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We're all in need of some positive surprises these days, so it's with open arms that we embrace today's unexpected drop of Blood Quantum, a gory-good indie horror flick being showcased on AMC's horror streaming platform Shudder. This acclaimed Indigenous zombie thriller is the latest Shudder Original release — and SYFY WIRE has a shocking exclusive clip to share for confined souls searching for a fresh take on the genre.
First Nations director Jeff Barnaby (Rhymes For Young Ghouls) has crafted a fiercely original Canadian feature that was the opening night film of TIFF's 2019 Midnight Madness program. Due to the global health crisis, Blood Quantum's theatrical release was blocked by the pandemic and will serve as a terrifying tentpole for Shudder's "Halfway to Halloween Month" programming, along with Cursed Films, new installments of The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs, and Australian horror series Wolf Creek.
Starring Michael Greyeyes (True Detective, Fear the Walking Dead), Forrest Goodluck (The Revenant), Kiowa Gordon (The Twilight Saga), and Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers (The Body Remembers When The World Broke Open), Blood Quantum plays out in 1981 when a devastating virus infects Earth and sets in motion a survival siege of epic proportions.
The dead are returning to life outside the isolated Mi’gmaq reserve of Red Crow, all except for its Indigenous inhabitants who are immune to the zombie plague. A tribal sheriff named Traylor must protect his son’s pregnant girlfriend, apocalyptic refugees, and reservation riffraff from swarms of walking white corpses.
"Putting Indigenous peoples behind blockades is a charged image in any film given the long and terrible history of colonialism," director Jeff Barnaby tells SYFY WIRE. "The beauty and art of cinematic zombie gore is that the filmmaker can take that history, grind its bones through some auger blades, and take away its power, redefine it for a new generation. As fun as it is watching zombies walk into a giant snowblower, it's twice as fun when you know it stands for something."
Take shelter and watch this exclusive clip for Blood Quantum, then check out the entire insanity on AMC's Shudder platform with their 30-day free trial for new members using promo code SHUTIN."Horror movies are YUGE on reserves, be it the fantastical scope and no holds barred approach to the narratives or the native tropes that show up in seminal horror films," Barnaby adds. "NDNS love horror films and have a long-standing tradition of horror in our own stories, yet have had very little to no representation in the genre. I just wanted to make that horror film for myself and all those other native geeks out there that lost themselves in these movies growing up. And I wanted to approach it in a way that could walk a fine line between artistic merit, social protest and hard-gore entertainment, bake the conflict into the script, flip the colonization story in a way where the audience wasn't alienated and the allegory of the story wasn't lost, but still letting all my Rez cousins everywhere know this movie was for them."