A Canadian horror film from 2008, set almost entirely inside a radio studio in the town of Pontypool, Ontario. Swaggering shock jock Grant Mazzy has just been hired by the local radio station, and this particular day sees the snowstorm from hell descend on Pontypool. After a strange encounter with a nonsensical woman who staggers off into the storm, he gets to work - immediately butting heads with producer Sydney Briar, who's assisted by staff member (and Afghanistan vet) Laurel-Ann Drummond.Then, the Zombie Apocalypse happens. Well, kind of. The infection is spread through the English language itself, in certain words (frequently terms of endearment) that get caught in the throats of the infectees and eventually drives them from Madness Mantra-sprouting lunacy to full-on monsters. Trapped in the snowstorm, the three try to keep track of the situation through the radio, and eventually face a zombie siege.
An Aesop: During his anti-establishment tirade, Mazzy concludes that society duly deserved this virus, as it had already perverted language beyond all recognition.
A Real Man Is a Killer: Subverted. After Grant and Sydney kill the infected girl from Lawrence and the Arabians in self-defense, Grant is reluctant to admit that they both killed her.
The BBC: Pretty soon, the Pontypool situation becomes headline news.
Apocalypse How: Presumably class 1 if the infection is contained to the English language; class 2 or 3 if it jumps to other languages. The events during the end credits suggest that a class 1 event is imminent, given that the infection is spreading.
Bilingual Bonus: The infection is only spread through the English language. Donít want to succumb to the infection? Knowing French or Armenian might help.
"This is Grant Mazzy for CSLY Radio Nowhere. ...And I'm still here, you cocksuckers."
Downer Ending: It's a zombie film, what would you expect? Though Grant and Sydney have found a (theoretical) way to cure the infection, the town gets bombed anyway. It doesn't stop the spread, though; the closing credits are a voice-over montage of other radio stations and callers reporting the beginnings of the same strange events in Pontypool. The last lines we hear are the BBC anchor repeating "Pontypool, Pontypool", sounding rather bewildered.
Gainax Ending: In a quirky twist, Mazzy and Syd's supposed deaths are followed more black & white footage, except they're dressed as a couple of Tarantino-style hipsters (!). The color gradually returns as Mazzy Quips to Black.
Double Speak: Mendez comes up with this method of evading infection. Mazzy takes it a step further by substituting "kill" for "kiss", and so on.
Gory Discretion Shot: The camera focuses on a wall poster advertising the station as Grant and Sydney kick a twelve-year-old zombie to death.
Heroic Sacrifice: Mendez, the doctor, sacrifices his life to save Mazzy and Sydney from the infected.
Hoist by His Own Petard: Sort of, when the BBC calls and gets Mazzy on the air. He's usually the one asking the questions...
Hope Spot: When Grant realizes how the disorder is spread and attempts to broadcast the "cure" over the airwaves.
Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday: The film happens entirely in one February 14th, Valentine's Day. This is part of the plot, because as stated above the virus is spread with terms of endearment and baby talk, and lovers are prone to do that on Valentine's Day.
Infant Immortality: Averted. Mazzy and Sydney are attacked by the youngest member of Lawrence and the Arabians, who showed earlier the signs of infection and are forced to kill her.
Insane Troll Logic: The cure. In the end, Mazzy gives an impassioned speech filled with this, imploring his audience to "stop making sense."
Madness Mantra: Subverted. While people infected with the disease speak in madness mantras, the doctor hypothesizes that this is actually their brains trying to fight off the madness by making the diseased words incomprehensible.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Possibly. Given the way the virus spreads, Sydney theorizes that they might have propagated it through repeated mention of Honey the missing cat. Grant initially thinks she's off her rocker, but later it's suggested she might be right.
Not Using the Z Word: The producers stress that the infectees are not zombies, but "conversationalists".
Oh Crap: "Do not translate... this... message." Oops.
Mendez: It may be...boundless! It may be... a God-bug! Mazzy:Okay, Dr. Mendez, look: I don't even believe in UFOs, so I'm—I've gotta stop you right there with that "God-bug" thing. Mendez: Oh, really? Well, that's very sensible because UFOs don't exist.
Zombie Infectee: Numerous. The first one is the woman from the beginning of the film. Laurel-Ann soon becomes one. So does Sydney, but she gets better. Grant has a brief brush with The Virus, but his command of language seems to ensure his immunity.