Blood Quantum (2019)


With so many low-budget zombie movies sneaking in through streaming services or film festivals, it’s easy to miss unexpected quality and creativity when it appears. Here’s an example. Blood Quantum (sorry, kind of an awful name) has your standard virus-based flesh-eaters, and the opening scenes that establish it are deceptively familiar. But the kicker comes after a timeshift, and we focus on the stories that rotate around the effect of the zombie apocalypse on the First Nations and an already devastated Mi’kmaq reservation – a reservation that survives because Native Americans seem to be immune to the zombie virus, maybe because of their connection to the Earth itself.

There are no “name” actors here; many of them are skilled Native American professionals, and Michael Greyeyes, one of the leads, has since distinguished himself in the Apple+ series Home Before Dark and the otherwise-awful adaptation of Stephen King’s Firestarter as Rainbird. So there’s no lack of talent on display here. What there is here is an intense, intelligent, very sad zompoc story that’s more about people than the monsters that threaten them.

It is a relentlessly grim film, too, right up to and including the ending – like many of the best zombie movies, right? – as the survivors strive to rebuild some kind of society and ultimately simply to escape. They also come up with one of the cooler alternative names for zombies: they call them “zeds.”

If you’re looking for a film that you or your favorite zomfans may not have seen or heard of yet, give this one a try. You won’t be disappointed.