This film is showing on Netflix Instant US. Visit Blog of the Living Dead for details.
Let me set the scene. Somehow I had managed to get myself into the Girlfriends good books that night (I am not sure how) and she allowed me free choice over the DVD we were to watch. I suggested that is practically a license for me to choose something truly awful but she didn’t seem to mind that idea. This is unexpected. Zombie movies, indeed horror movies in general are not particularly her forte. I took this as being a ‘test’ of some sort, and decided not to try my luck. So, with that in mind I left ‘Zombeak’ on the shelf and went with a more recent purchase, and one less likely to be awful. Pontypool.
It’s an odd premise altogether. Set wholly within a radio studio and featuring almost no zombies at all, it just consists of a breakfast radio team who start hearing the reports of an outbreak in their sleepy town and begin reporting it over the airwaves, never quite sure if what they are reporting is actually true. We get treated to the odd phonecall from witnesses that sound pretty far-fetched, and even the UK’s BBC phones the studio to find out what’s happening, all the while nobody is quite sure what is fact or fiction.
Ok, it turns out it was pretty much true. Zombies are indeed on the rampage out in the town, and it’s up to the radio chaps to hanker down in the bunker-like studio and hope for the best, while still broadcasting the happenings when they can.
If you don’t know already, the cause of the outbreak is insinuated to be Language itself, and while never being totally pinned down as fact this is the assumption they make, and attempt to get around this slight issue by chatting to each other in French. For people who only speak a small amount of the language they sure do speak it good, almost as good as like what I does for English!
The main dude has one of the most fantastic voice I have ever heard, and I could just listen to him speak for hours. The claustrophobic location is a perfect setting for the preceedings to play out, and it’s a great idea to have the action almost soley conveyed by telephone and radio conversation, without it being seen. Sure, there are some action scenes set within the building – and they’re pretty gruesome – so if you’re after gore there is some going on here. However it is mostly about the performances of the lead 2 or 3 people. The only let-down is when they are joined by a Doctor in the studio, as his acting is pretty trashy and he seems to only exist to provide some exposition. Still, forgiving him that this is a great original zombie movie, and that is something to be praised.
Gore Score C
Norks Score F
Originality Score A
Overall Score A-