Despite its flaws, it’s a promising film with some great ideas—and that alone should satisfy Shudder subscribers. A visually distinctive, semi-effective Canadian thriller pits a First Nation community against a zombie invasion, Wed 29 Apr 2020 08.10 BST It’s almost as if Barnaby made that half-hour as a short film and then realized he had to fill out the rest to feature length. Blood Quantum (reviewed here and here out of TIFF 2019), wastes little time in getting to it. The disagreements within the tribe of survivors and family members are often underdeveloped, feeling like the kind of thing that would set up better for a pilot for a spin-off to the AMC hit than they do here. Set in 1981, Blood Quantum wastes no time getting things started, jumping to Old Gisigu (Stonehorse Lone Goeman) fishing, only to discover something is horribly wrong: the fish aren’t staying dead. For the most part, this is a good movie. When it gets frantic, he can’t quite muster up any genuine suspense and so relies instead on extreme gore. Blood Quantum is the term given for how much of a particular type strain of DNA you have, (European, NA native, etc), and it seems like the implication is that only those with a substantial amount of native DNA are immune to this virus. REVIEW: Blood Quantum (2020) 05/05/2020 0 The indigenous peoples of North America, Australasia and other areas of the world are one of the most under-represented groups in popular culture. 04/28/2020 04/28/2020 - by Kate Sánchez. Written and Directed by Jeff Barnaby. BLOOD QUANTUM is a new horror movie on Shudder. Blood Quantum takes an older monster, puts it in an even older cultural war, and attempts to present this as a new take. It’s tightly written and efficiently told. The film is written and directed by Jeff Barnaby, who was born an a Mi’gmaq reserve in Listuguj, Quebec. Brian Tallerico is the Editor of RogerEbert.com, and also covers television, film, Blu-ray, and video games. And by that I mean zombie fish. Scoring maintains an ominous sense of dread often giving a little extra rumble and LFE to the more intense moments. Directed by: Jeff Barnaby. Blood Quantum Review. The words take on even more provocative implications as the title of Jeff Barnaby's sophomore feature, which grimly depicts an apocalyptic scenario where in an isolated "Mi'gmaq" … The decision to bring in white people causes tension, especially with Lysol, and the film wrestles with an interesting dilemma, at least for a while. And so that promising opening act jumps to “Six Months Later,” and “Blood Quantum” becomes a different film, a story of survivors in a compound that’s closer to later Romero than the early stuff. There are robust sequences of body parts flying in “Blood Quantum,” and it’s one of those movies that undeniably benefits from its timing. The central human drama revolves around a fractured family dynamic: sheriff Traylor (Michael Greyeyes), his ex-girlfriend Joss (Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers), their son Joseph (Forrest Goodluck) and Traylor’s wayward son from a previous relationship Lysol (Kiowa Gordon). Even the name “Blood Quantum” refers to the practice of measuring a person’s percentage of Indigenous heredity—and by proxy, their value. Blood Quantum is now available on Shudder, Your support powers our independent journalism, Available for everyone, funded by readers. Jules Goes to Therapy in Her Own Special Episode of Euphoria, HBO's Painting with John is a Magnetic Celebration of Arts and Artists, The Nostalgia of Epix's Bridge and Tunnel is Filled with Wrong Turns, The Sister Sacrifices Logic, Tension as Its Twists Unravel. Back in the 60s, and at rare times since, the zombie subgenre has been used as a way of sneaking social commentary into horror, the set-up of an invading force destroying a community allowing for a range of sly metaphors. Jeff Barnaby’s first-of-its-kind Indigenous zombie thriller crams in broken families, gore and constitutional statements. A zombie film that also comments on our abuse of the planet and treatment of indigenous people is a brilliant idea, and it’s easy to see why TIFF chose this to open their Midnight Madness program last year. All rights reserved. A fisherman of the Mi’gmaq tribe in northern Quebec is gutting his haul for the day when the fish start flopping around, even the ones who no longer have insides. ‘Blood Quantum’ Review: Indigenous Canadian Zombie Movie Bites Into Colonialism "Blood Quantum" may not be a great zombie movie, but it’s a uniquely powerful reminder of why zombie movies are great. The term "blood quantum" refers to a colonial blood measurement system that is used to determine an individual's Indigenous status, and is criticized as a tool of control and erasure of Indigenous peoples. Although, to be honest, Blood Quantum often works a little more like 30 Days of Night and Stakeland – both vampire films that riff on zombie tropes—but the filmmaker utilizes Romero when it makes sense. It’s just a shame that the execution can’t quite catch up with the premise. Last modified on Wed 29 Apr 2020 