Found these lists (twelve total which I've compiled) a couple years back and they slowly became my bible for weird…
Shut up or die.
When disc jockey Grant Mazzy reports to his basement radio station in the Canadian town of Pontypool, he thinks it's just another day at work. But when he hears reports of a virus that turns people into zombies, Mazzy barricades himself in the radio booth and tries to figure out a way to warn his listeners about the virus and its unlikely mode of transmission.
A big thanks to Steve G for recommending this film.
IT FREAKED ME THE FUCK OUT!
Holy hell, I still have goosebumps all over! It's so clever, and just brilliantly terrifying. The only thing keeping it from receiving a full blow five star review, is that the story takes a turn halfway through that made me sigh deeply and force a very one-sided, and very unhappy conversation with my television: "what? Really?.... Oh, what the hell... Why do that? WHY!? Rewrite, re-fucking-write!".
To my relief (and my DvD players survival) it did carry on pretty well after the plot dive, and managed to deliver a pretty good ending after all. I'd recommend this to EVERYONE... everyone... everyone. everyone. everyone...…
”Pontypool .. Pontypool .. PontypoolPontypoolPontypool, Pon-ty-pool. … Now I eat you.
This is my first revisit to Pontypool, although I pass by it several times a month. I usually hunt the dial for radio CLSY, but can never seem to find it. A small shiver always runs down my spine as I pass the exit.
Pontypool is like no other film I’ve seen. It’s not only unique as a horror, but as a film itself. Borrowing more from Orson Wells’s War of the Worlds radio broadcast than its own source novel, Pontypool creates its world and characters with elegant compactness. Within the first few minutes we know all about our lead character, Grant Mizzy, a shock-jock from the big…
Pontypool is one of those films that I have nearly watched numerous times - on DVD, on TV and on various internet sites. I don't think anything was putting me off watching it as I purposely stopped myself from knowing anything about it. As it turned out, I don't think knowing the basic plot could have prepared me from what I was about to see.
My global tour of pant-shitters brings me to Canada for the tale of radio presenter Stephen McHattie and his producers Georgina Reilly and Lisa Roule trying to figure out what the hell is going on in the titular town around during a live broadcast.…
I had no idea what this would be about when I started watching it. Imagine my surprise when it turned out to be one of the smartest, tightest, most engrossing and original horror films I've seen this year! Canada rules the indie scene!
Let's make radio.
The film is best be described as a psychological horror. The main characters (and the viewer) experience the "horror" through first and second hand accounts from people calling into the radio station. Never actually seeing what's happening, but hearing descriptions of what's going on. This ends up being surprisingly engrossing and suspenseful.
The entire film in fact takes place inside a small radio station with a staff of three people. On paper this film has everything going against it, but it works because of the exceptional directing by Bruce McDonald. Considering the film takes place in a very small building it's quite amazing how he's able to keep the film visually interesting from beginning to…
Big city radio host Grant Mazzy is just finding his feet in his new position at Pontypool's humble radio station. During one of his nightly broadcasts, a strange hive mind inducing viral outbreak slowly takes a grip on the small towns population.
Amazingly sharp, psychological take on the tired zombie genre. Premise starts out a little like "The Fog"'s rural radio broadcaster, but the story takes its own unique path. It begins with a light slightly humorous tone, but slowly becomes claustrophobic, the plot really twists and turns and becomes much darker as the movie progresses. The movie hinges on actor Stephen McHattie and the character of Mazzy. It features great music and amazing sound production that add greatly to the sense of tension. Likewise the direction is sublime by Bruce McDonald. But top marks to Tony Burgess writing, I can't wait to see his next movie 'Hellmouth' now, which also casts McHattie in the lead.
there's a chunk in this film, starting at Lawrence of Arabia and going for 20 or 30 minutes, that is probably the purest, most exhilarating dose of uncut tension i've ever felt from a film. pontypool deserves 4 1/2 stars just for that stretch. but it does more. the script is terrific. terrific! its pacing: terrific. its understanding of how much info to divulge and exactly when to divulge such info: terrific. its respect and simultaneous manipulation of the viewer (really: listener) : terrific.
stories have kept plot info from the viewer to raise suspense forever. and horror films even more so. but has there been a better example, at least in film, that has handled it so....terrifically? just: god,…
This movie has a 30 Days Of Night feel. It's dark and gray with a huge winter element. 90% of the film takes place in a radio station and the use of outside callers, music and the suspense created by the actors keeps you interested. The writers and director did a real good job disguising a small cast and a singular environment with great suspense and wonderment. I really enjoyed the thought provoking call-in sequences. The actors really had to portray the suspense and feelings without any visual sequences and for that I commend them. A good little movie with a unique and neat plot.
Dark, chilling horror film. Had some great scenes with gore, guts, and intelligent (alliterative) lingo. It's a suspense-filled chiller and an original take on a virus apocalypse movie. Bravo!
Bruce McDonald's Pontypool is hinged on a wild premise:
What if the English language could transmit a virus to people through infected words? Furthermore, once those words are understood by listeners, what if they drove people insane and turned them into ravenous cannibalistic murderers?
Based on the book Pontypool Changes Everything (1998) by Tony Burgess, this Canadian film by Bruce McDonald (director of Hard Core Logo and The Tracey Fragments) is not a conventional horror film. Although it delivers finely executed suspense and terror, it is not afraid to diffuse the tension with an ironic jab or joke. Pontypool excels as a psychological thriller with humor and a restless metaphor crawling under its skin about the way language shapes our…
I don't think this plays very well on a rewatch. I was really into it my first viewing and I think trying to figure out what the hell is going on allows you to ignore some of the flaws. Not so much when there's no 'unknown.'
Uhhhh so like, why do people say this film is clever and/or witty? Genuinely, I am left scratching my head. To me the writing was hammy, cliched stuff, the characters thinly drawn and uninteresting. Maybe it's because I've been rewatching The Sopranos recently, and my standards are set too high. Having the characters cooped up and hearing about the zombie action only from phone-ins and news reports was nice, but hardly a masterstroke, and the third act explanation was certainly novel, but so confused that I don't really attribute to it any kind of thematic heft.
A bit of a shame - I really thought there was hope for our central trio of heroes to begin with, but as soon…
I want to give this movie 4 stars, but I think I'd be getting carried away by giving it higher than 3.5.
It's a very interesting and unique film. It plays out basically like a bottle episode, with the film almost entirely set in a radio station. We follow an epidemic through the eyes of a disc jockey and his small crew of two women (his producer and sound engineer).
The use of the single location for a spreading epidemic is just terrific. I was shocked by how tense and horrifying this film manages to be simply through the use of sound. Sound is a key theme to the film, both literally and subtextually. When the DJ, Grant, is talking…
Don't say a word
Seen as part of the 2016 30 Countries Challenge
Bruce McDonald‘s Pontypool is an original little movie, made within the confines of the radio station in the titular Canadian town. It makes the most of its small cast, depends on sound, dialogues and the concepts of radio, and elevates those limitations to something unique.
Now, I found it was losing steam in the last third, but I really enjoyed the ride up to that point. Sure. Even prior to that, in some moments I wondered if they weren’t losing traction, but they usually pulled me back in with their sense of humor or their innovative storytelling. Their small cast is also well up for the task at hand, delivering what…
***EDIT (March 30, 2014)***
Wow! I never would have expected that I'd get anywhere close to 100 likes on this…
a list that is trying to contain every horror film made that is not lost and is found on the…