Pontypool – Telefilm Grant Inspires a Wave of Terror
You’re trapped in a church basement in the Canadian town of Pontypool, manning a talk radio station. Calls and radio reports come in claiming the locals have gone a bit… funny. You know, funny… in the head. You and your crew are in a panic, trying to piece together what’s really happening. With limited knowledge of how a wave of violent behavior is spreading through the population, can you figure out its means of distribution before you and your skeleton crew are contaminated and/or eaten alive?
You’re a Canadian director working the indie movie scene. You’ve got a series of screenplay revisions based on “Pontypool Changes Everything”, a 1998 novel by Tony Burgess. You’re assembling a skeleton crew, planning to shoot on zero budget. Then word gets out a couple moneybags are willing to help fund you. Can you figure out how to squeeze enough funding out of the Canadian government to make a big budget horror movie before you start shooting?*
Pontypool cost 1 approximately 1 million Canadian dollars to make. This does not qualify it as a “big budget” movie. Even in Canada.
Also R4NT.com received the following email shortly after this review was posted.
From: “Tony Burgess” <—@—.—>
Date: March 19, 2009 6:45:38 PM MDT (CA)
Dug the Pontyrant. But just one small note for ya…it was done with zero gov. funding – made entirely with private investors.
later, Tony Burgess. Peace.
It saddens us that our longtime contributor Gordon McDowell would take such journalistic short cuts. We have taken immediate action to reprimand him, including:
- Pay cut by 95%.
- Limited to 3 cameras in future video reviews.
- He must cite at least one source of “facts” per article.
We apologize profusely for allowing this to slip past our fact checkers, lawyers and the guy who clicks the PUBLISH button.
- R4NT.com Editorial Board
Bruce McDonald uses a little something Canadian directors like to call “The French“. And not just tossing in a little “ou est le bibliotheque?” but honest to God, critical to the plot, hope you didn’t forget everything you learned in French 30 or by gum you’re about to have your mouth chewed off Le Français.
Fortunately, shock jock Grant Mazzy (Watchmen’s Stephen McHattie) fails to shame the audience with his mastery of French. And an interesting challenge is raised as he and his technical assistant Sydney (Lisa Houle) must avoid reverting back to their native tongue despite their increasingly desperate situation.
Since Danny Boyle’s “28 Days Later” in 2002, the zombie movie genera has seen a constant injection of fresh energy and ideas. Even the 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead had some fresh charm (despite shedding much of the social commentary and puzzle solving found in the original).
Pontypool carries the baton still further, offering up yet another innovation on what can constitute a rapidly spreading wave of violence. If you can possibly watch this movie before understanding the nature of Pontypool’s affliction, you’ll enjoy it just an extra bit. It is a fun psychological horror movie which doesn’t dwell on the usual zombie movie graphic violence.
Worth watching in the theater, or on video late at night. Of course, if you wait for it on video, it is guaranteed you won’t escape a spoiler or two.
Also, the chick in The Crying Game is a dude. See?!? It can come from anywhere, at any time. Don’t take any chances.
Pontypool’s spoiler free trailer which fails to convey the atmosphere of the movie itself:
- Pontypool – Telefilm Grant Inspires a Wave of Terror
- by Gordon McDowell
- Published on March 19th, 2009
- Bruce McDonald
- Stephen McHattie, Lisa Houle, Georgina Reilly, Hrant Alianak, Rick Roberts
More from Gordon McDowell:
R4NT vs Ours To Destroy
Interview and live performance captured back in December. Ours To Destroy consists of Steve Dodd, Eric Ewin, Roland Griffith and David Morely. Camerawork was performed by D4V, Gord and multiple beer.
You still taking it? Still taking it from the man? Oh poor baby. Is the baby gonna cry? Cry baby, cry! Or, perhaps instead of crying, how about a nice warm glass of REVENGE!
Cutting 800 jobs will nip this recession in the bud!
CBC never saw it coming. Out from behind a dumpster sprung R4NT, swinging at CBC from behind with a rusty golf club. CBC went down. Hard.
Brownie points with Slumdog Millionaire
That's what your woman has really been craving every time she goes to see a chick flick, but she doesn't know it. In fact it is scientifically impossible for a woman NOT to watch the Slumdog Millionaire end credits and not feel deeply satisfied.
Who Makes Movies?
The MPAA has expanded the scope of their anti-piracy campaign, with spots specifically targeting horror fans, Bridget Fonda fans, and porn lovers. We salute the MPAA in their struggle against all that is evil.
Winners don’t use drugs
Like a chameleon in the urban jungle Mr.McDowell once again proves to use all that one should never give up on their dreams. And if their dreams be it be a ladder, so be it.
Other recent features:
Sónar 2010 – Barcelona, Spain
The festival attracts a lot of outsiders, but the Mediterranean, Spanish and more specifically Catalan nature of the people makes the festival what it is. Catalan people are passionate and this passion is infectious. The atmosphere is electric in Barcelona as a city and heightened by music and intoxicants at Sónar.
Summer Party Naval Styles at Seven RestoLounge
Oysters, like wine are affected by terroir and these Miyagi’s flavor profiles ranged with one showing a cleaner, almost tropical profile and the other being more salty, marine driven. As I was devouring the seemingly endless plates put in front of us, I sipped on a glass of fine sauvignon blanc.
R4NT Radio March 2010
R4NT Radio March 2010 um wow it’s been far too long since the last edition edition, featuring: Hector Hernandez, The Infesticons, Blockhead, Gramatik, Emika, Thunderheist, Parov Stelar, Eddy Meets Yannah, Anti-Pop Consortium, The Slew, Lighterthief, Andreya Triana, Parasyte Woman, Mathon, Venetian Snares, and Funki Porcini.
O Restaurant & Lounge revisited
Calgary has a diverse set of urban communities, most of which have the ubiquitous strip mall watering hole. In the South West community of Marda Loop, a reinvention of this paradigm has been established.
Predictions 2010.. and beyond!
So 2010 eh? Almost but not quite (no year zero they say) another decade? It seems like just yesterday that the world was waiting for Y2K. R4NT started publishing in March 2001, so we’re not quite 10 years old yet, but in internet years we are already a senior citizen.
No matter what, the reality of Nelson Mandela is something that deserves screen time. Should this film even remotely intrigue the masses to take interest in this figure, the world would likely benefit greatly from it.