Film Review: BLOOD QUANTUM (2019)

BLOOD QUANTUM **** Canada 2019 Dir: Jeff Barnaby. 96 mins

Set in the early 80’s the indigenous people of the Red Crow tribe situated in the Mi’gMaq reserve begin to notice that animals such as dogs and fish that have recently died are coming back from the dead. It is not long before this zombie plague spreads to humans, however they discover that their kind are immune to catching the plague and subsequent bites from the infected. This does not mean that they cannot still be eaten alive though. The reserve cop Traylor (Michael Greyeyes), ex-wife Joss (Elle-Màijà Tailfeathers) and a host of their family and friends set up a stronghold where they strive to survive and protect their people. Along the way they take in all manner of ‘white’ survivors. Traylor’s youngest son, Joseph (Forrest Goodluck) has his pregnant white girlfriend with him, his older brother Lysol (Kiowa Gordon) is constantly distrusting of her and the other white survivors. He will go to great lengths to prove that living with these people will be the death of them all. This fast paced, gruesome and grizzly zombie blood fest is harsh but effective and a great watch! Director Jeff Barnaby is using this, his first feature length project, to make a statement not unlike the way George Romero told truths on racism and consumerism. Barnaby’s previous short movies THE COLONY (2007), FILE UNDER MISCELLANEOUS (2010) and RHYMES FOR YOUNG GHOULS (2013) are all set in and around the indigenous tribes people of Canada, more than likely because of his upbringing but BLOOD QUANTUM has the added bonus of some great zombie action! It boasts a great cast portraying likeable characters that you can relate to without having to get to know too much about them, even if Lysol is as mad as a box of frogs! It incorporates skilful animated sections but by no means uses them as a cover up for the action. There is some glorious gore and some well shot sequences that will definitely make you squirm from postnatal snacking to some serious sword, axe and chainsaw wielding. There are plenty of zombies (the faster variety) and they look fantastic. It’s as thought provoking as it is violent and manages to balance these together effectively even raising a few giggles along the way. Ok so the ending isn’t quite how I would’ve wanted it but you can’t have everything. It’s by no means a new take on the genre but it holds its own and is thoroughly entertaining. I really enjoyed this one and would recommend you check it out.

Review by Sarah Budd




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