Pontypool was adapted from the novel Pontypool Changes Everything by Tony Burgess, who also wrote the screenplay. The story is about “Shock jock” Grant Mazzy who has, once again, been kicked-off the Big City airwaves and now works at the only job he could get hosting the early morning show at CLSY Radio in Pontypool Ontario, which broadcasts from the basement of the small town’s only church. What begins as another boring day of school bus cancellations due to yet another massive snow storm, things quickly turn deadly when reports of people having bizarre seizures, developing strange speech patterns and evoking horrendous acts of violence start piling in. Before long, Grant and the small staff at CLSY find themselves trapped in the radio station as they discover that this insane behavior taking over the town is actually a deadly virus being spread through the English language itself. Do they stay on the air in the hopes of being rescued or, are they in fact providing the virus with its ultimate leap over the airwaves and into the world?
Grant Mazzy’s deep bold voice is my favorite part of the film. Stephen McHattie blows it out of the water with his character, creating a selfish insecure but incredibly likable character. The ‘Shock jock’ of Pontypool has such a strong voice, carrying the town throughout it’s destruction. With all of the awful things he’s describing, Grant Mazzy brings gravity to the impossible. I could seriously watch/listen to him on the radio all day long.
At Rue Morgue‘s 2008 Festival of Fear expo, director Bruce McDonald stressed the victims of the virus detailed in the film were not zombies and called them “conversationalists”. He described the stages of the disease:
There are three stages to this virus. The first stage is you might begin to repeat a word. Something gets stuck. And usually it’s words that are terms of endearment like sweetheart or honey. The second stage is your language becomes scrambled and you can’t express yourself properly. The third stage you become so distraught at your condition that the only way out of the situation you feel, as an infected person, is to try and chew your way through the mouth of another person
I give it a 4.5 out of 5.
<;3 the shark