Directed by Andrew Currie
Fido takes place in a small town set in a 1950s era world where radiation from outer space has settled in the atmosphere and turns everyone that dies into a zombie. All out war erupted during the initial outbreak, but once humans learned that killing the brain kills the zombie they were victorious. And finally a pacification technology was developed by a company called Zomcon in the form of a collar that turns any ravenous zombie into a docile worker, leading to a time of relative peace where zombies have become the new working class of society. The collars have a bright red light to indicate that they are functional, and whenever it goes off the zombie reverts to a flesh eating monster. But all throughout the town are panic buttons and hence any malfunction is met with a quick response by Zomcon security staff.
Life is tough for young Timmy Robinson. He has no friends, a dad that avoids him like the plague, and a mom who's desperately trying to keep up with the Jones. But when the family gets their own zombie, Timmy soon forms a friendship with it, and even names it Fido. Trouble soon follows after Fido's collar malfunctions at the local park and he kills Timmy's elderly neighbor, Mrs. Henderson. Later that night Timmy buries her in a flower garden, but not before she kills another park visitor and starts a small scale zombie outbreak. Then Timmy and Fido are accosted by two school bullies while hiking in the woods. The bullies plan to kill Fido and claim they heroically rescued Timmy, but things backfire and the ruffians wind up dead! Fido is too clumsy to undo the rope binding Timmy to a tree, so he walks all the way back to town and gets Timmy's mom. She arrives just in time to finish off the bullies that have now become zombies and they try to cover it all up by burning the bodies in a shed.
Meanwhile Timmy's new next door neighbor, Mr. Bottoms, happens to be the head of Zomcon security. He's a company man all the way and soon deduces that Timmy and Fido are responsible for the recent troubles. Fido is taken away to become a line worker at the Zomcon factory and Timmy is given a stern lecture. But Timmy can't stand to lose his best friend, so he heads to Zomcon HQ with a plan to rescue him. Mr. Bottoms catches him in the act and takes him out back to the "yard", a fenced in area teeming with zombies, and the place where citizens who don't conform to the Zomcon ideology are mercilessly tossed. But Fido, and Timmy's parents arrive just in time. Mr. Robinson and Mr. Bottoms engage in a brief struggle for a gun, resulting in Timmy's dad getting shot and killed. Mr. Bottom's victory is short-lived and he is attacked by a horde of zombies from the yard. The Robinson family and Fido (carrying Mr. Robinson over his shoulder!) flee Zomcom as the entire facility becomes a zombie fest.
After the dust settles and Mr. Robinson gets a nice funeral, the small town goes back to normal, only now the zombies have become more respected and accepted as part of society.
While certainly one could argue this movie uses zombies to make a statement about society ala Romero's Dawn of the Dead, it's nothing profound and you'll do well to just take it at face value - it's an engaging, entertaining, and humorous story. It's the tried and true storyline of the common man standing up against the oppressive elite. Unlike other movies in the genre, zombies here are portrayed as decent, hardworking, oppressed creatures who's only crime is the occasional desire to eat you! Zomcon, the company responsible for pacifying the zombies, sells them as slave labor for profit and strongly discourages any kind of relationship with them. Like any powerful corporation, they use PR to put their spin on any situation that might be bad for business - the zombie related deaths of Mrs. Henderson and the two bullies, despite being unrelated incidents, are neatly tied together to remove zombies from the equation!
The movie does an excellent job of creating a world where zombies are completely integrated and accepted in society, even with the knowledge that everyone who dies becomes a dangerous one until pacified. In school they even teach you that elderly people are "dangerous", because you never know when one will croak! And the number of zombies you employ in your household is a mark of your financial status.
The production quality is good and the acting is top notch for a zombie flick. There really isn't much horror or gore, barely enough of it to warrant the R rating (I guess the severed head of Mrs. Henderson might have pushed it past a PG-13). As a connoisseur of zombie gore, I have to admit that overuse of it in this movie would have been unwise and detracted from the story. It's a novel take on the zombie genre and definitely a keeper.
|Zombie Source||Radiation from outer space|
The zombies don't infect you, so unlike most other movies a bite or scratch isn't a big concern unless it's fatal. The radiation that creates zombies still lingers in the atmosphere, thus anyone who dies becomes one.
Best Zombie Death
Timmy heads back to the park in the dark of night to dispose of Mrs. Henderson's body. But when he arrives he finds her as a zombie and has to fight for his life. Fortunately he's armed with a shovel and he beats the crap out of the old goat and manages to sever her head.
One of the daily school activities is target practice! The kids are all calmly laying prone in the grass firing rifles at cardboard targets, all the while chanting a catchy song, "In the brain and not the chest, head shots are the very best" over and over.