“Good dead are hard to find” – and I guess, not only a dead one, but also, living good peer is now hard to find.
Personally, I really like zombie films whether by means of horrifying features, deadly views, and action-packed scenarios than love stories. I love to watch them since my insomniac mother used to be so much addicted into it. We had watched all kinds of it – Day of the Dead, Night of the Dead, Night of the living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, The Dead and Deader, The Dead and the Undead, Terror Planet, Zombieland, Shaun of the Dead and the famous Resident Evil, I am Legend, and 28 days after. These have the same genre which lies as either pure Zombie film, Sci-Fi Zombie Films or Zombie-Comedy Film. Some came from rumored stories, while others hypothesized to become real by having advancements in Science and Technology in today’s status quo. These made a distinction from the common and classic Zombie Films wherein, used to be politically attributed to the current societal realms.
MY FAVORITE FOREIGN INDIE FILM:
Plot, Settings, Climax and Characters
Out of all films, Zombies are my beloved genre. For some, it seems like an odd and funny thing while for me, these movies have something to tell, not just to terrify on the modern era of technology but also to be more critical in what lies ahead in our society.
I used to have this foreign Canadian individual film for its simple yet sturdy plot as for my Movie review. Way back from 1950’s vista, this 2006 Zombie Film, “Fido” was thematically posed in Classic Settings. It was more likely as Resident Evil series, where virus came from scientific basis. In this film, Zombieism came from a massive radiation of space down to earth where dead people turned to be undead and be a carnivorous creature craving for human flesh. This resulting into a Zombie Apocalypse like on what we have in a TV series, The Walking Dead. Perhaps, it was ended by the government’s full effort and civilians who’d been part of the “Zombie War”.
The storyline came from a town of Willard, the original place of Romero’s 1968, Night of the Living (Wikipedia). With the help of ZomCon Company, an established National Organization used to deal on zombies by scientific research, people are now living with the horrifying zombies as their house pets and trusted slaves. With the modernized innovations, Zombies can now either be a pet or slave by putting them a metallic collars and control them with remote control. This seems as entertaining to see that the man-eater creatures are now dominated by the living ones and provided cheaper cost of manual labor.
Otherwise, the story started out when the ZomCon Security Head, Jonathan Bottoms, moved on the street where Robinsons placed in. Due to being cognizant, Helen Robinson, a bourgeoisie and lovely housewife buys a zombie slave to blab out on their new neighbor. This results into clash with her husband Bill which is a zombiephobic due to his childhood trauma in the late Zombie War. Likewise, Timmy, their son, befriend their Zombie servant after defending him from bullies. Right then, Timmy named the Zombie as “Fido” and serve him as his pet dog, and yet, a father. He was then, so distant with his own father.Subsequently, Timmy let Fido find the ball while they are playing baseball. Fido met an old woman, Mrs. Henderson which is a die-hard Zombie antagonist. She wanted to kill Fido until it accidentally broke its collar. When Timmy came in, Mrs. Henderson was already dead. Late at night, he sneaks out to bury the woman’s corpse when later he knew, that Zombie outbreak beat up the town. Despite with this, he managed to conceal Mrs. Henderson body without knowing that there’s another victim of his hasty act.
Along the massive killings of zombies, ZomCon found out who the culprit is by having a piece of baseball thingy. By this, Fido had been taken away from Robinsons and made him as company’s servant.
Moreover, Cindy, daughter of Mr. Bottoms told Timmy that Fido was still alive. Timmy plans to save Fido and bring it home. He connived with ZomCon’s the former Security Head Officer, Mr. Theopolis who has a zombiefied girlfriend on his house. This cause a great mad dash within ZomCon premises when he broke another zombie’s collar.
Meanwhile, Timmy looked for Fido and yet, chased by Mr. Bottoms. The latter take the child in a zombiefied zone, where zombies prowling for human flesh. Then suddenly appears the coward Bill Robinson to save his son and then, was killed by Mr. Bottoms after struggling on the ground. Fido then escaped and killed Mr. Bottoms.
Mr. Bottoms became a zombie pet of his daughter while Mr. Robinson was cremated. Mrs. Robinson has now her new baby with Fido as her beau and Mr. Theopolis as his new closest neighbor.
