Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Overlooked DVD of the month - PONTYPOOL

Okay. So the first thing you have to do is banish thoughts of a Welsh town. This Pobtypool is a town in Canada. And this film, PONTYPOOL, is a superbly claustrophobic, chilling little lo-budget horror flick from Canadian director Bruce McDonald. Based on the book by Tony Burgess, the movie takes place almost entirely within a small-town radio station, where a grizzled old DJ, Grant Mazzy, is stuck with his producer and studio manager on Valentine's Day, broadcasting his sardonic wit to local listeners. In a reverse of the Orson Welles War of the Worlds scenario, the radio station starts getting calls from listeners seeing savagery on the roads, and before they know it, they're hemmed in by infected zombies, who succumb to the infection by stumbling upon their words.

I love the fact that this is a film subverts the very concept of Talk Radio as quite literally an agent for broadcasting virulence. I love Stephen McHattie's charismatic central performance. (It reminded me of how when we saw Richard Jenkins in THE VISITOR, it was like we were really SEEING him for the first time, even though we'd seen him as a character actor in loads of films before that.) And I love the simplicity of the central conceit.

Definitely worth checking out on DVD.

PONTYPOOL played Toronto 2008 and was released in 2009 in Canada, Turkey, the UK and Austria. It is available on DVD.

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