Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Review: Our Zombie, FIDO

I remember watching reruns of Lassie on Nickelodeon as a young lad, and for some reason the introduction was always the best part. John Provost as Timmy and… dramatic pause… Lassie. Somewhere between Lassie and Dennis the Menace my dear old dad showed me Creepshow and the Exorcist and all sorts of movies that will make a bubbling young boy grow into a MAN (chest thumping, teeth spitting, scratching, stinking, full-on man). Is this paradox why I like Fido so gosh darn much? A time long gone. “Classic” values. When life was simpler. A time when a man live his life full measure… wait, this isn’t a Stop at Willoughby. Let’s start over.

Fido is a love story between an aging zombie who has died of a broken heart (read heart attack) and a damsel in distress imprisoned by the confines of her very culture and upbringing (read she married her high school sweetheart). She longs for passion and spontaneity. She is enslaved in a marriage that does not support her emotionally or artistically. She is forced to keep up with the proverbial Jones even to the extent that she would purchase a zombie housemaid. Eventually, her well intentioned son helps the entire town realize their potential by showing them that they are not mere slaves of their culture and upbringing. He shows the entire town that they have real value and that life is full of as many ways to live as there are hues in the rainbow. Life is not black, white and grey. Life has color. They begin to see it in themselves. Two tone characters transforming into vivid, complex people much to the dismay of the status quo… wait… wait a minute. Wrong movie. This isn’t Pleasantville.

Ok, let’s get it right this time. Fido is about the recently deceased coming back to life and killing people. The people these so called “zombies” kill get up and kill. Our protagonists are trapped in a the confines of a small, rural town at the whim of the walking dead. Apocalypse. End of times kinda stuff. Totally… not this movie. Night of the Living Studebakers. Sheesh.

But I say to you dear readers that in fact it is that movie. And that other movie and that TV show and that culture you grew up with. It’s like Leave it to Beaver meets the zombies. Leave it to Zombies. My Three Sons becomes My Three Flesheaters. On and on. So forth and so on. Take a good ol’ 50’s retrospective flick and combine it with a gory, thoughtful motion picture and you’ve got this heartwarming tale of racial injustice, love and dinner time. Young love. The death of the elderly. Bullies and Baseball and blood. Father vs. son psychological melodrama. Murder. The only way you make this movie better is ask Tim Burton what he thinks of your take on your 50’s sensibilities and he says, “ya done a fine job there.”

One last thing before I leave you with my take on this groovy kind of movie: I sincerely thought that Timmy Robinson was played by the same actor that played Smalls in The Sandlot. Then I realized it was an impossibility. Then I checked again and realized they were made thirteen years apart. I’m still not convinced that it’s not the same actor. I AM convinced that time machines are very real things. Probably powered by Plutonium. Probably

-Dr. Jimbo Terror

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