- Henry Czerny as Mr. Jonathan Bottoms, Security Head Officer of ZomCon
- Carrie-Anne Moss as Helen Robinson, a status-conscious housewife
- Tim Blake Nelson as Mr. Theopolis, retired Security Head Officer of ZomCon - Zombiephilic
- Billy Connolly as Fido, the main character of the story
- Dylan Baker as Bill Robinson, Zombiephobic father of Timmy
- K’Sun Ray as Timmy Robinson, friend of Fido
- Sonja Bennett as Tammy, Mr. Theopolis’ girlfriend
- Alexia Fast as Cindy Bottoms, a hypocrite yet lovable daughter of Mr. Bottoms
- Mary Black as Mrs. Henderson, anti-zombie
STARTING POINT TO THINK ABOUT:
Analysis, significant contribution and impact
This film was directed and written by Andrew Currie. On his interview with Tony Farinella, he said that Zombie films are like humans with negative impressions. He said, “…they are so much like us. They look like us, and they act like some of us, because they’re sort of half way between living and dead and they’re hideous, and they’re deformed, and they’re rotting, and they’re decaying, so they kind of remind of us where we’re all going, you know? They remind us of disease and death and decay, and that all brings up a lot of, I think, primeval fears in people. And it certainly does in me. So, I think because of that similarity between us, you don’t have that same filter where you can go, “Oh, it’s a giant gorilla, or it’s some demonic creature with horns,” because ultimately zombies are so much closer to a human being.” (Farinella, 2007).
Personally, I perceived what Currie had said. Nowadays, there are many of us, and I admit that perhaps, I’ve been one of them who act like a zombie – zombie as absent-minded being. Typically, when the word “zombie” appears in our mind, it talks about the fetish brain eater or a filthy human form. It deals on decaying body of a flesh eating person without thought in mind except “eating”. This became distant to other genre wherein pure of justification ends. In here, or most of films in this genre rely only on the notion of survival with a happy or tragic finale. This opens a door way out of public interest.
According to Currie (Farinella, 2007), the story was drafted on 1994 and took some years for serious scrutiny. It was before a heavy tale of zombies and militarization when he used to dwell on various genres and mixed it up in a zombie story. It was made as semi-comedy and half-horror in a sense of portraying “horror” emblem. Like what Currie said, “…setting tone is always a matter of taste… it’s kind of finding what is funny or not funny to you and focusing or refocusing the scene, so that it kind of falls within your world… And that’s why I always think of directing, in a way, like filtering, because so much material and so much information is coming at you, and you’ve gotta be able to kind of know what your filter is and what your sensibility is. And, in terms of the humor/horror balance, I always wanted the humor to be present, even in the moments of horror. And if you’re expecting to be scared in a movie, Fido is not your movie, because it’s simply not scary at all. That was never the intent was to be like a really super gory horror film”. This film is really to scare people but to depict the horror within the natural set of the characters.
The name Fido was not yet revealed by Currie. Thus, according to some articles, Fido derived from a Latin word which means “I am faithful” (13Fe). This was commonly given to a pet dog due to its faithful traits. One of the famous dogs named after Fido was covered in famous magazines and newspapers (Fido). This dog was found by Carlo Soriani, a brick worker, on a bus stop of Borgo San Lorenzo, Florence, Italy somewhere in November 1941. He was very loyal to Soriani and keeps on waiting him every day at the place where they both meet. Unfortunately, Soriani was killed during Second World War in 1943. That night, Fido went to bus station and wait for his master. He do the same odd way of waiting up to 15 years until he died. This resulted into giving him a gold medal on November 9, 1957 by the mayor of Borgo San Lorenzo including Soriani’s wife. Fido went up to Time Magazine in 1957 (as cited in Time Magazine, Italy, 1957). This was therefore reflecting on Fido the zombie in the society and in the movie itself.
The stories behind zombie films reflect on what stated in the Apostle’s Creed, wherein literally, dead people will rise again with and live with an eternal life. On this note, Zombieism serves as one of the philosophical upturns of the holy churches. Thus, pointing out on the satirical course of social assemblages.
On the flow of the said film, I observed of various issues raise upon the story. First, as being a fable-themed movie, depictions of gender inequality, family bondage and culture of fear within the story plot.
FABLED. Apparently, Fido takes the role and the social construction animals in reality. Since zombies in this film were made as subordinated persona, it reflects on how the non-human beings treated and served in the reality of our status quo. This was linked in the Grounded Theory of Berger and Luckmann (1991) which is Social Constructionism that states “reality” as socially defined on the subjective experience of everyday life, refers how the world is understood rather than to the objective reality of the natural world (Andrews, 2012). The point is, how these ordinary animals attributed and served in the society? With their non-human thinking, animals are treated as organism with either cute or horrible faces that only eat and prey for food without any significant attributions to the totality of the society. Just like Fido, who used to be as pet and slave as well that has no power to refuse orders came from people because of his social construction as zombiefied person. In this film, I used to think, is that what animals for? Be a friend for animal-lovers and foes for its antagonists? They are also living things, why do we need to let them suffer as being what they are? And suddenly clings to an answer came from nowhere, that’s life. No one can dictate what lies here. Nevertheless, this film made an impact on viewers who valued their own “pets” whether it’s nice or dire. We cannot therefore blame their dispositions for they are being naturally made as what they are. We cannot just give our objective sets of reality when reality itself was made up of natural means.
