A retro-nostalgic mash-up of Lassie and Night of the Living Dead, Andrew Currie’s Fido is a re-imagining of 1950s suburbia as a place where domesticated zombies work as laborers for the bourgeoisie. The film focuses on the Robinson family, particularly the son’s fondness for their zombie servant, Fido (Billy Connolly), who becomes both a best friend and a father-substitute for the young boy. Their idyll is shattered, however, when Fido eats the neighbor, and a whole new slew of zombies begin to terrorize the quaint community.
Informed by 1950s Communist-paranoia/science-fiction classics such as Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Currie similarly wants Fido to be seen as a political allegory. But for all the contemporary touchstones (countless references to “fences,” xenophobia, and even a John Kerry look-alike), it rarely moves beyond an experiment in genre cross-pollination. The acting is altogether solid, if staid, but Tim Blake Nelson (as the neighborhood necrophiliac) seems to be enjoying himself more than anyone else in the cast, and he brings an effortless camp to his gesticular performance. Fido may be clever start-to-finish, but its originality wanes around the halfway point, and with it goes its sense of humor and surprise.