I found this 2007 Canadian horror-comedy hybrid on The Movie Channel and stashed it in my DVR for future reference. After viewing it, I’m on the fence about recommending it. FIDO tells the tale of a 1950s world where a radioactive cloud from space caused the dead to rise. A great Zombie War was waged, and the ghouls were contained by Zomcon, an official government agency. Now the zombies are fitted with collars to control them and used as servants. The more feral ones are banished to “The Wild Zone”, outside the fences of cities.
The story focuses on young Timmy Robinson (K’Sun Ray), a lonely boy picked on at school by bullies. His mother Helen (Carrie Ann Moss) gets him a zombie companion (Billy Connelly). Timmy names the zombie Fido and the two bond, much to the chagrin of dad Bill (Dylan Baker). When Zomcon Head of Security Mr. Bottoms (Henry Czerny) moves into the neighborhood and sees Timmy and Helen getting too attached to Fido, he has the zombie hauled off to “The Wild Zone”. But never one to “waste a good zombie”, Bottoms has instead shipped Fido to the Zomcon factory to toil. Timmy gets wind of this through Bottoms’ daughter, and with the aid of neighbor Theopolis (Tim Blake Nelson), who has a zombie girlfriend, he sneaks into Zomcon headquarters to try to rescue his undead pal.
Writer/director Andrew Currie tries, but can’t quite pull off the delicate balance needed for a film like FIDO. The movie is trying to make a statement with its themes of containment and conformity, yet fails in that regard. There’s a few chuckles here and there, and virtually no scares at all. Coming off like a cross between PLEASANTVILLE and EDWARD SCISSORHANDS, FIDO comes close to neither. I would love to see what Tim Burton could do with the material; the film is lacking that macabre touch necessary for it to succeed. FIDO does put good use to period songs by Jimmy Witherspoon, Billy Eckstein, Buddy Stewart, and Kay Starr. as well as originals by 60s British Invasion rocker Ian Whitcomb (“You Really Turn Me On”). All in all, FIDO is not bad, but not worth going out of your way to find, either. A game effort, nonetheless.