When Fido experienced his natural “zombie” self, he then controlled his own feelings and acts. Instead of eating Timmy, he diverted it as to help the kid and save from fellow zombies (in the act where Timmy was locked up in zombiefied zone area of ZomCon as punished by Mr. Bottoms). In here, Fido has a grey role. He just outdoes the typical person. The story concludes that we, as highly intellectual creatures must know what is wrong rather than do wrong which was usually done by the less fortunate being as they are lacked of proper knowledge on things. Just be considerate.
GENDERLECT ISSUES. I also spotted the issues raise upon the “inequalities” between men and women on the Classic 50’s. Like Mrs. Bottoms and Helen Robinson’s role as frightened wives on their dominated husbands, clearly states that women on this Era were still out of the blue waiting for their moment to shine; while men, as head of the family, always on the run especially on lifting their “egos” to represent a firm and strong-bonded family (in the scene where Bill and Jonathan tackle their accomplishments in killing zombies during Zombie War).
Another thing is on how the society treats men that lead into idealistic mindsets towards their traits. The cowardice might be harmful but in common ends, it was another “natural” characteristic that a person must have. No one was born as heroes but reality makes people to be heroes of their own lives. At the end of the story, Mrs. Robinson fights back against the zombie attacks that also reflect on how women must fight back their waving rights as women.
FAMILY BONDAGE. The notion of family ties remains in this movie. This was proved when Bill Robinson faced his own fears of zombies and killed for the sake of Timmy. Despite of being distant, he tried to get along and show his fatherly love towards Timmy at the very end. He also changed when he knew that Helen is pregnant.
CULTURE OF FEARS. On his interview, Director Andrew Currie said that societal problems raged on the fear-based culture.“It’s about men in general. I mean, the theme of the whole movie is really that Fido is this fear-based culture, just like a lot of cultures today. The government uses fear as a way of kind of justifying whatever it’s doing. As long as you keep people and the population in a state of fear, then they’re much more moldable to what you want them to do. It’s sort of been happening throughout history for thousands of years, that kind of an idea. For me, what was interesting was using zombies in that way. ZomCon uses the zombies as this great thing, but also, look, they’re this big threat, and Fido proves the theme, which is love not fear, makes us more alive. So, Fido comes in, and he actually is the catalyst for change within the family. The kid suddenly stops being so much of a loner, and Helen Robinson starts kind of feeling love and starts changing. And Bill is the guy, who because he’s so fear-based and shut down, he can’t really see beyond the fear and pays the ultimate price for it. I mean, that’s kind of intellectualizing a zombie movie in some ways. (laughs)” Currie said (Farinella, 2007).
Eventually, Fido depicts the role of marginalized norms wherein “fear” is the ultimate cause of conformity in the society. However, these fear lead to a robotic-like manner of living. In several blog, Fido resembles the Bush Regime in United States where security forces act as puppet of the government. Some says that Fido film talks about Urban Anxieties with a negative approach of “zombie” as facing for life and death realm. For me, Fido not only foretells what might happen in the future but also, to show how corporate industries mold the mindset of its consumers. Also, it reveals the enigmatic strategy of government using the power of “advertising” to wholly control its citizenry. However, these became more futile since people of today have various and wider scope of information in hand.
On this note, watching some kind of Zombie film is not bad at all. Most of it was a modicum of shocking revelation against of what we ought to be true. J
(n.d.). Retrieved February 4, 2013, from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fido_(film)
(n.d.). Retrieved February 4, 2013, from http://www.behindthename.com/name/fido
Andrews, T. (2012, June 1). What is Social Constructionism? Retrieved February 4, 2013, from Grounded Theory Review: An international journal: http://groundedtheoryreview.com/2012/06/01/what-is-social-constructionism/
Farinella, T. (2007, November 2). 411 Movies Interview: Fido Director Andrew Currie. Retrieved February 4, 2013, from 411mania: http://www.411mania.com/movies/columns/62605/411-Movies-Interview:-Fido-Director-Andrew-Currie.htm
Fido. (n.d.). Retrieved January 24, 2013, from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fido_(dog)