In the opening scene a small group of Middle Eastern terrorists release a toxic gas at a basketball game in the city. But one of them accidently releases it too soon and it contaminates them all. Then it cuts to a radio station where "shock jock" Logan (Bill Moseley of DEVIL'S REJECTS) is beginning his show. His producer is his ex-wife, Lucy (Patricia Tallman of BABYLON 5,NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD).
This particular night Logan is talking with his listeners about paranoia. One caller is worried about aliens and their anal probes, another thinks he's being bugged by the government and then a guy who hates muslims. Then some guy calls about something that's happening in the city, right now, with people going crazy. This is soon confirmed when the employees at the radio station see it on TV. They see cops being pulled from their cars and a woman reporter attacked before the camera. This, of course, scares them. The co-host of the show, Gil, goes down to lock the front doors of the building, just in time, and sees the crazed people pounding on the glass, bleeding from their eyes. They're not undead zombies but infected people like in 28 DAYS LATER.
At this point Logan stops being his asshole persona and becomes more of a reporter of the news, wanting to help people. He's worried about his wife and daughter who he can't get ahold of since the phones are messed up. Gil volunteers to get on his motorcycle and check up on Logan's family. He's set up with a microphone and reports what he sees back to the radio station. The city is deserted--until he's almost killed by a crowd of the maniacs. By the time he makes it to Logan's house he's bleeding from his eyes...the disease is infectious.
DEAD AIR is very similar to PONTYPOOL but not nearly as frightening. It's not a bad movie but if you're looking for a zombie fix this probably won't do it....sort of like drinking a sugar free softdrink. You want that sugar buzz and instead get something that gives you a vaguely unpleasant aftertaste.