I take full advantage of streaming Netflix. Often the movie selection is heavy with shitty, straight to DVD films that no one wanted to watch from jump street. However, every so often I find a gem! This weekend I found Pontypool.
Pontypool is an easy title to overlook. The name means nothing to you if you’re from most of the world. But that’s kind of the point when you realize what’s happening as you follow the story.
Slow to start, Pontypool is one of those movies where neither you nor the protagonists know what’s happening or why. Something is happening and everyone is scared and confused. The film focuses on a radio jockey who can’t hold his tongue and his tragically devoted producer and production assistant.
Unlike most zombie/infected movies, the conflict centers not around the biting and attacking but around the other symptoms.
In a small town in the French Canadian province of Ontario, people start acting strangely. They do the typical zombie things like attack in groups, hunt the uninfected, and chanting random phrases.
Oh, most zombies don’t chant random phrases? Yeah, I thought that was weird too.
In Pontypool the infected show symptoms via their impaired speech and then obsession with specific words… There’s a scene in the film where the radio jockey has to fill air time and realized it’s time for obituaries. He highlights each death in their small town in a way that’s both poetic and disturbing, matter of fact and high level enough to still feel respectful.
You should definitely check out Pontypool for a different perspective on a common trope.