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Pontypool [DVD] [2008]

Stephen McHattie , Hrant Alianak , Bruce McDonald    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
Price: 5.80 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Stephen McHattie, Hrant Alianak, Lisa Houle
  • Directors: Bruce McDonald
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Kaleidoscope Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 25 Jan 2010
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002QH4R4U
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 41,129 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Shock jock Grant Mazzy has, once again, been kicked-off the Big City airwaves and now the only job he can get is 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, quickly turns deadly when reports start piling in of people developing strange speech patterns and committing horrendous acts. But there s nothing coming in on the news wires. Is this really happening? Before long, Grant and the small staff at CLSY find themselves trapped in the radio station as they discover that this insane behaviour 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?

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Primer in Indie Genre Filmmaking 18 Aug 2010
Format:DVD
So you want to make a zombie film. Not just any zombie film: an intelligent zombie film, sophisticated and restrained. You've got no money, in any event. You can't afford to pay an expensive CG studio to generate the special effects inherent in most movies of the undead ouvre, nor can your budget accommodate enough prosthetic heads packed full of pig intestines to do the trick. What do you do?

You do exactly what Pontypool does: construct a narrative which by design excludes the very things you cannot afford. You make a film set during the zombie apocalypse without actually showing said apocalypse - nor, for the most part, said zombies. Pontypool does a whole lot without very much at all. It's tense, clever and occasionally quite scary. And please, let me open the floor: when was the last time a zombie film actually scared you? It can be difficult to separate an actual fright from the combined shock of a surprise cut and an overbearing score, or the toe-curling unease of an extreme close-up on some disturbing body horror. Pontypool makes that distinction clear for all to see. It's a hell of a film, all things considered.

Stephen McHattie's Grant Mazzy is a controversial talk-radio DJ, gruff-voiced and wonderfully hungry despite having fallen from grace. He makes ends meet in these, his twilight years, by hosting "Mazzy in the Morning" for a modest audience more interested in local gossip than Grant's trademark anti-establishment diatribes. One morning, however, the usual routine grinds to a halt when reports begin to come in of a violent mob overrunning the town. Before his connection cuts off, the station's eye in the sky reporter describes the outbreak firsthand: locals are massing in what Ken Loney (actually just a man in a car on a hill) calls "a herd.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for a while.... 30 Jan 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Set in a local Canadian radio station (for almost the entire movie), Ponypool tells the gripping story of a bizarre zombie-like outbreak which brings the town to its knees. Grant Mazzy (played brilliantly by Stephen McHattie) is a jaded old radio DJ who starts his day like any other but ends up reporting on a series of terrifying events. Through the use of long descriptive dialogue from remote reporters and phone-ins, the movie quickly loads itself with non-visual "implied horror" and the tension this creates is astounding. In theory, you could pretty much listen to this without a picture, like a radio play, and get the same effect. It's basically a filmed radio play, but a very good one. At least, for a while.

The first half of the movie was spellbinding, toe-curling and completely brilliant. We're left wondering what the hell is going on, just like the characters in the radio station, and a creeping fear lingers in the atmosphere. But then, roughly half way through, a Dr Mendez turns up and the movie takes a wrong turn and crashes into a brick wall. In Dr Mendez we get a ludicrous and highly illogical reason for the madness, and no matter how wildly I allow my imagination to stretch, I just cannot buy into the theory - or the so-called "cure" that comes later. It is tragic beyond words that a movie which was playing so perfectly, orchestrating such a gorgeous and thrilling tension, simply lost it all in one lousy narrative moment, and it never recovers from there.

All over the web fans and critics alike are praising this movie for its smart originality and boldness, so maybe I just didn't get it (but nor did the people I was watching it with). Yes - it is certainly original. But at what cost? Is originality always worth it? In this case, I'd argue.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scary and claustrophobic 12 Feb 2013
Format:Blu-ray
People are under the impression that this is a zombie movie. It certainly isn't. It's a virus that is spreading in he most ingenious way, and we live the story through they eyes of a group of people stuck in a radio station. They don't know what's happening, they just can hear reports about what's going on.
Very scary, with a very claustrophobic atmosphere.

One fair warning however: if you're looking for non-stop gory action, find another movie. It's a lot more cerebral than your run of the mill horror movie. And it's a good thing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sticks and stones may break my bones... 15 July 2012
Format:DVD
Cripes, what an odd and strangely compelling film in Pontypool. Shot almost entirely in the town's radio station, the intelligence of the film lies in the plot unravelling via second-hand accounts. From the opening scene it's clear that things are going slightly awry but throughout the morning show more and more information is filtered through to suggest the town is in the grip of an unknown virus which is turning the townsfolk into murderous savages.

I think what also works in its favour is the ambuigity insomuch most 'zombie' films (I use the word very loosely here) it's obvious how the virus is transmitted; here there is no neat tying-up of loose ends. Sure, the cast have a reasonable idea of what is causing the outbreak but, even then, how sure are they? This brings me to another point; the plot itself is very clever and one which i've never come across before; how do you prevent a disease which has no physical existence.

The music worked very well to accentuate the creeping dread; speaking of which there's a great scene with the singing quartet. It's at that point where you beging to understand what is occuring. Again, how do you know if someone is sick when there are no outward manifestations of the sickness?

The only slight drawback is the introduction of the town's doctor; it came across as incongruous and spoilt the realism of the film somewhat. Then again, the character did provide some much needed plot explanation.

In short, a thoughtful thriller which reminded me of the J-Horror Kairo. I don't think it would appeal to the out-and-out zombie gore hounds but should appeal to those whom like their films slow-burning and cerebral.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
all good
Published 1 month ago by Den
2.0 out of 5 stars The contamination Of language
Imagine Orson Wells War Of The Worlds but with zombies, and you get some idea of what this film is like. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mr. I. Hammond
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most original Horror Films in recent years
I saw this film on Netflix a while ago and had to buy it. The entire film takes place in a radio station and the horror comes from the sounds and descriptions from people calling... Read more
Published 3 months ago by MR S J SPARKE
1.0 out of 5 stars BIG zombie flick fan
Im sorry but this film did absolutely nothing for me. Maybe Im missing the point but when Romero's classics are amongst my favorite zombie films along with modern day gems like... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Paul Debell
5.0 out of 5 stars great little Indy film
This is a little gem of a movie if you like this kind of thing. Don't expect big budget effects but do expect fine dialogue and clever chills....
Published 3 months ago by Kes
4.0 out of 5 stars Unusual and strange but intelligent and effective
This is a very effective little chiller, obviously low-budget, set almost entirely in one room (a radio station) and only 5 characters to speak of (and one of those is a voice on... Read more
Published 7 months ago by D. Lynch
4.0 out of 5 stars HONEY THE CAT IS MISSING
The film spends the first five minutes explaining where the word "Pontypool" comes from and I still couldn't tell you right after I heard it. Read more
Published 14 months ago by The Movie Guy
5.0 out of 5 stars A literal chiller
As snowstorms rage outside, shock jock DJ Grant Mazzie listens to and interacts with a world that is going insane as a new kind of virus is turning people into violent automatons. Read more
Published 15 months ago by DRAshley
5.0 out of 5 stars "We're not talking, I'm drunk. This is how my last relationship ended"
Pontypool is one of those horror films that only works if you are willing to engage with it imaginatively. Read more
Published 15 months ago by testedonpencils
3.0 out of 5 stars A clever and well acted film.
Anyone expecting a "zombie" film is going to be disappointed as I don't see this as a zombie related film at all. Read more
Published 16 months ago by hartley hare
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