08.11 BST. In Blood Quantum, a grim Canadian B-move that drew praise at last year’s Toronto film festival, writer-director Jeff Barnaby tells a familiar tale through the eyes of an indigenous community in the early 80s. Select Your Cookie Preferences. Blood Quantum offers a fresh vantage point on a familiar genre and demonstrates that Jeff Barnaby is a new voice to pay attention to. Sadly, some of the elements of “Blood Quantum” feel distractedly unrefined, including poor performances and awkward dialogue. Genres: Zombie, Horror, Post-Apocalyptic. Blood Quantum gets a lot of squishy life out of its DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix.Part English, part Mi'kmaq with English subs, dialogue is clean and clear throughout. Before you know it, everything that should be dead around this tribe comes back to life and wants to chew on human flesh. The story involves zombies and the indigenous inhabitants of a Canadian town who are somehow immune. Storyline. Blood Quantum‘s historical context works really well. He does have an impressive knack for it, managing to construct a number of inventively nasty moments, but without much tension, the impact isn’t particularly long-lasting. BLOOD QUANTUM Review – A Rebellious Take on the Zombie Subgenre by Jerry Smith April 28, 2020, 11:30 am Starring Michael Greyeyes, Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, and Forrest Goodluck Director Jeff Barnaby Starring Michael Greyeyes Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers Forrest Goodluck UK release date 01 May 2020. A zombie film that also comments on our abuse of the planet and treatment of indigenous people is a brilliant idea, and it’s easy to see why TIFF chose this to open their Midnight Madness program last year. I found myself admiring Barnaby’s editing and production skills—“Blood Quantum” looks great—but he’s not quite yet there in directing performances or writing dialogue. Not only is the standard trope in most classic Westerns of hordes of faceless Indians subverted by the fact that all the zombies are white, but the historic treatment of indigenous people by white settlers provides understandable motivation for the nihilistic Lysol to want to deny white refugees entry to the compound. When fisherman, Gisigu (Stonehorse Lone Goeman) uncovers an outbreak on the isolated Mi’gMaq reserve of Red Crow he brings his community together so that they can be prepared for the repercussions. The first third of “Blood Quantum” is tight and grisly, featuring several buckets of blood and well-produced action. While zombies are everywhere now and are often used for gore and guts, the famous horror monsters have long been used as a way to provide social commentary of the worlds where the infections hit. He is also a writer for Vulture, The Playlist, The New York Times, and Rolling Stone, and the President of the Chicago Film Critics Association. Blood Quantum: Review | film reviews, interviews, features | BRWC. Barnaby wastes no time getting to the good stuff. As one might expect, things soon devolve into chaos but Barnaby’s pacing isn’t always as well-modulated as it is in the film’s first 20 or so minutes. In the film’s opening stretch, we see the Mi’kmaq people of Red Crow grapple with a gruesome outbreak before events leap forward six months and we see how their lives have then radically changed. Luckily, they’re doing that enough for the movie to pass, especially for fans of the genre. Jeff Barnaby’s telling of a zombie apocalypse in Quebec is relevant and frequently fun, even if its emotional arcs seem shallow Blood Quantum shows that with the right voices behind the camera, there may still be some weight left in a genre that many … Well, not yet anyway. Red Crow Reservation Sheriff Traylor (Michael Greyeyes) and his ex-wife Joss (Elle-Maija Tailfeathers) are right in the eye of the storm, joined by their son Joseph (Forrest Goodluck), his pregnant girlfriend Charlie (Olive Scriven), and Joe’s half-brother and obvious troublemaker Alan (Kiowa Gordon). Zombie flicks are undeniably a lot of fun to watch, especially for genre movie enthusiasts. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for Blood Quantum at Amazon.com. The first act of the film, as the “zed” illness becomes apparent, is great. REVIEW: ‘Blood Quantum’ is the Next Zombie Masterpiece. There’s also a nicely etched, if underpowered, tension between a son who resembles his father before he reformed himself and a son who resembles his father’s newer self, with both sides wrestling for dominance, both mentally and physically. Blood Quantum Director: Jeff Barnaby Rated: R Release Date: April 28, 2020. The effects are awesome and the twists make this well-worth watching. ‘Blood Quantum’ Review: Inspired Splatter This Canadian zombie movie is more notable for its cultural backdrop and moody vibe than for its gore. Blood Quantum Movie Review. It screened at the Toronto International Film Festival (T.I.F.F.) At least they don’t want to eat our brains out here in the real world. 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