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Film / Blood Quantum

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Blood Quantum is a Canadian Zombie Horror movie written and directed by Jeff Barnaby and starring Michael Greyeyes, Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, Forrest Goodluck, Kiowa Gordon, Brandon Oakes, Olivia Scriven, Kawennáhere Devery Jacobs and Gary Farmer.

Set in 1981, the movie concerns a zombie outbreak near the Red Crow Reservation, where Traylor (Michael Greyeyes) is the police chief. The Native population discovers they are immune to the virus, and begin fighting back against the zombies and taking in survivors.

The movie premiered at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival in the Midnight Madness category and was later given a release in Canadian theatres with a limited theatrical release in the United States prior to the film being released on the Shudder streaming service.

Trailers can be seen here and here.

Tropes Associated With Blood Quantum Include:

  • Amicable Exes: Traylor and Joss are divorced but get along great.
  • Asshole Victim: Lysol.
  • Bastard Bastard: Traylor's illegitimate son Lysol is an absolute monster.
  • The Big Guy: Bumper is a burly man who carries a large axe as his favorite weapon and is one of the group's main fighters. When someone asks who has "the most meat on them", everyone looks at Bumper.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Lysol is defeated and Joseph, Charlie and Joss escape a horde of zombies by boat. But the reservation is overrun, Traylor and many other survivors are dead (with the fates of the rest of the survivors being unknown) and Joseph is forced to kill Charlie (who just gave birth) after she was bitten by a zombie.
  • Boom, Headshot!: In the end, Joseph sadly shoots Charlie in the head after she was bitten by a zombie.
  • Chainsaw Good: A favorite weapon against the zombies, including a very memorable shot where a zombie attacking Traylor is killed with a chainsaw through the back of its head.
  • Construction Vehicle Rampage: A variant occurs when Bumper and Moon block the bridge leading to the reservation with a giant snowblower. The zombies mindlessly try to charge through it and are shredded apart.
  • Death of a Child: One woman infected with the zombie virus (Shooker's girlfriend) is seen eating the fetus she had just given birth to.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Traylor, the main character and leader of the survivors, dies at the beginning of the third act. Emphasis then shifts to Joseph and the grandfather, and their efforts to defeat Lysol and save the remaining survivors.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • The movie was meant as an allegory for the 1981 raids on the Restigouche Reservation by Canadian police. Jeff Barnaby has cited the documentary Incident at Restigouche as a major inspiration.
    • Then there is the scene where a white survivor is chastised for attempting to bring a plague-infected blanket into the camp.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Joseph might not be the most responsible teen, but he's a lot more well-adjusted than his half-brother Lysol.
  • Freudian Excuse: Lysol's mother died soon after his birth, and Traylor basically abandoned him, something Lysol is quick to bring up.
  • Gate Guardian: Lysol and James guard the main entrance to the post-apocalyptic compound and are rather unpleasant toward arriving refugees.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Joseph's girlfriend is named "Charlie".
  • Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Zig-Zagged. Joseph's girlfriend Charlie is planning on getting an abortion early in the movie, and Joseph is hesitantly supportive, but it never happens because of the chaos caused at the hospital by the zombie outbreak. She later gives birth before dying.
  • Groin Attack: Lysol, by way of the infected girl being brought into the camp.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Traylor sacrifices himself so the others can escape.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Lysol is proof that the natives, while immune to the virus, are just as susceptible to cruelty and savagery as anyone else.
  • The Immune: All native people are immune to the zombie virus. Due to this, native Canadians on a reservation fight off the zombies and aid the survivors.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Lysol's hostility towards white people is cruel and unpleasant, but he's not wrong when he says an infection among them could end up killing everybody.
  • Jerk With A Heart Of Jerk: Lysol. He absolutely hates white people and expresses it to the refuges and those protecting him. Right when it looks like Joseph saved him from his zombified girlfriend though, he proceeds to stab Joseph and has his own forces deposit said girlfriend into the camp, killing and zombifying numerous refugees, while also killing his father Traylor.
  • Karma Houdini: Unlike Lysol and Moon, it's unclear whether James gets killed for participating in the murders of the white refugees and unleashing the zombie in the reservation.
  • Kill It with Fire: One of the only safe ways to dispose of the dead.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Traylor's father Gisigu prefers a katana.
    "You don't need to reload a sword."
  • Last Stand: As Joseph, Charlie, and Joss are leading the surviving refugees to the boat, Joseph's grandfather Gisigu decides to remain behind to hold the Zeds off, saying he won't abandon their land again. As the others flee, Gisigu can be seen holding off the Zeds on his own with his katana. While he makes clear he doesn't expect to be making it out of this alive, he's last seen standing triumphant over the Zeds holding a decapitated head.
  • Maligned Mixed Marriage: They're not married, but Charlie and Joseph having a child together is looked upon with trepidation by some because Charlie is white and therefore vulnerable to the zombie virus.
  • Not Using the "Z" Word: The word "zombie" is never spoken aloud. The most common slang used for the virus/infected is "Zed".
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Alan aka "Lysol", Traylor's oldest son.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: This zombie virus infects salmon and dogs, too, and seems to be spread by water. Also, indigenous people are immune to infection.
  • Retired Badass: Traylor's katana-wielding, WWII veteran father, Gisigu, is one of the most competent zombie killers in the movie.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Lysol is left to be torn apart by zombies when the others escape.
  • Time Skip: At the end of the first act, we jump six months into the future where society is at the brink and the Reservation seems like it could be the last safe place for the uninfected.
  • Wasteland Elder: Gisigu is a World War II veteran and First Nations fisherman who is about to become a great-grandfather and is the first person to notice signs of the Zombie Apocalypse. He becomes his son's right-hand man in running a besieged encampment of reservation inhabitants (who are immune to zombification but are still at risk of being Eaten Alive) and Caucasian refugees.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Joss, Charlie, and Joseph escape via the boat, but the fate of the rest of the survivors is left unknown.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Bumper is in charge of executing infected refugees, but can't bring himself to kill a little girl who has been bitten by a zombie. Traylor does it for him.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: The grandfather makes a solo last stand against the horde, downing an impressive number with his katana before being overwhelmed. However, one of the film's surrealistic animated sequences then shows him rising out of the pile of corpses, sword in hand, seemingly ready to fight again and declaring that none of the zombies shall make it past him.