Written by: Michael Den Boer on February 2nd, 2010
Theatrical Release Date: Canada, 2008
Director: Bruce McDonald
Writer: Tony Burgess
Cast: Stephen McHattie, Lisa Houle, Georgina Reilly, Hrant Alianak, Rick Roberts, Daniel Fathers, Nigel Healing, Beatriz Yuste, Tony Burgess, Boyd Banks, Hannah Fleming, Rachel Burns, Laura Nordin, Louis Negin, Diane Gordon, Daniel Park, Yvonne Moore, Raffaele Carniato, Derek Scott
DVD released: January 25th, 2010
Approximate running time: 93 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: 15 (UK)
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 English
DVD Release: Kaleidoscope Entertainment
Region Coding: Region 2 PAL (UK)
Retail Price: £15.99
Synopsis: A radio disc jockey unknowingly unleashes a deadly virus on his listeners.
Even though Pontypool takes familiar horror themes. The way in which the film puts a twist on these familiar themes is what makes this film so damn entertaining. Without a doubt the most enjoyable part of this film is watching the main characters try to figure the origins of the virus and how to stop it. The story moves along briskly as Grant is aided by one of his co-workers as they try to figure a way to stop the virus responsible for turning his audience into suicidal killers.
From its opening moments, this film quickly lays the ground work for a audio / visual assault that doesn’t let up until the film’s final image. It is surprising just how effective the film’s visual are considering that the majority of the film is confined to the radio station that Grant works at. Most of the carnage is implied with the main gory moment being a one of Grant’s co-workers who becomes infected. She bludgeons herself to death as she rams herself into a glass window repeatedly. Another area where this film excels is its cast who all give extraordinary performances that further sell the chaos that is unfolding.
Kaleidoscope Entertainment presents Pontypool in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original 2.35:1 aspect ratio. This is a solid looking transfer that has nicely saturated colors, flesh tones look accurate, black levels fare well and details look crisp throughout.
This release comes with one audio option a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix in English. The audio is in great shape as it is always clear, everything is balanced and at times robust. Also the audio does a good job spreading out the sound between the front and rear channels.
Extras for this release include a teaser and theatrical trailer for the film, a extensive stills gallery and a audio commentary with director Bruce McDonald and screenwriter / actor Tony Burgess. This is a highly entertaining audio commentary that covers the various aspects of this production and two Pontypool sequels that they are working on. Also included with this release are two short films Eve: The Temptation (letterboxed widescreen – 12 minutes 16 seconds) and Dada Dum (letterboxed widescreen – 8 minutes 13 seconds). Both short films were directed by Britt Randle. These two shorts films feature bizarre imagery and ambient soundtracks. First and foremost these are experimental short films which feature sparse narratives that some may find difficult to digest. Overall Pontypool gets a well rounded DVD from Kaleidoscope Entertainment that is highlighted by the Bruce McDonald and Tony Burgess.