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The Hell Plaza Oktoberfest

The Hell Plaza Oktoberfest

Adam Jahnke - Main Page


2006 (2007) - Lionsgate

Zombies. Every time a new book, comic or movie comes out featuring the walking dead, all I can think is how bored I am with them. Trouble is they keep making good ones, from novels like Max Brooks' World War Z to comics like Marvel Zombies. And then you've got the movies, including the better-than-it-shoulda-been remake of Dawn of the Dead, Romero's own Land of the Dead, Edgar Wright's brilliant Shaun of the Dead, among others. Good zombie stories are so abundant, I can never quite get myself to throw in the towel on the whole subgenre.

Fido is another one of the good ones, even though it was never quite as great as I wanted it to be. As the movie opens, the Zombie Wars have been fought and won (by the living, thankfully).

Thanks to a corporation named ZomCom, the undead menace is contained and zombies have been made docile thanks to an inhibitor collar that curbs their appetite for living flesh. The shambling dead have been put to work in menial service industry jobs and nearly every home in the picture-perfect 50s suburban neighborhood has a handful of zombie servants. Helen and Bill Robinson (Carrie-Anne Moss and Dylan Baker) are the last to get one, due to Bill's zombie-phobia. Helen gets one to keep up with the new neighbors and son Timmy (K'Sun Ray) befriends the monster and names him Fido (Billy Connolly). But when Fido's collar accidentally malfunctions and he attacks someone, the zombie epidemic threatens to rise again.

If you've ever seen the 1989 horror-comedy Parents, starring Randy Quaid and Mary Beth Hurt as an ideal 50s suburban couple who happen to be cannibals, you've got a pretty good idea of the tone of Fido. Fido is a better movie than Parents but in each case, the premise seems a bit one-note. Fido is consistently amusing. The entire cast, which also includes Tim Blake Nelson as a neighbor who has found the ideal woman in his zombie and Henry Czerny as the head of ZomCom security, is terrific. But the movie was never as laugh-out-loud funny as I wanted it to be. It's a tough movie to dislike but by the end of its brief running time, I was ready for it to be over.

Lionsgate's DVD presents the feature in a very nice anamorphic transfer with 5.1 audio. Extras are plentiful, though a few are eminently skippable. Director Andrew Currie, producer Mary Anne Waterhouse and Carrie-Anne Moss contribute an audio commentary and Currie returns to provide optional commentary over a handful of deleted scenes. Composer Don MacDonald provides his own commentary over select scenes as well. There's an extremely brief "making of" and an even quicker blooper reel with the usual flubbed lines and giggling. The art galleries are somewhat interesting, including storyboards, Connolly's makeup and a concept art section in storybook form. Rounding out the disc is the trailer for this and other Lionsgate releases and a DVD-ROM feature called Zombie Me that, quite honestly, I didn't have time to check out. So sorry.

Fido is a good zombie comedy with the potential for greatness that it never quite reaches. Even so, I enjoyed it and imagine I'll watch it again at some point. It's certainly not the last word in zombie movies and just as well. Wait five minutes and another one will probably come lurching out of the grave.

Film Rating: B
Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras): B+/B+/A-

Adam Jahnke

Adam Jahnke - Main Page
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