Another morning of local news coverage for a disgraced shock jock in the middle of nowhere, Ontario, takes a turn when reports of mob violence are interrupted by a broadcast message in French - exhorting listeners to avoid using terms of endearment, rhetorical devices, or the English language.
A deeply Canadian zombie film - say what you will, but an asshole radio host in a cowboy hat couldn't be more Canadian if he was three knuckles deep in a maple tree - Pontypool is a film about the truly horrific potential of semiotics and broadcast media. Picking up where Ghostwatch and Marshall McLuhan left off, Pontypool's investigation of what happens when language becomes virus acts both as plausible metaphor and effective pretense for a tight, low-budget thriller.
CAST + CREW
Director: Bruce McDonald (Roadkill, Dance Me Outside,
My Babysitter's A Vampire)
Cast: Stephen McHattie (A History of Violence, Immortals,
Look What's Happened to Rosemary's Baby)
Lisa Houle (Ejecta, Dreamland)
Georgina Reilly (This Movie is Broken, City on a Hill)
CONTENT (spoilered; highlight for warnings)
violence against women, cannibalism, mental illness, self-harm
CAREER STATS [on a scale from 1 (least) to 10 (most)]
A nice and tricky bottle-film that never stops evolving.
A couple good jump-scares, but pleasantly taut throughout.
Standard zombie horror elevated by two fine performances.
It works on a brainier level without abandoning the genre.
Ghostwatch, 28 Days Later, The Midnight Meat Train