Blood Quantum Movie Review
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There are shots in Blood Quantum (2019) that are simply gorgeous. Overhead police car toppers swirling in the dead of night, the framing of background action, the serenity of a swamp following a tragedy. This is the story of a zombie apocalypse come to the Mi’kmaq Nation, they survive as they always have.
In 1981, Six months after a virus affects the food supply and people don’t shelter in place to stay safe BECAUSE WHY QUEBEC, the Red Crow Reserve in Canada is minding its own business while tending to the survivors. It’s not looking great for Sheriff Traylor (Michael Greyeyes) as townies, both dead and alive make their way to what they believe is salvation, as well as a cure. See – and this is super fun – the Mi’kmaq are immune to the virus. It hurts like hell when they’re bitten, but they don’t become infected or die. His feckless son, Joseph (Forrest Goodluck), has a child on the way with a white woman (Olivia Scriven) and his literal good for nothing brother, Lysol (Kiowa Gordon), is just a jackass in search of a good time. The situation gets dire when more townies than they can safely manage stress their dwindling resources. When some of the infected but not entirely dead “zeds” (in the local parlance) get through their defenses, allegiances become tenuous and it’s everyone for themself with nowhere to go.
Blood Quantum doesn’t have a slow start so much as it takes its time establishing itself with characters and personalities. Once it picks up speed it still takes a moment absorbing the situations so nothing gets left behind. The undead are all practical effects and amazing, with lots of blood and intestines to satisfy the most jaded of gorehounds. Woven throughout are beautifully animated interludes adding a touch of Mi’kmaq mythology and the imagery pushes the story without words.
I loved the dialog, which is real and relatable, the plot which never takes itself so seriously it can’t find humor and humanity in the direst of situations, and overall throwback texture of Blood Quantum, and Jeff Barnaby spares us nothing in the way of story, heart, and experience. This would have been amazing fun on the big screen, but it’s streaming exclusively on Shudder, so find your biggest TV and turn up the volume.
Blood Quantum (2019) is VOD and unrated, but if I have to guess, I’d say Rated R for people getting shot, people being chewed on, a home birth gone wrong, zombie dog and fish euthanasia, people falling in a thresher, lots of blood and intestines, a suicide, more blood, and a sword in the face.