If you are a fan of 50's Sci-Fi, Zombie Films or Dark Comedy in general...this one is not to be missed.
While there is a bit of (fairly well done) gore it is not used as an attempt to shock or sicken the viewer, it's all very "matter of fact". Simply something that is bound to happen when your dealing with zombies.
It's real strength is its bitting social commentary, the stunning sets and solid (yet humorous) acting by everyone involved.
Simply put...there is something here for just about everyone.
In a way the comedy picks up where 'Shaun' left off, except we're back in the original 1950s Living Dead-era stereotypical middle-American small town. The Zombie Wars are over and zombies themselves are becoming more well-adjusted, useful members of the community. This, so we're informed at the outset, is largely thanks to the scientific advances made by the good people at Zomcom - a nice play on romantic comedy perhaps?
The beauty of the film lies in its dead-pan depiction of a respectable neighbourhood maintaining core values while making a place for zombies and the special hazards they pose. The charm and balance with which it does this is near enough perfect. Themes you might expect from a more mainstream kitsch comedy come through - the veneer of good clean living, keeping up appearances, repressed emotion, muddled parental values, social decorum and the plight of the alienated individual.
It's a story told with happy heart and wide appeal that is brought to life vividly by the film's all-round strong cast. It's one of those works where it really shows through that everyone involved got a kick out of taking part. It's also fun imagining what Billy Connelly learning his script must have been like...
So in conclusion, it is probable you will appreciate the humour of this film unless your father tried to eat you.
In a 1950s-era alternate universe where domesticated zombies play a functional role in society by delivering the milk, carrying the mail, and even helping out with household chores, one boy is about to find out just how big of a personal responsibility "pet" ownership truly is. When the Earth passed through a cloud of space dust and the dead arose from their graves to devour the flesh of the living, it first seemed that all hope for humanity was lost. Society's rapid slide into chaos, however, was soon halted when scientists at a company called ZomCom created a special collar that turned the rampaging animated corpses docile. Now, thanks to ZomCom, everything is under control -- or is it? Timmy Robinson (K'Sun Ray) isn't quite convinced. Quiet and withdrawn, the skeptical young boy spends so much time locked away in his room that he's almost become invisible around the household. His mother Helen (Carrie-Anne Moss) has recently purchased a zombie to help keep things tidy around the house though, and when the creature attempts to engage the curious youngster in a game of catch, a friendship is forged between boy and zombie that finds the amiable gut-muncher nicknamed Fido (Billy Connolly) practically becoming a part of the family. Things take a turn for the worse however, when Fido's collar malfunctions and Timmy's neighbors begin dying in droves. When ZomCom's top zombie control specialist Mr. Bottoms (Henry Czerny) moves in across the street from Timmy, the increasingly complicated situation threatens to place a serious stumbling block in the path of human-zombie relations.
Fido is a cute comedy that deserves wider recognition, especially considering the mainstream crap that is supposed to entertain us these days. As has already been pointed out, this is hardly a real zombie film, but rather a sweet satire that employs the undead to point fingers. While there are necessarily some bloody scenes, there is almost no gore and the way this movie is presented (feel-good 50s style), I can't imagine anyone being actually scared or turned off by Fido & his fellow sufferers.
While the cast is generally good, I felt that Moss and Nelson stood out. The humor is not in-your-face, but rather subdued; there's a lot of attention to detail and I caught myself smiling benignly several throughout the movie. This is certainly no masterpiece of cinema, but it doesn't strive to be - instead, Currie succeeds in delivering a heart-warming black comedy.
Helen Robinson: Bill, just because your father tried to eat you, does that mean we all have to be unhappy... forever?
A wonderfully dark comedy that combines the setting of a 50s sitcom with zombies.
School Children: [singing] In the brain and not the chest. Head shots are the very best.
The world people live in here is a society which has suffered from a zombie war years prior and now, in the 50s people coexist with zombies serving as their workers due to domestication collars.
Young Timmy Robinson's family just got a new zombie servant of their own. Timmy grows fond of the zombie and names him Fido. They have fun together, but soon the zombies collar accidentally shuts off resulting in a death. This causes a series of events leading to more deaths, which is never a good thing. Meanwhile, all Timmy wants to do is play with his zombie friend.
Mr. Bottoms: Is that blood on your zombie?
This is simply the main plot of the movie, what makes it so wonderful is the way it is setup. The 50s backdrop is the setting for a wonderfully colorful world rich with a bright color palette. Its style reminded me of Leave It To Beaver, as well as Edward Scissorhands and Pleasantville. The music is of course right out of an old sitcom as well.
You also have some ingenious casting with comedian Billy Connolly as Fido, getting emotions across through moans. Carrie-Anne Moss as a 50s mom with a twist. Dylan Baker as the dad who had to kill his own father and has since become tuned out from being happy. Tim Blake Nelson as the next door neighbor who uses his zombie for more than just a servant. And then young K'Sun Ray as little Timmy, who acts as a curious young boy.
And despite its playful tone, this movie makes sure to deliver on some gore every now and then. Wonderfully offbeat.
Bill Robinson: Well, she is over sixty-five, Helen, and old people can't be trusted.
[to Mr. Bottoms]
Bill Robinson: Ain't that right?
Mr. Bottoms: Yeah, we've had a lot of trouble with old people.