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Film / Fido

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"In the brain and not the chest,
head shots are the very best!"

Fido is a 2006 comedy film directed by Andrew Currie and produced by Lionsgate Entertainment.

In an Alternate History version of the 1950s, cosmic radiation has initiated a Zombie Apocalypse. And while the bulk of the infestation has been dealt with, the lingering radiation means that anyone that dies eventually rises again as a zombie. To help maintain order, a company called Zomcon comes into power, fencing in safe communities from the heavily infested "Wild Zone", and develops a containment device to curb the remaining zombies' flesh-eating urges. With the device in place, the zombies provide a cheap source of manual labor (but if the collar is ever switched off...)

The story begins when status-conscious homemaker Helen Robinson purchases a zombie in order to save face in front of new neighbors the Bottoms, of whom Johnathan works as chief of security for Zomcon. This causes friction with her husband Bill, who hates zombies as a result of his experiences in the Zombie Wars, but son Timmy—who happens to be something of an outcast at school—quickly befriends their new acquisition, whom he names "Fido."

All goes well until a mishap with Fido's collar causes him to attack and kill the Robinsons' neighbor, Mrs. Henderson; Timmy manages to re-kill her and dispose of her body, but not in time to prevent the deaths and reanimation of several other people in the neighborhood. Now Timmy must try to keep Fido's actions under wraps while dealing with increasing scrutiny by Zomcon and growing friction between his parents.

This movie provides examples of:

