Ha ha!

You just never know what he'll review next!

Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Burl reviews Blood Quantum! (2019)

Well hello gumchewers, it’s Burl! Ha ha, just as was the case when I brought you reviews of WolfCop and The Editor, I’m here to review a new Canadian horror movie! Ha ha, it’s always my pleasure to watch those! This particular one under discussion today is a zombie picture called Blood Quantum!
The picture takes place on the Red Crow reserve somewhere in Quebec, which is one steel truss bridge away from the whitepeople town on the other side of the river! The story opens at the beginning of the zombie plague, when an elder, Gisugu, catches some salmon, guts them, then watches in horror as the undead fishes flop all around him! Pretty soon the zombie epidemic becomes apparent to the other characters, which include Gisugu’s grown son Traylor, the lawman on the rez; and Traylor’s ex wife, a nurse named Joss; and their own wayward son Joseph; and of course the nefarious Lysol! Ha ha!
We jump to six months later, which is a welcome narrative development! The rez has become an armed, walled encampment, because, ha ha, Indigenous people are immune to the zombie virus, and must keep out the walking dead while grudgingly admitting wandering groups of uninfected refugee white people! This of course is the picture’s allegorical triumph! Subtle it’s not, but it does the job, and one senses agreeably the meeting of theme and moment! And now, in the midst of an epidemic with even heads of state talking about Lysol? Ha ha, put out the catch-barrel, Mama, ‘cause Junior’s gone a-streakin’!
The picture spins its wheels a bit once we’re in the encampment! Joseph, who has been pushed into manhood not just by the crisis but by the pregnancy of his girlfriend (who is white, therefore susceptible to zombiehood), is in favour of allowing the refugees to stay, but Lysol and his boys are violently opposed! This conflict bakes for a while, and the picture seems not to be getting anywhere until a third act that one wishes went to a more interesting place than it does! Many of our characters buy the farm in one way or another, and there’s a fair bit of tomato paste slung about! Ha ha the makeup and effects are fairly abundant and certainly ambitious, something one always likes to see!
The acting is all over the place! The old man, Gisigu, was pretty good, and I liked the performance of Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers as Joss! Gary Farmer, well known from Demon Knight and Ghost Dog:The Way of the Samurai, does a bit as a big teddy bear of a man called Moon, who allies himself with Lysol’s gang and pays the gruesome price! Other performances are either not so hot or are perfectly fine!
It’s a conceptual treat, and it looks good and is slickly made, but it lacks the follow-through I wish it had! The script never really got licked: the salty dialogue is repetitive, and the characters are, for the most part, slimly or confusingly drawn! We’re told over and over that Traylor is a “fuck up,” but he seems a perfectly competent police officer who’s doing his best in a trying situation! With all this tell-don’t-show it seems the movie is setting Traylor up for a big redemptive moment, but it never really comes! Or it sort of does, but lacks much impact! There’s a kind of ad-hoc feeling to the storytelling!
But there’s a lot to recommend it, too! I say Blood Quantum is worth a look, and I give it two out-of-season snowblowers!

No comments:

Post a Comment