Friday, October 31, 2008

Shut Up or DIE

I saved this one for Halloween. I've known Tony Burgess for years. I worked with Tony as his editor for a book of short stories called "Fiction for Lovers." The book went on to win the ReLit Award (the only literary award I know of where the author AND the editor are honored, and I got a cool Tolkien-looking inscribed ring) and I've always been very proud of it. In fact, you can buy it here! (Plug plug):

Before Fiction for Lovers, Tony wrote a book called Pontypool Changes Everything. Set in Ontario cottage country, it's a psychological horror novel about how language begins infecting people and they turn into flesh-eating zombie-type monsters, virtually annihilating the population of the area. Then Bruce McDonald, of Hard Core Logo, Road Kill, and Highway 61 (one of my all-time favourite movies) fame, came a-knocking and bought the film rights to the book. The option went on as Tony tried several times to write a script that could capture visually what he'd successfully achieved on a psychological level in the book, but it got increasingly difficult, and script after script was tossed out.

And then, one day, he came up with the idea of placing the suspense and terror in words and NOT visuals, and boom, the script came out, and it worked.

Unfortunately, I missed it at the film festival (we, the publishers of the book, stupidly thought we might actually get tickets, but those were all reserved for people who worked in the mailroom at Visa or something), but it's skedded to open in March in Canada. The movie has been getting rave reviews already (Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly opened her article about the film festival by talking about it) and here is the trailer, for your viewing pleasure. Scary stuff!!


Anonymous said...

YESSSS... ZOMBIES ZOMBIES ZOMBIES!!!!!!! My *favoritest* thing in the wholeeee world!!!!!!!

Chris in NF said...

I'm pretty stoked about this -- I read the novel when it first came out ... and now that I recall it, didn't you give me a free copy? I have to go dig that out of whatever box it's in and reread it ...

Also, not to be pedantic (can't help it), but a decimated population would be 90% of its original number. Decimation was a severe punishment in the Roman Legions for when an entire regiment displayed cowardice -- they'd go along and execute every tenth soldier.

Nikki Stafford said...

Aw crap, you're absolutely right. Here I am always getting annoyed when someone uses 'decimate' to be synonymous with annihilate, and then I go and do it. Yes, I know the every tenth soldier story -- my Shakespeare prof explained it to us in my undergrad and I've remembered it ever since. This is annoying me enough that I'm going to remove it from the post. Argh.

Corey said...

Great book, can't wait, but unlikely it'll play up here. Have to be a rental.

And McHattie rules!