins
Released By: Shaw
Rating: NC-16
(Some gory scenes)
Official Website: www.fidothefilm.com

Opening Day: 23 August 2007


Timmy Robinson's best friend in the whole wide world is a six-foot tall rotting zombie named Fido. But when FIDO eats the next-door neighbor...the troubles begin…

Movie Review:

In a alternate universe, the great war was one fought between humans and zombies, where opportunity arises for a corporation to rise from amidst the chaos, and come out with inventive ways to seize the advantage. You know, the perennial cinematic mega-corporations like OCP (Robocop movies) or the Umbrella Corporation (Resident Evil franchise), which seem to have bitten off more than they can chew.

And the introduction is like a throwback to the presentation of propaganda and wacky commercials from OCP, providing quick bearings for the audience, setting the scene that in this reality, the company Zom-con has created a device that can keep zombies at bay, that so long as they have a collar affixed around their necks (like the Monkey God), humans have the ability to control (read: torture) them into submission (like how the monk Tripitaka does it, though here's with a remote control), while at the same time, curb their inborn affinity for human flesh. And Zom-con becomes, overnight, THE corporation in charge, carving up save human enclaves that look like the 50s and in technicolor (ala Pleasantville), while being protected from the wild west outsides (where zombies still roam) via large electrified fences.

No doubt there already are many incarnations of zombies in various movies, and my favourite being the raging unstoppables from Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later, almost nothing will prepare you to watch zombies domesticated - taking out the trash, providing umbrella sheltering services, or even an object of fantasy(!). And there are enough sight gags for you to break out in a smile, once in a while.

What works are the barrage of satires built into the storyline, and the fun is to identify them as they come on screen. Fido refers to the given name of the pet zombie of the Robinson family, where mom Helen (Carrie-Ann Moss) brings home a zombie to keep up with the Joneses - being the new neighbours the Bottoms, whose head of the household is also the head of Zom-con's security. Bill Robinson (Dylan Baker, in an excellent performance) pretty much objects to having a zombie around the house, but son Timmy (K'Sun Ray) starts to grow a liking for the big guy, especially when he turns bodyguard to protect him from the school bullies.

Naturally, Murphy's Law will prevail in situations where technology is being relied upon, and before you can say "Night of the Living Dead", Timmy and Fido will spark a series of events that will forever disrupt the town's inhabitants. Fido follows like a boy-and-his-dog type of movie, where the "dog" here happens to be a dangerous double-edged sword, harmless when on a leash, but deadly when berserk, contributing to some gore, though tame they may be. The movie also appeared at times to be quite episodic in nature, moving from scene to scene, incident to incident with nary much attempts to smoothen the transitions, which made it come across as slightly piecemeal.

But Fido is skillful and smart in poking fun, yet subtly sending out some serious messages about society in general. It contains enough wicked black comedy that on one hand make you laugh, while on the other cut the laughter short when the comedy is stripped off and you're left wondering, "gee, does that actually make some sense". Example case in point being those constant reminders about aged folks, and how society should treat and do with them. And coupled with policy jabs that can be applied to the local context, this independent Canadian film certainly deserves some local box office success.

Movie Rating:

(Sit, stand and roll over, Fido certainly has its fair share of cinematic tricks and treats)

Review by Stefan Shih

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