31 Days of Halloween: Day 2
"Language is a virus." -- Laurie Anderson
In this gem of a zombie movie, set almost entirely in a church basement converted into a radio station, talk radio host Grant Mazzy (Stephen McHattie) begins reporting on a series of bloody, seemingly spontaneous riots occurring within Pontypool, Ontario. The rioters, Mazzy learns, elicit zombie-like behavior brought on by language. Tension mounts as one of Mazzy's coworkers becomes infected, trapping him and his producer in the broadcast booth. There's much to love in this suspenseful tale, from the claustrophobic setting to a surprising amount of humor. (Pontypool's "Sunshine Chopper," for example, is a lone reporter cruising through town in his Dodge Dart.) Combining elements of Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House and director Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later, Pontypool stands as one of the most ingenious and unique entries into the ever-widening pantheon of zombie movies.
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Derek Austin Johnson has lived most of his life in the Lone Star State. His work has appeared in The Horror Zine, Rayguns Over Texas!, Horror U.S.A.: Texas, Campfire Macabre, The Dread Machine, and Generation X-ed.
He lives in Central Texas.