Zombies? Whatchu talkin’ bout…zombies…

Well…another zombie movie review from Alan? Right? Weeeeell…kinda…but not really. Because “Pontypool” is one of those films that IS about zombies (kind of), but not really. I admit…it IS confusing, so let me start from the beginning.

Grany Mazzy (Stephen McHattie) is a radio shock jock from the big city who has been fired and has now reappeared as a morning drive radio personality in Pontypool. He’s not happy with it, but it’s the only job he can do…so he does it. He reads school closings, chats up local news coverage and is basically bored with his existence. His producer is left trying to reign him in as he spews his opinions and laughs at the ridiculous local way of life. But this morning, something is different. Callers are phoning in these bizarre occurrences and all hell is breaking loose outside the radio station. Before you know it, the end is near…or, at least, it seems that way.

And then what was cruising along and was really quite a dramatic little film hurls into this absurd direction and totally lost me. Once again, I’m not into spoilers, but my brother warned me the ending was bad…and it was. Kind of.

Look…I realize that finding new ways to present zombie movies is becoming difficult. Zombies exist for various reasons in every movie in which they appear. Comets, viruses, you name it. And in this movie, they come up with an inventive way for the zombies to exist once again. And there seems to be a message wrapped up in it. But I’m not buying it. It was a good idea, and some great acting, gone bad. McHattie is excellent as the radio jock from hell. His producer, played by unknown Lisa Houle, is also quite good in her role. And the only other true cast member is Georgina Reilly playing the staff intern who comes to a rather gruesome end. It’s all done with lots of suspense and whispering into the mic and it really is quite scary for a while. But once the “zombies” attack the station and the true nature of their demise is shown, it almost ruins the movie. Almost.

I didn’t HATE “Pontypool”, I just wish it had ended differently. But for a rental, this isn’t a terrible flick and it is quite good in the beginning. Start strong, end stronger should be the case for a movie…and this one didn’t go for the slam dunk…it went for the layup. But the ball DID go through the hoop!

Overall Rating: B-


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