Pontypool (2008)

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This film is one of the coolest and still, I believe one of the most original takes on zombie films I have ever seen. To say that Pontypool is the best zombie flick of all time would be pushing it huh? I don’t want to get jumped by George A. Romero fans. When I watched Pontypool for the first time it was absolutely refreshing to experience a whole new and creative take on the zombie. I was eager to find out what social effects have taken place to poison the fragile fabric of humanity’s existence in the story. Pontypool is based on the novel,  Pontypool Changes Everything by Tony Burgess. I haven’t read it yet but the film is so good that I’m definitely grabbing myself a copy soon. The story takes place in a small Canadian town named Pontypool. The protagonist is Grant Mazzy, Pontypool’s local DJ.  He’s a cheeky middle-aged man who likes to push boundaries as far as what’s proper broadcasting banter and what isn’t. He’s also one who likes to go back and forth with his uptight station manager Sydney Briar. Sydney constantly struggles with Grant and wants him to follow the rules of traditional radio etiquette but Mazzy, a seasoned shock jock has different ideas and struggles with taking her orders. One night Mazzy takes a call on air from The Sunshine Chopper (the stations helicopter reporter) and discovers from their reporter Ken that strange things are happening around town. People are behaving violently, rioting, and attacking one another. They’re also repeating random words which leads them to a violent type trance.

One observance is that all the words being repeated are triggering and somehow infecting peoples cognitive functions. These particular words are from the English language. Therefore, certain English words are literally infected, and if repeated can render one incapable of conscious thought or actions. You are now a zombie. When a doctor breaks into the station he encourages Grant and Sydney to speak in a different language, for that’s the only way they can avoid the infected words. Parlez vous Francois? The movie takes place primarily inside the radio station and much of the action is heard while Grant is live on air which is great because I was able to use my imagination to visualize what was going on around Pontypool, and it gave me the chills. It was similar to listening to War of the Worlds. I liked the mystery behind how this virus came to be. It made me think about the media and the major role it plays with subliminal messages and mind manipulation. When you think about it we all sit in a trance-like zombie state when we’re under the spell of the television. The actors were impressive while working with the lack of special effects, and it was overall just plain fun to watch. I highly suggest you catch Pontypool if you can, and be cautious not to repeat certain words….words….word….wor…wo…worrrrdddddssss…..

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