Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Best Zombie Movie You Never Saw

Pontypool is its name, and if you HAVE seen it (it's apparently been on IFC On Demand in the US for a while, don't know if it still is), then you're awesome. The DVD was released last month. I bought it immediately (which ranks it pretty damned high on my scale). I posted the following on my blog when I first saw it at TIFF last year (with some edits).

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Bruce McDonald, of Hard Core Logo and The Tracy Fragments fame has another point on his scorecard. Grant Mazzy (Stephen McHattie) is a shock jock who's been fired from his big city radio job and finds himself in the small town of Pontypool, Ontario. One snowy winter morning he heads into work - the local radio station in a church basement, and this is where all the action takes place.

This is essentially a one-set movie that deals with, for lack of a better term, a zombie epidemic, from the viewpoint of a talk radio host.

Strange things are happening, calls are coming in, reports are increasingly odd, and nobody's confirming a thing. In fact, the three people in the studio seem to be the only ones who are providing information. Frantic on-air calls, seemingly unconnected events, and a brief hijacking of their airwaves all come together. The isolated viewpoint of the entire thing really works, and McHattie does a fantastic Imus-like character in the middle of a crisis.

The whole thing seemed very Romero-like, with commentary on media and military. There's even a reference to Norman Mailer. Another shared Romereo-ism is that the word "zombie" is never used.

The reason behind the outbreak is decidedly unique... so much so that my level 2 suspension of disbelief kicked in immediately to accept it, and put it aside to figure out later. I've decided it's brilliant.

There are potentially two more parts to the story to be released, and I can't wait for them. Honestly one of the most unique takes on the genre I've seen, and a fantastic film. It was easily one of my top picks from last year's festival.

1 comment:

1Queens Up1 said...

That actually sounds pretty decent, I might have to check that one out.

If you are more into funny, gory zombie pics I reccomend recently released "Dead Snow" http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1278340/

Nazi zombies, who can say no?