ALT | Altered States
A zombie outbreak has left rural Quebec looking like a butcher’s block and, amidst the blood splatter, a pattern has emerged: while the settler population is being decimated, the Mi’gmaq people at the Red Crow reserve appear to be immune to the virus. Armed to the teeth with chainsaws, shotguns, and a samurai sword(!), and led by their tribal sheriff (Michael Greyeyes), the community must fight for their lives (through gloriously choreographed acts of ultra-violence) and make a succession of impossible decisions that will determine the fate of future generations.
From an eerie opening fish-gutting sequence to a climactic showdown in a church, Blood Quantum shocks and awes. As the power dynamics of colonization are tipped on their head and hell on Earth is unleashed, writer-director Jeff Barnaby goes for the jugular, delivering a hyper-intelligent, gleefully gory, and legitimately provocative epic. As with Rhymes for Young Ghouls, an all-too-rare revenge film inspired by deserved outrage over systemic travesties, Barnaby ensures that his sophomore feature delivers a devastating payload of cultural commentary. This isn’t just one of the genre films of the year - it’s essential Canadian cinema.