Surrounded by Zombies

The first message I read after landing this afternoon was from former Newsday film writer Lewis Beale, to wit: “Don’t know if you’re back, but you should check out Pontypool, a Canadian low budget zombie flick. It plays like a horror film written by a semiotician. Utterly unique.”

N.Y. Times critic Stephen Holden wrote that “when one infected character is reduced to spouting gibberish as she suicidally hurls herself at [a] glass booth that has become a fortress against the zombie terror, the notion that we are all being driven mad by an incessant verbal deluge makes nasty comic sense.”

  • Edward

    Hard to tell from the trailer, but the zombie film has been done to death.

  • slutsky

    You should probably just pre-judge it based on its genre. Good call.

  • BobMorton

    bruce mcdonald doing zombies should be at least interesting.

  • dangovich

    Good trailer. Doesn’t reveal too much.

  • berg

    caught it at SXSW and liked the general mood and genre manipulation that McDonald utilizes … a thinking person’s zombie film, not a lot of gore (except in one scene) but well built suspense … there has got to be some Canadian talking points that I don’t get

  • LOTGA

    Pontypool is excellent. It does an amazing job of building suspense through description rather than showing.

  • lazarus

    Looks interesting, but that’s the best title they could come up with? Not exactly something easy for the marketing department to work with, especially as it’s one letter away from “Pantypool”.

  • http://www.lytrules.com Luke Y. Thompson

    It has that title because it’s based on a book.

    Really great movie for the first 2/3, with a slightly weak finale. But overall very creative use of a tiny cast and essentially one location.

  • JD

    This is definitely second rate Bruce McDonald — whereas 2007’s The Tracey Fragments was pretty incredible — but I think Jeff would like it. The star is totally Jeff Wells-esque.

  • Krazy Eyes

    I’m kinda with Edward on this one. I don’t really care how great Pontypool is . . . I just have *no* interest in seeing another zombie film. This genre was already done to death a couple years ago.

  • Hallick

    “It has that title because it’s based on a book.”

    A book titled “Pontypool Changes Everything”, so it isn’t like there was a slavish devotion to the purity of the name in the first place. Reducing it to just “Pontypool” is a lot less intriguing as titles go; and it makes it sound like its a movie about semi-employed dock workers somewhere in Wales (sorry, but some Canadian geography just isn’t on the world stage here).

    Not that the filmmakers should have gone with a dumb title WITH the word zombie in it, but this one is going to be giving me cognitive dissonance until I see it.

  • http://www.lytrules.com LYT

    It has that title because it’s based on a book.

    Really great movie for the first 2/3, with a slightly weak finale. But overall very creative use of a tiny cast and essentially one location.

  • bmcintire

    The bad title reminds me of another yet-to-be-released (terrible) horror movie – THE POUGHKEEPSIE TAPES. Other towns best not used in horror movie titles: Nantucket, Katmandu, Okoboji.

  • Edward

    As if Horror in Orange (my NJ hometown) would be good for a title?

  • DavidF

    I’m not saying it’s not a bad name but in addition to being the title of the book, Pontypool is a place; it’s a town in Toronto’s cottage country. I presume the tale is set there.

    Also, MacDonald’s Hard Core Logo and Hwy. 61 are GREAT movies.

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