A crafty mixture of George Romero and Douglas Sirk, "Fido" is a boy and his zombie movie that may have an unusually pastoral color scheme but tears into its many satirical targets -- war, class, nuclear families, the '50s, our culture of death and violence -- with the vigor of a freshly reborn flesh-eater.
Director and co-writer Andrew Currie shows that style and wit in a zombie movie need not solely be relegated to a top-notch gore effects department. It's a manicured, martini-ed small-town suburbia named Willard where "Fido" is set, the only evidence of a nasty war with the undead being the taming of the enemy into a docile (if clumsily slow) working class. Zombies are now milkmen, gardeners and domestic help, and the bio-technology that allows this -- a collar whose red light indicates OK-to-engage -- comes from the ubiquitous corporation Zomcon, whose soothing newsreels promise a future free of biting and, going unspoken naturally, safe for humans to live with their comforting diet of repression.
Such is the lot of 11-year-old Timmy Robinson (K'Sun Ray), bullied at school and ignored by his golf-obsessed dad (Dylan Baker). When his exquisitely presentable homemaker mother (aquiline beauty Carrie-Anne Moss) finally keeps up with the Joneses and gets her own zombie servant (Billy Connolly), Timmy sees in their new dull-eyed, grey-skinned possession a companion to love and protect. And in a delicious twist on the Golden Rule, it seems that in moments of crisis, even with that instinct-tamping collar off, a well-treated zombie remembers who its friends are. (One of them isn't, however, cranky old Mrs. Henderson.)