Fido Andrew Currie

Given this film’s combination of ’50s repression and flesh-eating zombies, I was ready for something sophomoric and cheap. Imagine my surprise at the unusually sustained romp it became, a fact rendered all the more shocking when you realise that it’s Canadian. Set in an alternative past where zombies have been tamed and a mega-corporation controls their movements, it depicts the relationship between lonely boy Timmy (newcomer K’Sun Ray) and new household zombie Fido (an uncanny Billy Connolly). The two strike up an immediate friendship, which is complicated by the fact that Timmy’s father (Dylan Baker) hates zombies, oh, and that Fido’s accidentally infected some of the locals. It’ll take strength, determination and the lecherous man next door (a standout Tim Blake Nelson) to set things right. The whole thing could so easily have gone wrong but writer/director Andrew Currie deftly blends comedy, carnage and Diefenbaker for a film that’s as funny as it is pointed. I regretted the film’s refusal to get serious, especially when Timmy’s mother (Carrie-Anne Moss) starts to fall for Fido, but though it misses out on being All that Romero Allows it’s still well in control of its premise and its anti-corporate mission. CanFilm watchers will also be intrigued. Instead of glumly accepting the machinations of power, the film tries to find a happy medium between stifling order (the ’50s) and untrammelled anarchy (the untamed zombies), a small gesture but one that shows progress is being made in loosening up the national myth. And of course, Currie’s wit and aesthetic sense show that competency might yet come to Canadian film, making his debut feature all the more pleasing. (TVA)