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Pontypool

3.8 out of 5 stars 174 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Shut up or die…Shock jock Grant Mazzy (McHattie) has been kicked-off the airwaves and now works at a small-town morning show. Another mundane day on the job quickly turns deadly when reports pile in of people developing strange speech patterns and evoking brutal acts of violence. Before long, Mazzy discovers that the behavior is actually a deadly virus being spread through language. Does he stay on the air in hopes of being rescued or, is he providing the virus with its ultimate leap over the airwaves and into the world?

Review

GRADE: A. One-of-a-kind zombie film. --Entertainment Weekly

...the notion that we are all being driven mad by an incessant verbal deluge makes nasty comic sense. --The New York Times

Awesome --Salon.com

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Stephen McHattie, Lisa Houle, Georgina Reilly, Hrant Alianak, Rick Roberts
  • Directors: Bruce McDonald
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: MPI HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: January 26, 2010
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (174 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002TZS5G0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,568 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Pontypool" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
"Just listen to me."

You wouldn't know it, but this little dialogue blip haunted me just long enough to know that, subsequent to viewing the trailer, McDonald's Pontypool would be an experience I would never forget. Just when cinema's zombie revival experiment begins to show signs of banality, we are given a gift from an ambitious director that, although certainly difficult to digest, is one the most compelling and original zombie in ages.

Working with truly terrifying source material, McDonald builds a fortress of tension out of, seemingly, nothing at all. Indeed, nearly the entirety of the film takes place within a radio station, and even then, within the confines of a modest sound booth. That said, it is a testament to the staggering talent of both the director and his team when I say that what is accomplished with so little is utterly unnerving. Even for minimalist cinema, this is a film that works with mere shadows, putting its faith in the audience to fill in the frightening details.

Pontypool is that rare horror film that grows more disturbing upon successive viewings. Given its plot, which I will absolutely not spoil, it is admittedly ironic that, the more you analyze and come to learn, the more creepy things become. It's a stunning achievement that I cannot applaud enough; it goes beyond mere psychological horror, nestling quietly in the voids of the uncanny and the abstract, and it will chill you to the bone.

Indeed, this film oozes a taut indy style that few mainstream features can replicate, all the way down to a genuinely sharp script that gives the impeccably chosen cast something intelligent to work with, especially Stephen McHaddy's, who's performance is the stuff of career breakouts.
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Format: DVD
** This review contains spoilers. **

Grant Mazzy is a shock jock who used to be big on the radio, but now is condemned to the purgatory of a small town local morning show. He wants to challenge people and incite a reaction like he used to, but his supervisor, Sydney Briar, is only concerned with the basics. Weird reports start coming in from various eye witnesses about riots outside of a doctor's office. Over time, the details come together and the picture starts to become clear: people have started to suddenly go insane and attack others. People are being eaten and killed out there. Their town has descended in to chaos and all they can do is try to report what they know, which isn't much. How long will they be safe holed up at the studio? What is really causing this frightening behavior in people?

I read the book this movie was based on and it was very strange and nonlinear. I didn't really know what to expect from the film version, but I braced myself for weirdness. The film is linear in its storytelling, but still has the ambiguity and odd feeling of the novel. The film is separated pretty clearly into 2 parts. The first part is simply establishing the characters and then throwing them into a crazy situation that they struggle to figure out. There are only three main characters: shock jock Grant Mazzy who is desperate to keep some of his edginess in a run of the mill job, Syndney Briar who is Grant's supervisor and sympathizes with him but also wants to keep the necessities in her show without alienating her audience, and Laurel-Ann Drummond who is the idealistic technical assistant and slightly enamored with Grant.
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Format: DVD
The movie tells the story of the eponymous town of Pontypool and a bizarre virus that is spreading through the community, causing widespread chaos and rioting. But this is not your typical zombie (infected) flick. The vast majority of the story is told from a small, isolated radio station where the station’s manager, production assistant, and star D.J. are hold up, describing to the listeners what they are hearing from reporters in the field. Adding to the interesting take (spoilers ahead), the virus is transmitted by words rather than microbes, a nice twist on the notion that words can induce action in the people who hear them. Good movie. I recommend it.

4 Stars

Bonus: The first lines may be the best part of the movie. I reproduce them here.

Grant Mazzy: Mrs. French’s cat is missing. The signs are posted all over town. “Have you seen Honey?” We’ve all seen the posters, but nobody has seen Honey the cat. Nobody. Until last Thursday morning, when Miss Colette Piscine swerved her car to miss Honey the cat as she drove across a bridge. Well this bridge, now slightly damaged, is a bit of a local treasure and even has its own fancy name; Pont de Flaque. Now Collette, that sounds like Culotte. That’s Panty in French. And Piscine means Pool. Panty pool. Flaque also means pool in French, so Colete Piscine, in French Panty Pool, drives over the Pont de Flaque, the Pont de Pool if you will, to avoid hitting Mrs. French’s cat that has been missing in Pontypool. Pontypool. Pontypool. Panty pool. Pont de Flaque. What does it mean? Well, Norman Mailer, he had an interesting theory that he used to explain the strange coincidences in the aftermath of the JFK assasination.
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