Trailer: Indigenous North Americans Immune to Zombies in BLOOD QUANTUM

Writer-director Jeff Barnaby’s Blood Quantum has finally unleashed its first trailer.

Check it out up top!

The Toronto International Film Festival described the film with this lengthy rundown:

The term “blood quantum” refers to a colonial blood measurement system that is used to determine an individual’s Indigenous status, and is criticized as a tool of control and erasure of Indigenous peoples. The words take on even more provocative implications as the title of Jeff Barnaby’s sophomore feature, which grimly depicts an apocalyptic scenario wherein an isolated “Mi’gmaq” community discover they are the only humans immune to a zombie plague. As the citizens of surrounding cities flee to the “Mi’gmaq” reserve in search of refuge from the outbreak, the community must reckon with whether to let the outsiders in – and thus risk not just the extinction of their tribe but of humanity, period. The severe and scathing portrait of post-colonial Indigenous life and culture that Barnaby previously captured in Rhymes for Young Ghouls here deftly collides with the iconography and violent hyperbole typical of the zombie genre.

The Undead are spectacularly and gruesomely dispatched via samurai swords, chainsaws, shotguns, and makeshift axes, while the living – a terrific ensemble cast led by Michael Greyeyes (Woman Walks Ahead and Fear the Walking Dead) – endure the paranoid pressures that such dire straits foment. In this iteration, however, Barnaby takes full advantage of the canvas zombie films regularly afford for cultural critique, exploring racism, colonialism, and the very real threat of extinction that Indigenous communities have experienced for generations. Further accentuated by arresting animated chapter breaks that instill a cool comic-book aesthetic to its horrific proceedings, Blood Quantum is as powerful an entry into the annals of zombie cinema as the devastating conclusion to George Romero’s 1968 original Night of the Living Dead, and a meaningful demonstration of how marginalized voices – when given the opportunity – can resurrect a tired genre with incendiary new life.

Written and directed by Jeff Barnaby it stars Michael Greyeyes (Fear the Walking Dead), Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers (On the Farm) and Forrest Goodluck (The Revenant). John Christou and Robert Vroom produce. Todd Brown, Gabe Scarpelli, and Ryan Shoup are executive producers.

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Written by Mike Sprague

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