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Fido (DVD)

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Fido DVD review!Starring Billy Connelly, Carrie-Anne Moss, Dylan Baker, K’Sun Ray

Directed by Andrew Currie

Released by Lionsgate


Really, there’s not a lot to say about Fido that I didn’t already say in my review of the movie, though I admit watching it again at home, with commentary, did give me some new perspectives on this very cool, very different zomcom.

First off, the color palette and the way the frame is used throughout are just amazing. In this day and age when everyone wants their zombie movie to look dirty, director Currie did the exact opposite and made Fido as bright and beautiful as possible; one of the many things that help Fido stand apart from pretty much every other zombie film out there.

Another side that didn’t sit as much with me the first time I saw it was just how much the movie is about relationships. You see Carrie-Anne Moss’ character go through a complete 180 in terms of how she deals with her son Timmy (Ray) and her husband Bill (Baker), but you also see how an undead house zombie (Connelly) can show more human emotion than anyone else in the family and serves as the catalyst for a change in everyone.

If you don’t know what Fido is about, allow me to summarize; back in the 1940’s, instead of going to World War II, we fought the Zombie Wars. After the Earth passed through a cloud of space dust that brought the recently deceased back to life, humanity was in jeopardy of becoming extinct.

Fido DVD review!Because of the pioneering work of some very egg headed scientists, though, we found a way to control the zombies with the use of an electronic collar that more or less domesticated them. Now, 10 years later, they’re a part of everyday society, doing the menial tasks we can’t be bothered with.

Timmy’s never really cared if he has a zombie or not, but his mother sure does. She’s very big on appearances, you see, so when the new head of security at Zomcom (the company responsible for controlling zombies and making the world a better place) moves in across the street, she knows her family can’t go another day without their own house zombie. Enter Fido, who shows them all a side of themselves they’ve been repressing for far too long but not in some cheesy, feel-good way. Fido is something you really need to experience for yourself to understand but trust me; it’s a great time from top to bottom.

So I’m very sorry to report that there’s just not a lot of meat to this DVD’s bones. For example a “making of” featurette is actually anything but; it’s just an EPK with talking heads and no real info whatsoever. I really wish they’d stop calling these making-ofs, it’s just insulting when you compare it to something like Full Tilt Boogie or 30 Days in Hell.

Fido DVD review!Some deleted scenes fill in the gap a bit, but as with most scenes that don’t make it into the finished film there’s usually a damn good reason for their exclusion. One with Carrie-Anne in the garage explaining why the family car is all banged up, however, is pretty funny to watch.

They at least try and do something different with all the concept art created for the film with a Fido storybook, giving a condensed run down of the plot set against some great drawings done to layout the movie. You also can watch a rather dull still gallery of Billy Connelly going from motor-mouthed comedian to subtle, silent zombie, or just breeze through the storyboard art on your own.

On the commentary, you have your choice of either listening to director Currie, producer Mary Anne Waterhouse and star Carrie-Anne Moss (well, for about an hour of it), which tends to be a bit dull but will fill you in on the behind-the-scenes that the making-of sure as hell doesn’t have, or you can dig on a half-hour long commentary done by the film’s composer, Don MacDonald. I’m sure that last one’s a treat for fans of the film’s music (which is quite good) but to the rest of us is just filler.

Fido DVD review!Pop the DVD in your computer (assuming you have a DVD-ROM, of course) and you can play a game in which you put your head on the cutout of a zombie and see what you’d look like dead. Its hours of fun! Actually it is kinda cool but I would’ve sacrificed it in a second for some more real behind-the-scenes info. Isn’t that what DVDs are all about, anyway, learning as much as you can about the movie you just watched? Sigh. Oh, and I hate, hate, hate the cover they chose to use for the release. Just … terrible.

In the end, though, the features are just fluff. You gotta see Fido to really appreciate it or, as I guess could be the case, completely disagree with me (though why would you?) so get out there and get the damn thing already. Make sure you have a nice home entertainment system to watch it on, too, because there’s a lot you could miss without it!

Special Features

  • Commentary by director Andrew Currie, producer Mary Anne Waterhouse and star Carrie-Anne Moss
  • Commentary by Composer Don MacDonald
  • Making of Fido
  • Deleted scenes
  • Storybaord, still gallery, and Fido flipbook
  • “Zombie Me” creator (DVD-ROM)
  • MOVIE


    4 1/2 out of 5

    EXTRAS


    2 1/2 out of 5

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    The Dollmaker Short Film Review – Welcome to Heebie Jeebie City!

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    Starring Perri Lauren, Sean Meehan, Dan Berkey

    Directed by Alan Lougher


    The loss of a young child drives a mother to take a set of unusual measures to preserve his memory, and all it takes is one call to The Dollmaker.

