When I first heard of Fido, I was skeptical. I think I was worried it would be terrible, cheezy or just a sad result of the Shaun of the Dead frenzy that was still going at the time. I love Zombie comedies, but of course, too much of anything is bad.
When I finally saw it, I realized I had been an ass, especially when I realized that Billy Connolly, an actor I respect greatly, was in fact Fido!
I honestly didn’t even recognize him, and still barely do, even knowing for a fact that he’s the star. Yet more proof of his quality acting and superb character immersion, as with all his roles, Billy Connolly really portrays his characters in a relaxed and natural way.
He’s in countless big name films, though not often in the lead, but will soon be in the much awaited for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again due for release this year and 2013 (he plays Dain Ironfoot, once again not a huge roll, but King Under the Mountain isn’t a bad title to hold).
In Fido, Connolly portrays an clumsy, somewhat affectionate and free thinking zombie. A character unlike any other I can think of -Fido is the perfect Zombie to change the way people think about the undead in this “post event world”.
The comedy in the film is rich with satire and references to characters like Lassie, though is mainly filled with new and interesting characters of its own, like the Zombie loving neighbor Mr. Theopolis, who owns but is ultimately in love with his Zombie female Tammy.
The film works to remind the human characters that these Zombie servants that have become nothing more than slaves and status symbols (to most), were in fact someone’s husband, daughter or lover before they “changed”, and although they can still contribute to society, they may also deserve a place in it and have a brighter future themselves.
Of course this passive and helpful behavior portrayed by Fido, Tammy and other Zombie slaves is only possible because of their constantly attached control collars. Invented by ZomCom, a company directly responsible for the Zombies existence within the walls of safety, the collars suppress what comes “naturally” to a zombie. Appetite and behavior suppression allows the Zombies to do menial tasks and forget about flesh long enough to form relationships with their living owners, but without they are little more than undead flesh eaters.
Is being a Zombie in this world more like being seizure prone in ours? Where medications (the collar) can “fix” the fits as long as well maintained? Their brains are still mush but maybe not so much as we would normally believe of Zombies portrayed in most Z-films. Underneath all that killing is a friendly, devoted, formerly living human being . They fear, love, have jealousy and dislike - just as any human (or dog in the obvious metaphor here)
ZomCom may be responsible for revealing this and offering Zombie services to the living characters in the first place, but they are also (inadvertently?) responsible for making them slaves. Is it like the day we discover out Roomba vacuums are making decisions on their own (see STNG S6E8)? and while the company who invented them denies it fervently, who will be fighting for Roomba rights?
Well, since I can’t answer that, I will tell you who fights for Zombie rights, The Zombie Rights Campaign for one.
I would be interested to see a sequel to Fido where Zombie rights came more even into play.