Monday, January 7, 2008

One Missed Call, Fido

One Missed Call is a remake of the film of the same name from the masterful Takeshi Miike. The original film isn't a really good example of the awesomeness of Miike-san, for that I recommend Audition, but it's interesting as part of his filmography for how mundane it is compared to the rest, being one of a hundred Ringu ripoffs.
The American version is about a series of mysterious voice messages, received as the missed call of the title, reveal one's last words and one's time of death. To solve the mystery and save her life, Shannon Sossomon and Ed Burns (eh?) must trace the connections back to the beginning.
Somewhat competently directed by Frenchman Eric Valette (Fango raves about his Malefique and he's directing the Clock Tower adaptation), but poorly performed by all of the cast across the board and very, very poorly written by Andrew Klavan, this is a bad movie. The interesting ending and swift pacing does nothing to redeem the hour and a half one must lose to watch it.
Fido is a technicolour 50s-style zombie romp about a boy, his mother, and their pet zombie. You see, the zombie wars have come and gone and with the advent of a miracle collar, zombies are no longer a nuisance, they're a benefit, doing the things we living folks don't want to do. The titular hero zombie, played by Billy Connelly (who somehow has a Scottish accent even when he moans), starts a chain reaction of infection when his collar goes on the fritz and the boy who loves him doesn't kill the ghoul he created in time to prevent her from infecting someone else and, as so often happens, they go on to infect others and so on and so forth...
The film, directed by Andrew Currie and starring Connelly and Carrie-Anne Moss, with a performance by Tim Blake Nelson, is a wonderful mix of Leave It to Beaver and Land of the Dead (with a dash of Day's idea of domesticating the flesheaters.) Why specifically Land of the Dead? Out of all of the films in the Cycle, you ask? Simple: complacence. A protected, walled city and the people within who are aware of the issues, but choose to blissfully ignore them. They don't want to talk about the dead menace because they're in their happy place, even if it is a zombie who delivers the milk and mows the lawn. It's also about freedom and equality and not being afraid of who you are. Good stuff. I recommend it highly.

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