PONTYPOOL (2008)

(AMC+/VOD) Based on Tony Burgess’ PONTYPOOL CHANGES EVERYTHING, the film condenses and improves on the source material, turning it into more of a WAR OF THE WORLDS broadcast, becoming more of a stage/radioplay than film. This piece about a virus transmitted via speech wouldn’t work nearly as well without Stephen McHattie’s resonant voice -and- acerbically charismatic presence. That said, even without him, it’d still be an imaginatively brilliant and horrifying work. The mid-film obituaries hit hard. It’s a masterclass in wringing the most from a smart concept by selling a lot through showing very little.

A sequel has long been rumored — I assume it’d be based on CAESAREA, which I have yet to read — but by all indications it’d be significantly larger in scope, whereas PONTYPOOL (the film) works better because of its insular scope.

“Pontypool is under quarantine. Everyone has to stay inside at all times.” Frankly, I’m shocked they haven’t re-united the cast for a COVID-19 ZOOM play. I’d pay damn good money to hear that.