Movies

Blood Quantum Review: Indigenous Canadian Zombie Movie

Zombie movies never go out of style. Throughout decades, movies like Zombieland, The Walking Dead, Dead Snow, and others have been helping keep this trend alive and it seems like it is never going to go out of fashion. And due to the number of awesome movies and tv shows based around the existence of these monsters, it is pretty difficult nowadays to come up with a never-seen-before concept that will take the viewers by surprise. There even are online games and online gambling slots, that are centered around this topic and the number of them is increasing daily. 

As George Romero first discovered — and hordes of other filmmakers have since refined — zombies are a fun and effective vehicle for addressing the most intractable anxieties of the modern world. And that’s exactly what Jeff Barnaby used Blood Quantum for. The movie tells the classic zombie apocalypse story but with an interesting twist. The story is told from a new vantage point, a group of Indigenous Americans.

Even though the story first unfolds in a typical way, with animals starting to reanimate and not really staying dead for that long, we are presented with a much more political statement. It becomes clear that the members of Canada’s indigenous population (the Mi’gMaq in particular) are immune to the zombie virus, which sees the balance of the power shifting in their favor for the first time in centuries.

And after figuring all of this out, the leaders of the community have to make a decision. They can either seal their borders, go in alone, and live peacefully, or let in the white man who has been the master of their oppression. With conflicting sides forming it is only a matter of time before the ticking bomb goes off, and with quite catastrophic results.

But the interesting thing is that the movie doesn’t actually start as a typical zombie movie with a lot of action right away. Instead, we join Red Crow Sheriff Traylor on what should be a typical day at work. But the day immediately starts off with him finding out that his sons Joseph and Lysol are both in jail. Then his dad calls him to show him a very not dead salmon and things quickly escalate to a full-on zombie apocalypse. And then we fast forward six months and it is in the second half of the narrative that Blood Quantum gets even more interesting because we get to take a look at the aftermath of the events.

Instead of making the survival of the main character the focus of the movie, the director decided to make the question of letting outsiders in the main issue. And the two opposing factions here are led by half-brothers Joseph and Lysol. And the fact that Lysol was abandoned by Traylor as a boy definitely comes back as an important part of the development of his character.

But that doesn’t mean there is no action in the movie either. There’s plenty of guns, chainsaws, and enough blood and viscera to sate even the most bloodthirsty out there.

It is especially interesting to watch this movie now, as it is a film about a deadly virus sweeping almost the entire population and that definitely isn’t comforting. But this shouldn’t be a reason to not watch the movie as it is merely a warning for those that are feeling a little sensitive about the current situation. But one thing is for sure though, and that is that Jeff Barnaby is a new voice with a great vision we should all pay attention to.

 

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