    When the short film by Alan Lougher opens up, we see a rather disturbing image of a little boy inside a casket, and the sound of a grieving mom speaking with an unidentified man in the background – he’s requesting something personal of the child to help “finish” his product, and it’s not before long that mom has her little boy back…well, kind of. What remains of the child is the representation of his former self, although it’s contained within the frame of a not-so-attractive doll, and the boy’s father isn’t a believer in this type of hocus-pocus (or the price to have this constructed, either). The doll comes with a specific set of instructions, but most importantly, you cannot spend more than one hour a day with the doll, or else you’ll go mad thinking that the soul inside of it is actually the person that you lost – sounds reasonable, doesn’t it?

    Well this is just too good to be true for Mommy, and as the short film progresses, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens to her mind – it’s ultimately a depressing scenario, but Lougher gives it that creepy feel, almost like visiting a relative’s home and seeing their dearly departed pet stuffed and staring at you over the fireplace – HEEBIE-JEEBIE CITY, if you ask me. All in all, the quickie is gloomy, but ultimately chilling in nature, and is most definitely worth a watch, and if I might use a quote from one of my favorite films to apply to this subject matter: “Sometimes…dead is better.”

    • Film
    3.5

    Summary

    Ultimately chilling in nature!

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    DIS Review – Not for the Faint of Heart!

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    Starring Bill Oberst, Jr., Lori Jo Hendrix, Peter Gonzales Falcon

    Directed by Adrian Corona


    I’ve made this claim many a time on this website before, and in the company of film friends as well: Bill Oberst Jr. is one of those actors that can literally be thrust into ANY role, and deliver a performance with so much harnessed electricity that you couldn’t believe that it was possible. I was the lucky recipient chosen to get a look at his latest project, titled DIS, and I think that I can honestly say – this is the stuff that nightmares are constructed of.

    Directed by Adrian Corona, this 60-minute dive into the black depths of hell, and in actuality DIS is located between circles # 6 and 9 in Dante’s Divine Comedy, and trust me when I tell you – there’s not a shred of comedic relief in this demented presentation. Oberst Jr plays an ex-soldier named Ariel, and his seemingly harmless jaunt through the woods will become anything but that, and judging from the film’s opening scenes, you are meant to feel as uncomfortable about this watch as any you might have checked out in recent memory.

    Perversion is the norm here, and lord help you if you’re caught where you shouldn’t be…my skin’s crawling just thinking about what I saw. Ariel’s travels are basically dialogue-free, but it only adds to the infinite levels of creepiness – you can tell he’s being stalked, and the distance between he and the horrors that await are closing in rather quickly.

    Visually by itself, this hour-long chiller can sell tickets without any assistance – hollowed-out buildings and long sweeping shots of a silent forest give the movie that look of complete desolation. Sliced up into three acts, the film wastes no time in setting up the story of a killer needing fresh blood to appease his Mandrake garden – seriously guys, I can’t type as much flashy stuff as there needs to be in order to describe this innately disturbing production.

    If you’re one of those types who tends to shy away from the graphic side of things, then I’d HIGHLY advise you to keep your TV tuned to the Hallmark Channel for some holiday entertainment, because this one registers high on the “I can’t believe someone thought of this” meter. So the quick recap is this: Oberst Jr in a standout performance, visual excellence, and an unshakable sense of debasement on a cellular level – keep the kiddies out of the living room with this one. Corona should be lauded (or locked up – just kidding) for his work on this one – HIGHLY recommended, and one that I’ll throw down as a top 5 for me in 2017.

    • Film
    4.5

    Summary

    Director Corona should be lauded (or locked up – just kidding) for his work on this one – HIGHLY recommended!

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    User Rating 2.92 (12 votes)
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    Todd And The Book Of Pure Evil: The End Of The End Review – A Heavy Metal Massacre In Cartoon Form

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    Starring Alex House, Bill Turnbull, Maggie Castle, Melanie Leishman, Chris Leavins, Jason Mewes

    Directed by Richard Duhaney and Craig David Wallace


    “Todd And The Book Of Pure Evil” – Canadian television’s greatest blend of Evil Dead, Superbad and Deathgasm? Yes. That answer is yes. For two face-melting seasons, Todd “protected” Crowley High from episodic villains who were bested by metal riffs, stoner logic and hormonal companionship. Musical interruptions showcased stage theatrics like Sondheim meets pubescent Steel Panther and high school tropes manifested into vile, teen-hungry beasts. It was like a coming-of-age story got stuck between Fangoria pages – all the awkwardness with 100x more guts.

    That – for worse – was until Todd fell to a premature cancellation after Season 2’s clone-club cliffhanger. Indiegogo became the show’s only way to deliver a feature-length finale, except to reduce costs and ensure completion, the project would have to be in cartoon form. Todd And The Book Of Pure Evil: The End Of The End suggests an animated curtain call for this otherwise live-action production, and from a fan’s perspective, familiar maturation follies befall our favorite bloodsoaked friend group. But for new viewers? Start with the far-superior original show – you’ll be lost, underwhelmed and baffled otherwise.

