Want the look? SLG Art Boutiki will have a number of make-up artists on hand starting at noon on August 31. (video)
Summer’s here and the time is ripe, and so are the zombies rotting away at sundown in San Jose’s SoFA district Wednesday, August 31. It’s a red-letter day on the annual calendar; this fourth Zombie Crawl makes San Jose a top-ten zombie destination for mobs of the undead.
As zombies need something to mill around, the focus of the gathering is a free outdoor screening that ends the summer’s Starlight Cinema series on a seriously high note. 2007’s Fido is the best zom-com you’ve never heard of: a notably intelligent and entertaining sleeper from Canada.
At heart, director Andrew Currie’s Fido is about the walking dead chomping people, so have no fear. You’ll get your gore, even though that’s not all the movie is all about. Currie blends horror and humor as if in a latter day Bride of Frankenstein (the title zombie recreates the “Smoke. Good.” scene from the Karloff classic).
Fido respects the classic rules so much that it doesn’t even need to have a character sum them up: take them out with a double tap to the head; space radiation caused it all; one bite communicates the disease; no zombie can lurch faster than a crippled golf-cart. Fido’s central idea is even spun off of the original 1985 Day of the Dead, which proposed that someone (likely the Army) would figure out a commercial use for zombies.
And yet why does Fido seem so original?
Maybe it’s this: nothing since Todd Haynes’ 2002 Far From Heaven has been such a playful yet serious homage to the 1950s social melodrama of Douglas Sirk (All That Heaven Allows) and Nicholas Ray (Rebel Without a Cause). Production designer Rob Gray did sterling work recreating those vast Cinemascopic interiors in the studio-built suburban houses. Jan Kresser’s emulation of Eisenhower-era Technicolor is so vibrant it almost glows.
In this 1950s story of creeping zombie blight, the wavering father of the Robinson family (played by hard-working character actor Dylan Baker, the pervy dad in Happiness) is a salaryman. He has a big false porcelain-white smile that crumbles as soon as he gets away from the office. He seems to have everything, in this leafy Leave it to Beaver style small town. It’s protected by an electric fence. Zombies have been tamed with electronic collars, courtesy of ZomCo (whose corporate logo looks troublingly like the royal monogram of the Kingdom of Oz).