My Review of "Blood Quantum"
A zombie movie that feels like more than just a zombie movie.
Blood Quantum is a Canadian movie that came out back in 2019. It's a shame that it didn't get too much press because this movie has a lot to say. Much of the nuances of the different messages can only be understood when you realize that the movie comes from an indigenous perspective. The circumstances of the pandemic is also a disguised discussion of colonization of indigenous people and their land.
The movie starts up with a man fishing and then gutting the fish. He's utterly shocked because after he's taken the guts out of the fish, it suddenly comes alive. We later find out that this fisherman is actually the grandfather to the main character Traylor.
Traylor is the head of the local law enforcement of the Mi'gmaq reserve. There's been a lot of weird things going on around the reserve and the local township right next to them. Even worse for Traylor, his two sons have been jailed and he's been asked to take them out of there.
His two sons couldn't be further from the same. His older son Lysol has a huge chip on his shoulder because he feels that he's been neglected by Traylor and hasn't gotten over the death of his mother. Traylor's other son Joseph is a good kid but keeps on getting into bad situations from hanging out with his older brother Lysol.
The two reflect in the jail cell about their lives and what's happened in their lives when all of a sudden the man in the jail cell with them starts coughing out blood. He seems to be in really bad shape and they don't know what to do.
After Traylor finally gets there to release his sons from jail the terribly ill man attacks everyone there and tries to eat everyone. Everyone is bit and it's a pretty horrific scene. I have to say a lot of the scenes in this movie are pretty horrific. They did a really good job in getting the gore to creep out the audience. I know this is a low budget movie but they really stretched the dollar well in this movie.
So the town is pretty much going down after this huge outbreak happens. It fast forwards 6 months after the incident and we see how horrible the situation has gotten. The town is basically burnt down and the only place of salvation is the Mi'gmaq reservation.
For some reason indigenous people are immune to the virus and can't be turned into zombies. This of course doesn't mean that they can fight off all of the zombies that are out to eat them.
This plot twist is the premise of the story but it also seemed like a very clever way of having a discussion about colonization. The people that had brought diseases and illnesses to indigenous people are the very same people that are susceptible to the zombie virus. Questions come up about how much indigenous blood do you need in order to be considered immune to the zombie virus?
There is also a discussion of allowing outsiders into the reserve compound. They are survivors but who knows what happens if they die? They might start up a pandemic in the compound and kill all of the citizens in the compound. Do you allow survivors in then? What is the humanity of leaving them outside? These questions were really well laid out in the movie and had me pondering the answers over and over after I finished watching.
Another discussion they had was the mental turmoil that the character Lysol had to deal with his entire life. His jealousy of his younger brother and his resentment of his father. He's a pretty interesting character that they fleshed out pretty well in this movie. Lysol has always been a mean character but his downward spiral has you understanding every step he takes. He was a nice addition to the movie.
There are some elements of wooden acting throughout the movie but it's not totally distracting. You have to consider the lower budget of the movie for time limits of their takes. I think they all did an admirable job in bringing the characters alive.
Overall I really liked this movie. It was a fresh take on zombie movies that had very important messages spread throughout the movie. The tone and the pacing was excellent and they really sucked you into the movie. I have to give this movie an 8 out of 10. Those that are into zombie movies should check this one out because it's different and extremely intelligent.