TIFF 2019: Indigenous People-Driven BLOOD QUANTUM Opening Midnight Madness
The Toronto International Film Festival has announced the opening film for their Midnight Madness category and it comes in the form of the zombie horror/thriller Blood Quantum. The Canadian film follows a reservation of Mi’gmaq indigenous peoples who happen to be immune to the plague that is causing the dead to rise.
The film was recently acquired by AMC’s horror streaming service Shudder for U.S., UK/Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand.
“In Blood Quantum, the dead are coming back to life outside the isolated Mi’gmaq reserve of Red Crow, except for its indigenous inhabitants who are immune to the zombie plague. Amid the chaos, a tribal sheriff must protect his son’s pregnant girlfriend, apocalyptic refugees, and reserve riff raff from the hordes of walking white corpses.“
Written and directed by Mi’gmaq filmmaker Jeff Barnaby, the film stars Michael Greyeyes, Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, and Forrest Goodluck.
Barnaby explained via Deadline, “Natives have been on screen for 100 years but have never controlled that image. In the age of representation, Shudder is putting their money where their mouth is and providing an opportunity for a whole new generation of indigenous genre filmmakers. They’re breaking that glass ceiling and opening the books on a whole new perspective. They’re making a genuine difference.”
Also announced as part of the Midnight Madness category is Matthew Rankin’s The Twentieth Century, which looks very bizarre but certainly doesn’t come across as “horror”. Rather, it’s a strange mash of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Monty Python.
In the film, “…Rankin doubles down on his signature mode of gonzo history films with this bizarro biopic of William Lyon Mackenzie King, which reimagines the former Canadian Prime Minister’s early life as a series of abject humiliations, both professional and sexual.“
Here’s a clip from the film: