You’re probably well past the point of being zombied out by now. The zombie block parties and zombie pub crawls really weren’t that great to begin with, and they wont go away. The Walking Dead at least had the good decency to move the story along towards the latter fourth of the season and ended on a high note. What to do until next season?
Ol’ Pontypool has been around for a spell, 2008 if we’re being sincere, and is thankfully everything that the bright, shiny, useless Zombieland isn’t. There’s some depth here, some intensity, some atmosphere, and it zigs where the typical films zags.
Radio jockey Grant Mazzy and his cowboy hat have been recently fired from a big time gig and now must slum it on a morning show in a small Canadian town. Reports of mob violence and bizarre behavior begin to flood the station. The small crew working at the radio station wonder if they are being pranked, and then their in studio guest starts to lose it. Things quickly escalate and pretty soon the radio station is being interviewed by the world news amid increasingly absurd reports of events in the town.
Grant Mazzy and co. slowly learn that the root cause of this insanity may lie in the very words they are speaking.
Pontypool isn’t what you would call a gore fest, most of the violence takes place off camera via radio reports, but when our main characters are faced with an immediate threat, the implied violence and lingering dread really has an impact.
The familiar face of Stephen McHattie plays the aging rebel disc jockey like an academy award winner. Although McHattie doesn’t have the most familiar of film resumes, he is quite prolific with his supporting parts in bigger films. He’s sort of a cross between Lance Henrickson’s little brother and Bryan Cranston’s Canadian cousin. Between his performance, the claustrophobic direction of Bruce McDonald, and the droll, Edward Hopper-esque cinematography of Miroslaw Baszak, an impression is left that you will want to share with others.