kindertrauma random header image


December 2nd, 2009 by unkle lancifer · 7 Comments

God bless PONTYPOOL. I’ve been thinking lately about what a slobbering dope I am for eye candy. I can’t help it, I’m a visual person. Is it shiny? Does it sparkle? I can overlook many a flaw in a film as long as it gives my retinas a hootchie-coochie dance. PONTYPOOL, though handsomely shot in a bare bones way, would be equally effective to a blind man (and was, in actuality, simultaneously produced as a radio show.) It enters your ear like that crazy worm from WRATH OF KHAN and it burrows into your brain like a corkscrew. Audiophiles listen closely, have I got a film for you.

Adapted by TONY BURGESS from his novel, PONTYPOOL CHANGES EVERYTHING and directed by BRUCE McDONALD (HARD CORE LOGO and the now suddenly interesting to me, TRACEY FRAGMENTS), PONTYPOOL is scholar smart, stoner weird and ten times more interesting than most of the porridge you’ve been served this year. A brain diddler from beginning to end, there are moments as soul chilling as a schizoid audio hallucination and some that are as jet black funny as a funeral parlor giggle fit. You may think you’ve seen it all as far as horror films go, but have you heard it all?

Pitch perfect STEPHEN McHATTIE stars as gruff Pontypool, Canada radio personality Grant Mazzy, whose normal broadcast is interrupted by reports of mad herds of people behaving ostensibly as zombies. Slowly it is unfolded that a virus is using language as a host and infecting anyone who hears certain key words, particularly words of endearment. Once infected the individual, out of frustration of not being able to express themselves, eventually comes to the conclusion that the only solution is to chew through the mouth of an uninfected person. Oh, and if a victim is not found, they vomit blood and die. Have you ever heard of anything like this before? Me neither.

Inspired a bit by H.G. WELLS’ famous WAR OF THE WORLDS broadcast, a lot of the action here takes place in the audience’s noggin. BE WARNED not all of you are going to dig this approach. If you had a disappointing experience with say, WILLIAM FRIEDKIN’s BUG (which was based on a stage play), you may want to avoid this one. Personally, I was head over heels with this movie’s adoration of semantics. Words are dissected and blown apart, poetry is made into garbage and garbage into poetry, meaning is ripped to shreds and communication is enemy and savior. Some call this a zombie movie but no, that word, like so many others, is wrong.

Thank you PONTYPOOL for gifting me an original horror experience. At times I thought I was watching the silliest, most preposterous joke and at other times I thought you were talking directly to me and that I might get infected myself. Either I’m going crazy or you PONTYPOOL are a genius. I can’t tell you which because I don’t know what either word means anymore.

Tags: Trauma Au Courant

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
11 years ago

I noticed a poster for this in “New Moon” and knew that name sounded familiar…

11 years ago

I LOVED this movie! I’m a sucker for anything zombie (which I was told it was about, and sold me checking it in the first place. Then to find it’s a movie about infected words? Due to its quality, I wasn’t disappointed at all) and this film was one of the best I’ve seen in a long time. It was a great way to use your imagination (take that, Blair Witch fans who said I didn’t have one!), making it a more effective viewing experience. And it’s MUCH better than the recently released, and very similar film “Dead Air”. Skip that one, see Pontypool.

If it hadn’t been for seeing the movie “INK” a few weeks back, this one would’ve been my top film of 09.

11 years ago

Both the horror fan and English major inside me are saying I should check out this movie. (I’ve been having trouble getting past the kinda goofy title.)
Small world/shamless plug: I just saw Stephen McHattie in action for my latest review, Shoot ‘Em Up.

Jeff Allard
11 years ago

I’ve been meaning to get around to this one for awhile but it had kind of slipped off my radar. Thanks for reminding me that I need to check it out!

11 years ago

No problem, Unk. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did. 🙂

11 years ago

You know what pisses me off????  PONTYPOOL and DEAD SNOW arent out at NETFLIX yet so I cant read your reviews for them! Grrrrrr!