Pontypool (2008)

Now I am a huge fan of the Zombie film, from White Zombie to La Horde, from The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue to Zombieland, I have seen it, bought the t-shirt, the action figure and the comic book it was based upon or the graphic novels they may have spawned, because I am a card carrying, geek of the highest order, and do not subscribe to fads, and viral tomfoolery.

Whether they can run, or amble aimlessly, their reanimation was the result of a virus or voodoo ritual, there’s something about those decomposing corpses that makes damn good pictures, and like the lolloping hick sporting dungarees and playing a banjo, always a good ten years behind the cool kids, Hollywood has finally cottoned on.

Cue sinister music.

As you can imagine, all of this zombie crazed bandwagon jumping that has become de rigueur these past few years, displeases me immensely. Since Shaun of the Dead and the reboot of the Romero ”Dead” movies the sub genre has become less underground and more mainstream, and as we have discovered from the pitfalls of evolution, when things surf the majority wave, they lose whatever charm they had that made us love them so in the first place.

The genre has disappointed me, hurt me, sometimes slapped me around the face with it’s own smug arrogance, but something about those shuffling feet, flesh based dietary requirements, and blank milky stare, always wins me round, and I let it back into my heart. What can I say, I’m a sucker for a bad boy.

So as I settled down to watch yet another one, already flinching like a battered wife, did I have need for the panic alarm or was I right to give it one more chance …

After Pontypool I think I may hear the distant sound of wedding bells or at least see matching tattoos in our future, believe me!

The film is based on a book by Tony Burgess and follows the spreading of a deadly virus in a small Canadian town as it emerges through the reports, and call ins to the local radio station manned by three staff (a drunk hard talking DJ, an uptight producer and her young researcher fresh from a tour of duty in Afghanistan,) until eventually the threat becomes a little more immediate and they have to defend against the affected townsfolk and each other.

To say that this film is superb, really doesn’t do it justice. As a rule zombie movies are very formulaic and predictable, which has always worked, but in a saturated market they become extremely interchangeable and bland. Pontypool doesn’t suffer from any of these flaws, and the interesting explanation of how the virus spreads from host to host, isolating the surviving few from each other in a way the disease couldn’t.

If you’re looking for the standard bullets and gore action, then you may well be disappointed but, if like me, you’re tired of lazy, eat them by numbers schlock, then this little treasure is for you.

A thinking fans zombie film?

Who Knew?

This entry was posted in critique, film and media, horror, opinion, pop culture. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Pontypool (2008)

  1. Pontypool was a fantastic movie! It was so good in fact, that I can’t help but reffer to Stephen McHattie as Pontypool everytime I see him in something else. I think the most poignant part is that there truly is very little violence or gore. As with the best horror movies, it’s what is left to your imagination that makes this movie work so well. You’ll notice Dawn of the Dead remake alum Boyd Banks in a smaller role as well.

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