Pontypool

Pontypool

Pontypool (2008)

Radio shock-jock Grant Mazzy encounters a crazed woman on his way to work one morning, only to discover that is the least of the strangeness about to befall the small town of Pontypool.

After a strange encounter with an incoherent woman on the way to work puts him on edge, Mazzy watches as the day descends into chaos in  the sleepy little town of Pontypool.  It begins innocuously enough, with a disturbance in town.  Things gradually escalate as reports begin to come in of people acting strangely, eventually attacking each other as an unexplained rage sweeps across the town.  From a radio station outside of town, Mazzy and the small staff try to piece together what is happening and then, eventually, survive the pandemonium themselves.

Ever watch “Night of the Living Dead” and wonder what those radio and television announcers must have been thinking as they chronicled the carnage?  This story is told from that perspective, and definitely calls to mind “The Crazies” as well.  It’s an understated film but offers the most unique mechanism/spin on the recent glut of zombie/rage virus movies and for that reason alone deserves some special notice.  Does it actually make sense?  Probably not, but it’s intriguing and innovative…two things which are hard to accomplish in the over-saturated genre.  The acting is a bit uneven and the film has no budget to speak of, but Stephen McHattie shines as the burned out small town Howard Stern wannabe and largely carries the film, despite some corny moments here and there.

If you’re tired of the “zombie” movies, this is still worthwhile.  It’s not a zombie in the truest sense, channeling “28 Days Later” or the previously mentioned “Crazies”, but without the heavy-handed brooding and despair of those films, mixing in just enough of a “Shaun of the Dead” vibe to keep the premise plausible.  If you’re looking for something a little off the beaten path, you should consider visiting Pontypool.

 

Stars: 3.5/5

 

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