  • A Boy and His X: A boy and his pet zombie. Timmy's blossoming friendship with Fido not only helps him become more sociable and strong willed, but eventually strengthens his entire family's bond as well.
  • Abusive Parent: Hinted at with Mr. Bottoms. Cindy tells Timmy that he would literally kill her if she helped him break into Zomcon headquarters to get Fido back. and also, in the final scene, says that he's much nicer as a zombie.
  • Academic Athlete: Cindy is a pre-teen version of this, being one of the classes best students, and a good rifle shot and ballet dancer.
  • Asshole Victim: Mrs. Henderson, who likes to spy on people and order Timmy around.
  • Attractive Zombie: Tammy, although she's kept like that deliberately by his owner, in a world where zombies are kept as slaves, you can imagine why.
  • Badass Adorable: 12-year-old Ballet student Cindy, is established as a great rifle shot in her first scene, and raises her hand when the class is asked if anyone there has ever killed a zombie. This aspect of her character isn't really emphasized, since this isn't that kind of movie, but there is a scene where she shoots a rogue zombie attacking Timmy's mom after Mr. Theopolis tries to help but turns out to be a graduate of Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Mrs. Robinson showing up with Fido to rescue Timmy from the zombified bullies. and earlier, Cindy shooting a zombie about to attack her.
  • Bumbling Dad: Bill is this Played for Drama, having no understanding of his son's feelings or tact towards him, and not even noticing that his wife is pregnant with another baby well after their neighbors pick up on it.
  • Cassandra Truth: The two bullies telling Mr. Bottoms that Fido attacked them and probably killed Mrs. Henderson.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Johnathan Bottoms is willing to do nearly anything to protect Zomcon's interests, to the point where he throws Timmy into the Wild Zone after he causes a minor outbreak in Zomcon headquarters while looking for Fido.
  • Cosy Catastrophe: Well, there are still uninhabitable Wild Zones, but the fenced communities have it pretty good to be able to mostly recreate standard '50's living.
  • Crapsaccharine World: An idyllic-seeming 50s world where the Zombie Apocalypse is a thing of the past thanks to control collars... Except it's mostly an act, anyone who dies almost immediately turns into a flesh-eating menace, any problem with the collars or the timely collection of new zombies risks another outbreak, collared zombies are basically a Slave Race, Lack of Empathy is rampant out of necessity, and the shady MegaCorp that handles all zombie-related problems looms large and controls the information available to the public.
  • The Dead Can Dance: Helen and Fido share a rather romantic dance.
  • Due to the Dead: Mr. Henderson gets in trouble with Zomcon for giving his wife an unauthorized funeral although it was actually Timmy who did it, with a guilty apology after having to put her down, having hoped she'd like it in a rosebush.
  • Ends with a Smile: The movie ends with the titular character smiling. This counts as both a genuine Happy Ending and a somewhat subversion of one, what with the Refuge in Audacity Boy Meets Ghoul themes reaching their logical conclusion.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Cindy gets one in her first prominent scene outside of the school, jump-roping up to Timmy and Fido and saying their moms think they should be friends, and that she wouldn't mind. Then she notices Fido isn't wearing a leash and says that all zombies have to have a leash when only supervised by a minor. Timmy says he doesn't care about Zomcon rules but Cindy points to her approaching father, says that he cares and gives Timmy her jump-rope so he can pretend it's a leash right before Mr. Bottoms gets close enough to tell. She then corrects him when he gets Timmy's name wrong, and as he tells her it's time for ballet class, whispers to Timmy that she really hates ballet.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: One of the bullies is horrified after accidentally shooting his own brother.
  • Foreshadowing: the two bullies looking a bit jealous when others raise their hands after Mr. Bottoms asks who there has killed a zombie.
  • Gigantic Moon: A shot of a zombie grandma as a silhouette in front of a huge moon.
  • Girly Girl with a Tomboy Streak: Cindy wears fancy dresses, dances ballet and has good manners, but is also a good shot, admits she hates ballet, and likes to play catch.
  • Happiness in Slavery: A few of the zombies seem to have this, but given that they can't talk it's hard to tell for sure.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • Timmy, as mentioned above. He realizes that he and Fido were responsible for the deaths of many innocents, and he even feels bad about being a Karma Houdini by using two (near) successful cover ups.
    • Mr. Theopolis, in order to create a diversion, deactivates a zombie collar in Zomcom's hall and is responsible for all ensuing deaths. He gets away scot-free.
  • Kids Are Cruel: The two Zomscouts, who not only bully Timmy but plan to kill him by removing Fido's collar, then being "heroes" by putting down Fido.
  • Lack of Empathy: With the Zombie Apocalypse, society seems to be a lot more callous. The local zombie war veteran tells his wife that he would put a bullet in her if she were to die; Timmy's mother (at the start of the movie anyway) is quite transparent about caring more about social standings and what is considered normal than Timmy's well-being and even the hero cares more about keeping Fido than the fact he (both Fido and him indirectly) have killed dozens of innocent people. It's necessitated by the consequences of being too close to people who end up turning.
    • A Running Gag is that you "Can't Trust the Elderly" because they are prone to dying unexpectedly.
  • Little Miss Badass: Cindy is a frilly, chipper preteen sharpshooter.
  • Nec Romantic:
    • Mr. Theopolis is in love with his zombie, a still relatively fresh young woman, and does things with her that are... *cough*
    • There's a lot of romantic tension in the air between Helen and Fido, who while dead, is a lot more alive than her husband.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: Mr. Theopolis' zombie/girlfriend Tammy died before the age of twenty of a brain aneurysm right in front of her mother.
  • Our Zombies Are Different:
    • Anyone that dies during or after the Zombie Wars automatically rises up as a zombie, no matter the cause of death. Newly-risen zombies are collected, collared, and sold by Zomcon as menial labor; for those that can afford the high price tag, Zomcon offers full, reanimation-proof funeral services (complete with "head coffin"), but as Mr. Robinson notes, only about 10% of the population can actually afford this treatment. With the collars, zombies are mostly mindless, but can retain some traits from their pre-mortem existences (Fido still has a thing for cigarettes, for example), and can still eat or drink normal food even though they no longer require it to survive. Without the collars, a zombie will attack and devour a human on sight unless they were already friendly with one another, as with Fido and Timmy.
    • Unlike many other zombie movies, a zombie bite does not seem to inevitably result in death (the Romero zombie movies, in which people who died of any cause rose again even if never bitten, nonetheless went by the "a bite is fatal" rule, having invented it in the first place). While not directly stated, the very much alive Mr. Theopolis is seen to bear several scars on his chest that likely came from his girlfriend.
  • Old Media Are Evil: The newspaper and TV stations around town don't appear to say anything except what Zomcon tells them, even when it's Blatant Lies.
  • Papa Wolf: Timmy's Jerkass dad turns into one at the end, facing his incredible fear of zombies to go and find his son.
  • Paranoia Fuel: In-universe example with people at risk for heart attacks, aneurysms or other health conditions that cause unpredictable death, as reanimation occurs almost immediately after death.
  • Pet the Dog: Mr. Bottoms reprimanding the two bullies for pointing a loaded gun at Timmy (although it was partially for their stupidity in failing to know that the gun was loaded).
  • Pink Means Feminine: several of Cindy's dresses.
  • Puppy Love: Timmy feels a little towards Cindy, with a song with the lyrics "puppy love" actually playing in one scene as he watches her shoot targets.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Mr. Robinson, established as a Jerkass almost from the get-go, dies trying to prove that he is a good father by saving his son from Bottoms.
  • Refuge in Audacity: What makes the movie so funny.
  • Restraining Bolt: The collars keep zombies docile and obedient.
  • Retired Badass: Mr Bottoms was a hero of the zombie wars, where he killed at least 500 zombies.
  • Skewed Priorities: During the climax, one Zomcon scientist stops to retrieve her purse while being chased by zombies.
  • Sleeping Single: Mr. and Mrs. Robinson. Fits the 50s sensibility, and shows how distant they are as a couple.
  • Stepford Smiler: Most of the living characters, to varying degrees.
  • Stepford Suburbia: The entire setting is picket fences and fifties clothes, combined with unhappy families, a police state and anyone who dies coming back as a zombie.
  • Sliding Scale of Comedy and Horror
  • Timmy in a Well: Played practically word-for-word, just with a zombie rather than a dog.
  • Worst News Judgment Ever: played with, in that the newspaper often does report important stuff, but words it pretty sillily.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: Happened pre-movie.