If you’re already a subscriber to the streaming service Shudder – and you should already be a subscriber to the streaming service Shudder, seeing as how it’s consistently great – then as of midnight, you just powered up! Shudder surprised horror fans with the sudden premiere of BLOOD QUANTUM, the Indigenous zombie thriller from First Nations director Jeff Barnaby, which I personally have been extremely eager to see ever since I first heard about it. I’m always looking for fresh spins on old genres from fresh voices with something urgent to say. By all accounts this checks all those boxes.
“We knew the film was important and timely when we acquired it last year, but given recent events, BLOOD QUANTUM’s themes of isolation, fear of contagion, and humanity struggling with the ramifications of a global virus have only grown more relevant,” said Shudder General Manager Craig Engler. “When a theatrical release became untenable due to the real-world pandemic, we decided to accelerate the launch of Barnaby’s film so it would reach the biggest audience possible.”
Here’s more from Shudder on BLOOD QUANTUM: The dead are coming back to life outside the isolated Mi’gmaq reserve of Red Crow, except for its Indigenous inhabitants, who are immune to the zombie plague. Traylor (Michael Greyeyes of True Detective and Fear the Walking Dead), the tribal sheriff, must protect his son’s pregnant girlfriend, apocalyptic refugees, and reserve riffraff from the hordes of walking white corpses.
Jeff Barnaby is a First Nations filmmaker born on the Mi’gmaq reserve, where both BLOOD QUANTUM and his debut feature, the cult-hit RHYMES FOR YOUNG GHOULS, take place. He is the writer, director, editor and composer of BLOOD QUANTUM, which opened TIFF’s Midnight Madness program in 2019 to both audience and critical acclaim. His films frequently cast from within the Indigenous community and paint a stark and scathing portrait of post-colonial Indigenous life and culture – in this case, painting it in blood.
Thank you to Shudder for making this film available sooner than anyone expected! And for more on the film, make sure to check out the interview in Rue Morgue #193 by Andrea Subisatti with Jeff Barnaby – and if you aren’t already reading Rue Morgue, you should be reading Rue Morgue!
Non-members can head to Shudder now for a free trial!
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