FILM REVIEW: BLOOD QUANTUM
Released: September 5, 2019
Written and Directed by: Jeff Barnaby
Starring: Michael Greyeyes, Forrest Goodluck, Kiowa Gordon, Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, Olivia Scriven, Stonehorse Lone Goeman, Brandon Oakes, William Belleau, Devery Jacobs, Gary Farmer
Stream on Shudder
A zombie flick with social awareness that would make George Romero proud
“Just like the dog. Just like the fish.” The dead are coming back to life in Jeff Barnaby’s socially aware zombie flick, Blood Quantum. As an impressive ode to the legacy of George A. Romero, Barnaby has given us a tale of the end of the world-where only indigenous peoples are spared as the world burns in chaos.
Six months after the apocalypse, those who have survived now reside on Mi’gMaq reserve of Red Crow, where they have regrouped and implemented new rules to live by. Along with mostly indigenous people, a small handful of non-indigenous survivors have escaped the dead for now.
Joseph (Forrest Goodluck) and Lysol-yes that was the character’s name well before Covid introduced surreal anecdotes regarding disinfectants, (Kiowa Gordon) are two brothers who have arrived at fundamentally different understanding as to why the dead keep coming back to life.
The relationship between the two brothers is in constant flux as they try to grasp the fact that their father; town sheriff (Michael Greyeyes) was never around for his first born, Lysol, but was seemingly always present for Joseph, to dire consequence for the two brothers.
Just as the community of survivors comes to find practicality in their new reality a war is waged and a final battle begins, pinning the walking dead and humans alike of one belief system against people of a different view. In the third and final act the depravity of men becomes worse than what Mother Earth has unleash.
With a little tightening of the wrench, Blood Quantum could compete with the best of ’em. It is an entertaining zombie film; those of us who love the genre will especially dig it. The movie’s message is spelled out clearly and it plays out well as the metaphor that all of our decisions will come back and haunt us. Had the dialog used a little fine tuning, Blood Quantum could soar.