Andrew Currie’s Fido (2007) is one of those movies that never showed locally—and I was OK with that, since, quite frankly, I’m pretty completely zombied out. Despite embellishments from George A. Romero (making them flesh-eating and “contagious”) and Danny Boyle (making them move fast rather than shamble), there’s only so much you can do with the damned things. I won’t say that Andrew Currie actually found something new, but his Fido does at least offer an interesting variation—and without being great, is much better than I expected. Rethinking the zombie as a satire on 1950s conformity—not to mention spoofing such period TV fare as Lassie—offers something a little different. In some ways it resembles Bob Balaban’s little-seen suburban horror picture Parents (1989), but more than that it’s like the zombie comedy take on Blue Velvet (1986)—in fact, one shot deliberately recalls the white picket fence opening of the Lynch film, but with blood splatters.
Aside from the satirical elements, the film boasts some delightful production design and a surprisingly sweet performance from Billy Connolly as the titular Fido, who goes from being a keeping-up-with-the-Joneses acquisition to more of a family member than some members of the actual family. It’s fun, but it’s also surprisingly gentle in most of its humor and its gore quotient, making you wonder who exactly it was aimed at.