    Alex House retains his characterization of Todd Smith (in voice only). At this point, Todd has thwarted the book’s apocalyptic plan, Hannah (Melanie Leishman) has died, longtime crush Jenny (Maggie Castle) isn’t as horny for Todd anymore, and best friend Curtis (Bill Turnbull) has sworn Todd’s name to Hell (since Hannah was his girlfriend). Guidance Counselor Atticus Murphy Jr. (Chris Leavins) is now Janitor Atticus Murphy Jr. because Janitor Jimmy (Jason Mewes) is now Counselor Jimmy, yet Crowley High finds itself plagued by the same satanic uprisings despite these new changes. Why is evil still thriving! How is Hannah back in class! Who is the new “Pure Evil One” now that Todd has denied the book! Welcome to the end, friends – or is it a new beginning?

    At just north of 80 minutes, structure runs a bit jagged. We’re used to Todd battling one baddie over a half-hour block – backstory given time to breathe – but in The End Of The End, two mini-boss cretins play second fifth-fiddle to the film’s big-bad monster (well, monsters – but you’ll see). A double-dose of high school killers followed by a larger, more important battle with the gang’s fate hanging in the balance. Not a problem, it’s just that more length is spent singing songs about Todd’s non-functioning schlong and salvaging relationships from the S2 finale. Exposition (what little there is) chews into necessary aggression time – fans left ravenous for more versatile carnage, underwhelmed by the umpteenth cartoon erection gag. Did I mention there’s a lot of boner material, yet?

    These two mini “chapters” – “No Vest For The Wicked” (yarn demon)/”Zits Alors” (acid acne) – never come close to rivaling Hannah Williams’ doppelganger bombshell (“Songs About Boners”/”This Is The End Of The End Of the End”). Hannah [X]. Williams waking up in a room full of other Hannahs, emerging from some sleep-pod chamber; Todd’s gang facing off against this new “chosen one” in a way that erases “Sack Boy” and “Pizza Face” from memory. The End Of The End dashes dildoes-swinging into the show’s biggest mystery while dropping call-backs and bodies with equal speed – maybe too hastily for some.

    Now, about the whole pivot to animation – a smooth rendering of Crowley High and all its mayhem, but never representative of Todd And The Book Of Pure Evil‘s very Ash Vs. Evil Dead vibe. All the practical death effects (gigantic man-eating cakes, zombie rockstars) are lost to one-dimensional drawings, notable chemistry between cast members replaced by edited recordings lacking signature wits. This isn’t Metalocalypse, where dismemberment and bloodshed are gruesome on levels that outshine even live-action horror flicks. There’s no denying some of the magic is missing without Chris Leavins’ “creepy uncle” overacting (a Will Forte breed) or the book’s living incarnations of evil. Todd And The Book Of Pure Evil: The End Of The End plays hooded minion to Todd And The Book Of Pure Evil’s dark ruler – less powerful, a bit duncier, but still part of the coolest cult around. Just try not to think about how much radness is missing inside hand-traced Crowley High?

    It’s hard not to strike comparisons between “reality” and ‘toon, because as noted above, live actors are sorely missed in a plethora of situations. Be they musical numbers, heretic slayings, Todd and Curtis’ constant references to wanking, wangs or other pelvic nods (no, for real, like every other sentence) – human reactions no longer temper such aggressive, self-gratifying cocksmanship. It doesn’t help that songs never reach the memorable level of “Horny Like The Devil,” but the likes of House, Leishman, Turnbull and Castle were masters of selling schlock, shock and Satan’s asshole of situations. Instead, lines now land flat like – for example – Leavins’ lessened ability to turn pervy, stalkerish quips into hilarious underage stranger-dangers. Again, it’s not Metalocalypse – and without that kind of designer depth, a wall prevents inter-dimensional immersion into Todd’s extracurricular madness.

    If this review sounds over-negative, fret not – it’s merely wishes of what could have been. None of this is to say Todd And The Book Of Pure Evil: The End Of The End should be skipped. When you’re already known for masterstrokes of ballbusting immaturity, metal-horned malevolence and vicious teen-angst creature vanquishing, expectations are going to be sky high. Directors Richard Duhaney and Craig David Wallace successfully service fans with a smile, ensuring that rivers of red scribbled blood spurt from decapitated school children just like we’re used to. It’s just, I mean – ugh, sorry, I just have to say it one more time. BY DIMEBAG’S BEARD, this would have been an epic live-action flick. As is? Still one fine-with-a-capital-F-YEAH return to Crowley High for the faithful who’ve been waiting some 5-or-so years in a Todd-less purgatory.

    • Film
    3.0

    Summary

    Todd And The Book Of Pure Evil: The End Of The End brings closure to hungry fans in all the ways they’d hope – albeit turned down a notch through animation. Over-the-top kills and headbanging metal riffs still reign supreme, they’re just drawn by hand instead of oozing practical effects this time.

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    User Rating 3.27 (11 votes)
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