A Boy and His Zombie

What if the dead came back to life, but instead of being insatiable flesh-eating monsters they could do our menial chores, be our pets and even (gasp!) our friends and lovers? We’d all have to have one, wouldn’t we?

Such is the premise of Fido, a deadpan comedy, leaning more towards Lassie and Leave it To Beaver than Night of the Living Dead. It’s a fine addition to the growing zombedy genre and our first foray into the Toronto Film Festival this year. It is rare that we see a movie on the opening Thursday, but there were more screened than usual this year. Fido caught my eye as a funny concept about an idealized 1950s, where social conformity is paramount even when it comes to the living dead. I must not have been the only one as the TIFF programmers picked it as the opening night film for the Canada First series that focuses on new Canadian talent and ran it at the Ryerson Theatre, which I think is the largest venue in Toronto outside of Roy Thomson Hall.

It was a packed screening, with the ticket holder line snaking around a block and a half, but we got our usual seats about six rows away from the front (the only place my camera can even get a shot from and even then it’s all grainy and dark.). We saw a couple of friends while in line and again the city became friendly as it always does around this time, as we talked to strangers about what they were seeing. This definitely does not happen any other time of the year.

Turns out Fido also has quite a named cast. Billy Connolly plays the titular zombie; Carrie-Ann Moss (in the first film I’ve seen her in since the Matrix) is the mom; Tim Blake Nelson plays a former ZomCom employee, Henry Czerny as the head of ZomCon security and Dylan Baker as the father. I don’t know how an indie Canadian film landed such a cast and the Q&A wasn’t long enough to ask. Connolly, who only grunted and snarled throughout the film, was a foul-mouthed chatterbox afterward, proclaiming Fido “the weirdest fucking film I’ve ever been involved in.” The Sun has a good interview with him today.

Overheard: “I know, but it’s a school day tomorrow.” The 14-year-old star of the film, K'Sun Ray, who plays Fido’s master Timmy Robinson, being told he can’t go to the after party as he was being hustled into a waiting limo.

Fun Fact: Peter Stormare was lined up to play Fido, but had to drop out when he got the role of John Abruzzi on Prison Break,

Star Sighting: George Stroumboulopoulos jumping to the front of the line waiting for the premiere of Borat, which was screening right after Fido.

Good News/Bad News: First the bad – I have to skip our screening of Citizen Duane. I wanted to go as I enjoyed director Michael Mabbot’s Guy Terrifico last year. The good news is I’m skipping it to blog for the annual Star Schmooze Party, one of the biggest parties of the festival. Look for me on the red carpet – I’ll be the guy who looks like he shouldn’t be there.


  1. As much fun as this sounds, I'm not a big fan of Zombie movies and Shaun of the Dead did very little for me. It was great to hear about George. He's one of my favourite Canadian personalities and who knew that he was more than just a pretty face?!?!

  2. It was like no zombie movie I've ever seen. I'm no fan of the genre, nor of horror movies either. It was more about how the dead were more alive than the living. Funny too - don't let the reainimated corpses put you off!

  3. That sounds fun. I loved Shaun of the Dead. I didn't realize there was a zombedy genre, but I welcome it with open arms, although too much of a one joke thing like this can be really godawful.