Hell Plaza Oktoberfest
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2006 (2007) - Lionsgate
Zombies. Every time a new book, comic or movie comes out
featuring the walking dead, all I can think is how bored I am
with them. Trouble is they keep making good ones, from novels
like Max Brooks' World War Z
to comics like Marvel Zombies.
And then you've got the movies, including the
better-than-it-shoulda-been remake of Dawn
of the Dead, Romero's own Land
of the Dead, Edgar Wright's brilliant Shaun
of the Dead, among others. Good zombie stories are so
abundant, I can never quite get myself to throw in the towel on
the whole subgenre.
Fido is another one of the
good ones, even though it was never quite as great as I wanted
it to be. As the movie opens, the Zombie Wars have been fought
and won (by the living, thankfully).
to a corporation named ZomCom, the undead menace is contained and
zombies have been made docile thanks to an inhibitor collar that
curbs their appetite for living flesh. The shambling dead have been
put to work in menial service industry jobs and nearly every home in
the picture-perfect 50s suburban neighborhood has a handful of
zombie servants. Helen and Bill Robinson (Carrie-Anne Moss and Dylan
Baker) are the last to get one, due to Bill's zombie-phobia. Helen
gets one to keep up with the new neighbors and son Timmy (K'Sun Ray)
befriends the monster and names him Fido (Billy Connolly). But when
Fido's collar accidentally malfunctions and he attacks someone, the
zombie epidemic threatens to rise again.
If you've ever seen the 1989 horror-comedy Parents,
starring Randy Quaid and Mary Beth Hurt as an ideal 50s suburban
couple who happen to be cannibals, you've got a pretty good idea of
the tone of Fido. Fido
is a better movie than Parents
but in each case, the premise seems a bit one-note. Fido
is consistently amusing. The entire cast, which also includes Tim
Blake Nelson as a neighbor who has found the ideal woman in his
zombie and Henry Czerny as the head of ZomCom security, is terrific.
But the movie was never as laugh-out-loud funny as I wanted it to
be. It's a tough movie to dislike but by the end of its brief
running time, I was ready for it to be over.
Lionsgate's DVD presents the feature in a very nice anamorphic
transfer with 5.1 audio. Extras are plentiful, though a few are
eminently skippable. Director Andrew Currie, producer Mary Anne
Waterhouse and Carrie-Anne Moss contribute an audio commentary and
Currie returns to provide optional commentary over a handful of
deleted scenes. Composer Don MacDonald provides his own commentary
over select scenes as well. There's an extremely brief "making
of" and an even quicker blooper reel with the usual flubbed
lines and giggling. The art galleries are somewhat interesting,
including storyboards, Connolly's makeup and a concept art section
in storybook form. Rounding out the disc is the trailer for this and
other Lionsgate releases and a DVD-ROM feature called Zombie
Me that, quite honestly, I didn't have time to check out.
Fido is a good zombie comedy with the potential for greatness that
it never quite reaches. Even so, I enjoyed it and imagine I'll watch
it again at some point. It's certainly not the last word in zombie
movies and just as well. Wait five minutes and another one will
probably come lurching out of the grave.
Film Rating: B
Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras): B+/B+/A-
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