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Blood Quantum (2019)

The dead are coming back to life outside the isolated Mi'gMaq reserve of Red Crow, except for its Indigenous inhabitants who are strangely immune to the zombie plague.


Jeff Barnaby


Jeff Barnaby
2 nominations. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Michael Greyeyes ... Traylor
Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers ... Joss
Forrest Goodluck ... Joseph
Kiowa Gordon ... Lysol
Olivia Scriven ... Charlie
Stonehorse Lone Goeman ... Gisigu
Brandon Oakes ... Bumper
William Belleau William Belleau ... Shooker
Devery Jacobs ... James
Gary Farmer ... Moon
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Marc Assiniwi ... Warrior (as Marc-André Assiniwi)
Sébastien Bolduc ... Zombie
Lake Delisle Lake Delisle ... Girl with Joss
Sylvano Harvey ... Zombie
Trevor Hayes Trevor Hayes ... Man


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 where in 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 the acclaimed Rhymes for Young Ghouls here deftly collides with the iconography and violent hyperbole typical of the zombie genre. The Undead are spectacularly and gruesomely ... Written by Toronto International Film Festival

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis








English | Micmac

Release Date:

19 October 2019 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Prospector Films See more »
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User Reviews

Seen at TIFF (2019)
6 September 2019 | by BenHarley1138See all my reviews

With the lack of a trailer or really any information, I had no idea what to expect from this film, especially the tonality. The worry I have when watching a new Canadian film is that it will be as the majority are; slow, cheap, and morbid. But, I'm thankful to say Blood Quantum is a step above the average morbid Canadian film, and it even manages to get an important and overlooked message across amidst all the blood and gore.

The performances are all around very good, and to my satisfaction felt like honest portrayals of the Indigenous peoples of Canada. And the fact that a movie like this exists, featuring a majority-Indigenous cast in a bloody, gory zombie film, is very exciting for the ever growing presence of Indigenous peoples in cinema.

This film also offered a ton of blood and gore, which starts I'd say not even 10 minutes into the film. No time is wasted getting to all of the gory fun stuff, but it doesn't forget about its characters, managing to create relationships which I became invested in. I would say I think the handling of some critical moments of emotion could have been handled with a little more power, but with that said, the tone of this film is fairly lighthearted at times despite its core message (this is not to say the film is lighthearted). And I should also add, the gore effects are all awesome. Lots of practical work done, and so much of it is very creative and inventive. I had a blast during these scenes, and there are more than enough of them.

I could go on about the minimal, but very good musical score, which builds a tension of eeriness, and at times reminds you that this is in fact an indigenous film. The cinematography is also very good for a Canadian production, with most of the lighting and blocking feeling very expensive and consistent. Some aerial shots even reminded me of the intro to Kubrick's 'The Shining' in which a camera hauntingly looms over the Torrance car.

I enjoyed this film, and it offers a lot of quality effects, passion, and entertainment to be had. Not to mention it manages to leave us with an important, optimistic look towards the future relationship between the Indigenous peoples of Canada and the non-indigenous (English) peoples of Canada, a message that needs to be in the minds of every Canadian today and so forth.

If you get the chance to see this film, do see it, and pay for a ticket if you have the option, because there's no telling how much box office success a film like this will attain, and it deserves more than it may very well get.


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