CHARACTER CHANGES IN THE
“CAR WASH” SCENE IN: FIDO
Fido, directed by Andrew Currie is a Technicolor zombie film set in the 1950’s in a town called Willard. Willard is controlled by a corporation called Zomcon who finds a way to harness zombies with an electric neck collar that turns zombies into servants for the working-class people. To keep up with the neighbours, Helen Robinson gets a pet zombie, Fido for the family. Helen is a lonely, lifeless mother who cares more about appearances than emotions. Her husband, Bill Robinson, is terrified of zombies, is emotionless towards his family, especially with his wife, and is a terrible father towards his son Timmy. Timmy, a social outcast, depends on his father to play ball with him on his father’s day off. Ironically, Fido becomes a catalyst for change in the family. Fido helps Bill realize that he is emotionless and an outsider within the family. He also helps Helen to love again, and become a friend to Timmy. One scene that depicts how Fido is a catalyst for change in the family is the “car wash” scene (from 00:44 to 00:47).
Helen begins to become a different person at the beginning of the “car wash” scene. Helen is carrying a glass of lemonade for Timmy, but decides to go back into the house and bring out three glasses of lemonade for herself, Timmy, and Fido. By doing so, Helen is starting to humanize Fido by bringing a drink out for him since zombies do not eat or drink. As Helen is walking towards Timmy and Fido washing their family car, she is shot in slow motion between her and Fido. The shot becomes lyrical and otherworldly - too perfect to last (Giannetti, 140). There is a definitely a moment between Helen and Fido. By the way they are looking at each other, it seems as if they have become more emotionally involved. The slow motion shot ends when Timmy sprays water at Fido with a hose. He, also sprays water at Helen, but her reaction,
surprisingly, is playful towards Timmy...