Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Fido

(2006) **



Ahhh, the flesh eating zombie movie. The possibilities are endless and I won't rest until I see every last scenario. I've seen zombies go nuts in Manhattan, London, Tokyo, on an island, in the forest, on a plane and underwater. I've seen zombie babies, Nazis, nuns, birds and grandmas.

I've noticed that very few films are bold or creative enough to predict the future in the zombie timeline. About 90% begin with the outbreak and then focus on a small group of people running for their lives. In Dawn of the Dead (1978), the zombies are in the process of taking over the planet. In Day of the Dead (1982) the zombies have conquered but the movie restricts itself to a lone military base. Land of the Dead imagined a protected city ruled by thugs.

In that sense Fido is refreshing and unique. In this world the war is over. We have won and the zombies are now under our control thanks to remote control collars. They are reduced to mere status symbols and can mow your lawn, water your plants or, if you're like the sicko neighbor, satisfy your lust. In a way it takes the Romero zombie and returns it to the mindless slave depicted in virtually every zombie movie from 1933-1967. I fully appreciate the ambition on display here.

The other interesting choice is the 1950's setting which lovingly pays homage to the drive in B-movie culture of the past. I'm guessing that it was also intended as a satire of good ol'fashion family values but it never takes a stand and this is where the movie and I butt heads. The relationship between little Timmy and his pet zombie is explored (and in one of the more unbearably sappy scenes they toss the old baseball around), but it passes on the opportunity to make a statement about class, slavery, ethical treatment of animals etc. Instead it plods along with a story about an evil corporation and fleshes it out with a mind numbing Jimmy subplot involving bullies and another with the husband becoming jealous of the time his wife spends with Fido. The Disney-like music quickly becomes overwhelming and obnoxious.

But my biggest beef of all (and the reason for my ** rating) is the lack of gore that I damn well expect when watching any flesh eating zombie film. One of the unwritten rules is that you are to dedicate a certain amount of attention to over the top splatter. You know - innards being savagely feasted upon, blood spilling liberally and all around mayhem. Other "zomedies" such as Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland understand this and qualify as both horror and comedy (and in SoTD's case also romance and satire). Fido made no attempt to terrify me or churn my stomach and I deem that unacceptable. You could argue that rules were made to be broken and that it's merely a matter of personal preference but I'd argue (right back in your face, belligerently) that flesh eating zombie movies have a deep, rich history (spanning over 40 years now) that should be respected.

13 comments:

Catfreeek said...

Ppppppllllllllttt!! This is me blowing a big fat razzberry in your general direction. Gore schmore, Fido is original and refreshing. Boo!

Johnny Sweatpants said...

That's ok Freeek. Disagreement on this blog is rare and exciting and I'm going to express my honest opinion. To see alternate points of view check out AC's review on the monster list as well as Mr. AC's haiku.

Fast moving zombies were once considered blasphemous too but the excellent 28 Days Later followed by Dawn of the Dead (2004) and a slew of other noteworthy movies like Resident Evil silenced the naysayers. I can't say the same for the PG zombies depicted in Fido.

Catfreeek said...

Well, you didn't totally dis it and that makes me smile.

Catfreeek said...

Ppppppplllllltttt ;p

Johnny Sweatpants said...

Don't you fart on me, woman! I bet if you watched Fido again you'd be reaching for the fast forward button within the first half hour.

I concede that I regret underrating Zombieland last year.

Catfreeek said...

Anything beats the French piece of shit I watched tonight. Think they sent one of Whirly's movies to my house by accident.

JPX said...

I think I aborted Fido after a few minutes. It was a while ago, I just can't recall. I thought Zombieland was a lot of fun.

Octopunk said...

A-fucking-men! Gore for the win!

(I wish I had commented first, this would've had more punch.)

Haven't seen this, don't know how I'd fall, but this review's bullheaded opinionmongering is damn good reading. "Flesh eating zombie movies have a deep, rich history (spanning over 40 years now) that should be respected." Hell yeah!

50PageMcGee said...

if you like the idea of zombie aftermath, you should really check out World War Z.

it takes place years after the zombie crisis has come to an end. it's written in the form of a collection of interviews. the interviews talk about personal experiences, famous sieges, famous steps in worldwide containment, and a lot of it is about how badly we behave toward each other when we're in a crisis.

great read.

Catfreeek said...

I'm still wondering why AC didn't come to my defense here.

Whirlygirl said...

The concept of this film sounds pretty interesting, but I certainly see JSP's point too. I might have to watch it and see if I'm on the side of Cat or Pants.

Cat, the bad movies coming to my house comments are cracking me up. When you say it, I picture opening my door to a mound of bad horror films.

Catfreeek said...

You're gonna have nightmares about it.

AC said...

sorry cat, having trouble keeping up with the blog this month! yeah, i liked fido too! and so did mr. ac! and if zombie movies have to have gore, how could jsp give 5 stars to "the walking dead"?