The moment I saw Grant Mazzy’s encounter with a nonsensical woman who got his attention by putting her hand on his car window I got excited. I was not exactly sure what she was saying but I knew she needed help. I did not get why Mazzy ignored her but I knew something strange was up. When he got to the station, I was pleased to find out that he was a radio jock/vj. I found him cool because of his confidence and bluntness. He was also very witty. After a while, I was waiting for the scenes to change because I was getting quite bored with the location. Soon enough I gave up and accepted the fact that it was going to be one of those one-setting films. It did not bother me that much though but I wanted to know more about what was going on outside that place. When he started getting calls and information about certain strange things happening in different locations, I was intrigued and I wanted to know more about it. However, the film chose to stick to the story telling narrative. They did not exactly show the outbreak of the zombies like how I am used to with other zombie films, instead, they narrated this through the calls that he would get from a reporter, the information they would get from different sources and through his dialogue. The use of indirect images are used the entire movie. All events happened outside the main setting and the viewer is forced to visualize and create what is happening every step of the way. The indirect images are used the entire movie
I liked how Mazzy kept me interested with the film despite the limited main actors and scenes in the film. I think it is a hard thing to keep the audience glued to the screen when you cannot exactly do much. The script and the delivery of the three actors were successful. It requires an analysis of metaphoric images shown to be understood. The different points in the film wherein images are merely mentioned and left up to the viewer to understand (repeating of words.)
The zombies in the film were driven to kill and eat through the infection of the English language. This take on zombies was completely different from the ones I was used to. Usually it would take a chemical virus or a weird experiment to create the zombies but this one was through language. The more the person speaks in english, the more likely they were to be contaminated by the virus. I found it quite hilarious because I did not exactly know how to feel. I was confused whether it was supposed to be comedic or scary. But even though I was unsure of what to feel about the film, I was still interested on how they were going to play around with that idea. At some point I thought it was brilliant too because “Why the hell not” right? It was a unique take on zombies and I applaud them for that idea. When Mazzy and his companions were stranded inside the radio station/booth I kept wondering whether or not they would go outside and try to escape/refuge in a safer place. Usually zombie actors in other films would leave the place, get weapons, restock and whatnot. They would also try to seek protection from the soldiers by going to the safe base. The three actors in the film just stayed inside.
The idea of infecting the english language that causes the outbreak can be seen in Joan Hawkin’s work, “Sleaze mania, Euro-trash, and High Art: The Place of European Art Films in American Low Culture.” Hawkin uses the idea of paracinematic culture to describe a certain way in which to “appreciate all forms of cinematic trash.” Hawkin explains that there are films wherein we can actively choose to participate and engage with the film and keep our interests in it, or instead we can “turn off” our brain. During the film I was both. I was participating and yet there were instances when I would space out. There is also a distinction made between what is considered “high art” and what is considered “low art.” Pontypool being a low budget film it is easy to consider it “low art” as compared to the other all-out zombie films/shows (Train to Busan, Walking Dead, World War Z, Resident Evil, etc.) Somehow I also consider Pontypool as a high art film just because it was intelligently made. An average viewer would need a level of analysis to understand the film. But at the same time I would consider it as low art too just because of the aesthetics. The zombies were not that scary, limited setting and the like.
In general, I would not recommend this film because I found it a bit corny.