|Side note: Fido is a witty, sharp, wonderful movie — and the obvious conclusion to the George Romero Night of the Living Dead series, picking up on the zombies being played for laughs (and being shown as understanding how to use tools) in the original Dawn of the Dead. It's really Shaun of the Dead Meets Pleasantville — and absolutely essential viewing for those who love zombie movies, and see the inherent black humor in every living-dead flick. Highly, highly recommended!
The setting is the 1950s, sometime after the great Zombie Wars. The flesh-eating dead have been domesticated through the use of collars that, when activated, eliminate the zombies' desire to feast on human flesh, and turn them into docile servants.
When the Bottoms family moves into the neighborhood, Helen Robinson (Carrie-Anne Moss) is embarrassed that hers is the only family around without a zombie of its own, especially as Mr. Bottoms (Henry Czerny) is the new head of security at Zomcon, the company that controls the zombies (and serves as the Gestapo-like police).
Against the wishes of husband Bill (Dylan Baker), who appears to be the only person in town afraid of zombies (he's still traumatized over having killed his own zombie-father during the Zombie Wars), Helen acquires Fido (Billy Connolly).
At first, Timmy Robinson (K'Sun Ray) is not impressed by the "stupid zombie," but, as Timmy has no friends of his own, quickly takes a liking to him, and turns Fido into a pet. When Bill, as usual, is too busy to play catch, Timmy takes Fido to the park to play instead.
Fido is useless as a catch partner, so Timmy has him fetch the ball. Fido finds the ball underneath the walker of crotchety old Mrs. Henderson (Mary Black), and when he crawls under the walker to fetch it, Mrs. Henderson starts beating on him, and shorts out his collar — so he eats her. Of course, Mrs. Henderson turns into a zombie, triggering a wild-zombie outbreak. In the meantime, Timmy finds Mrs. Henderson, chops off her head with a shovel, and buries her in the park.
On a lovely outing in the countryside, Timmy and Fido run into nasty Zomcon Cadets Roy and Stan (Aaron Brown and Brandon Olds), who tie the pair to a tree; they plan to kill Fido — but when Stan shoots Fido, the bullet goes through the zombie and hits Roy in the heart. Stan panics and runs, and Fido (whose collar has been knocked out of commission again) follows him into a nearby shack and eats him.
Wild-zombie Fido returns, but even un-collared, he doesn't eat Timmy; he tries to untie him. Failing this, Fido leaves to get Helen — who by this time, not surprisingly, has become far more fond of Fido than of her icky husband Bill.
Fido and Helen return just in the nick of time — Stan, now a zombie, is just about to eat Timmy when Helen runs him down with her car. She then puts nine bullets (from a revolver?!) through Roy. Next thing we know, Helen burns down the shack, with the motionless Stan and Roy inside. Timmy and Fido are sworn to secrecy.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Henderson's body is uncovered in the park. After Timmy's bloodied baseball is found nearby, Mr. Bottoms puts two and two together, and has Fido taken away, presumbly to be destroyed. But Cindy Bottoms (Alexia Fast) tells Timmy that Fido is still alive (her dad would never waste a good zombie), and has Fido working in the factory at Zomcon.
Cindy gets Timmy to enlist Mr. Theopolis (Tim Blake Nelson) to sneak Timmy into Zomcon to find Fido. While waiting in line with dozens of other people who've brought their zombies in for maintenance, Mr. Theopolis creates a diversion (a big diversion) by shorting out the collar of a nearby zombie, so Timmy can escape amidst the confusion. (Tammy [Sonja Bennett] gets shot in the head, but, happily, Mr. Theopolis's zombie "girlfriend" does not die.)
Timmy does indeed find Fido working in the factory, but Mr. Bottoms catches Timmy, drags him outside, and throws him outside the fence into The Wild Zone.
Meanwhile, Timmy's parents race to Zomcon. Bill is upset at the idea that he's not a good father, and intends to do something about it — and here we're treated to the best dialogue in the entire film, on the way to Zomcon:
Bill: "I'd say I'm a pretty darn good father. My father tried to eat me, I don't remember trying to eat Timmy."
Helen: "Bill, just because your father tried to eat you, does that mean we all have to be unhappy... forever?"
The Robinsons arrive at Zomcon, and Bill, rifle in hand, runs the gauntlet through the chaos of the wild-zombie outbreak, and meets up with Fido. The two make their way outside, where Bill asks Mr. Bottoms to let Timmy back inside the fence, and then finally rushes Mr. Bottoms. While the two are wrestling on the ground, Timmy unlocks the gate himself (the keys were left in the lock) and escapes The Wild Zone — just as Mr. Bottoms' gun goes off and kills Bill.
As the zombies come through the gate (guess Timmy forgot to lock it again!), Helen appears and starts shooting down zombies. Timmy shorts out Fido's collar and sics Fido on Mr. Bottoms.
Bill gets his funeral, head-coffin and all.
In the last scene, the neighbors are having a nice, suburban barbeque. Mr. Theopolis serves Tammy a drink, while Timmy plays catch with Fido. Cindy arrives with the zombie Mr. Bottoms on a leash:
Cindy: "Hi, Timmy. Surprised?"
Timmy: "Sort of."
Cindy: "It's okay. It's sort of cool in a way. And he's a lot nicer."
Timmy: "Do you wanna play catch?"
Timmy: "Does, uh, your zombie wanna play? What do you call him anyways?"
Cindy: "I don't know. Right now I'm just calling him 'Daddy.'"
Timmy: "Sure, okay. Come on."
Cindy (yanking on leash): "Come on, Daddy."
Fido, in a snazzy Hawaiian shirt perfect for this sunny day, wanders over to pick up a cigarette out of an ashtray and smoke it. He stops to peer into a pram — Helen has had her and Bill's baby by now — and Fido reaches in to stroke the baby's face. He looks up to see Helen watching him; she gives him a coy, flirtacious smile.