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Directed by Andrew Currie.
Written by Andrew Currie and Robert Chomiak.
Starring K'Sun Ray, Carrie-Anne Moss, Dylan Baker and Henry Czerny.
Release Year:  ?
Review Date:  1/30/07


A packed house, a midnight showing, a hilarious six-minute live-action short film called "Goodbye, Mr. Snuggles" followed by a zombie comedy...the recipe was right for "Fido", a new film by director Andrew Currie that was one of my highlights for the 2007 Sundance Film Festival.

Here's the premise (and please, feel free to start laughing at any time):  in 195X, in a small, quiet town that looks like it was ripped right out of "Leave It to Beaver" and filmed in Technicolor, the people of this enclave have recently survived the Zombie Wars--imagine a war between humans and zombies soon after World War II ended--and have recently gotten back into a normal routine.  Oh, except for one thing: thanks to super-conglomerate ZomCon, the captured zombies who "survived" the Zombie Wars were made slaves thanks to the help of a state-of-the-art collar that controls zombie urges to eat human flesh.  So now, zombies take care of all of your menial tasks and household needs, like taking care of dinner, or driving the bus, or cleaning the bathroom.  In the case of the Robinsons--little Timmy (K'Sun Ray), pristine Mom (Carrie-Anne Moss, from "The Matrix") and cautious Dad (Dylan Baker)--they are one of the few families on the block to not have at least one zombie working in the house...and the neighbors are talking about them!  Finally deciding that every family needs to have at least one undead member, Mom goes out and picks up a zombie that is eventually named Fido (Irish comic Billy Connolly) to do the house work...but when Fido's collar goes bad, he has a bad habit of accidentally eating some of the neighbors, who become undead themselves, who...well...

"Fido" is absolutely hilarious for playing its mix of comedy and horror so effectively; sure, it's bloody, but it's a zombie flick, which produces laughs that make the bloodletting seem tame by nature.  The production design reminded me of that Julianne Moore drama that takes place in the 50s, "Far From Heaven"--the look is beautiful, the colors are overly perfect, the mannerisms of the performers are ripped right out of old-school TV shows, except for the simple fact that zombies need to get all shot up every so often.  The performances by everyone are great, including Henry Czerny as a Zombie Wars hero who is serving as ZomCon's security chief; the way he treats his family just killed our audience and he might be the film's best asset.  I am psyched to see this one make it to the masses; great stuff.

Rating:  Opening Weekend


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Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  This is the highest rating a movie can receive.  Reserved for movies that exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development, setting...or Salma Hayek.  Not necessarily in that order. 

"$X.XX Show":  This price changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently, it is the $9.50 Show.  While not technically perfect, this is a movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.  "Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca", but you'll have a great time watching.  The $9.50 Show won't win any Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see "Office Space"). 

"Matinee":  An average movie that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.  Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about yourself.  A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave the theater saying "That wasn't too, did you see that Lakers game last night?" 

"Rental":  This rating indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one."  Mostly forgettable, you couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the video store was out of copies of "Ronin."  If you can, see this movie for free.  This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a half stars." 

"Hard Vice":  This rating is the bottom of the barrel.  A movie that only six other human beings have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen.  A Shannon Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a movie.  Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or "Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!  (Warning:  strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard Vice"-rated movies.)

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The "fine print":
All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/ except where noted
1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09