First Nations director Jeff Barnaby’s new thriller, Blood Quantum, has had a festive campaign dating back to its Midnight Madness world premiere at TIFF. Shudder has since snagged rights to the pic which is now jumping ahead to its platform release as of Tuesday, April 28, signaling “Halfway To Halloween” for its release, in the wake of widespread cinema closures due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“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.”
Rhymes For Young Ghouls director Barnaby helms from his own script, a story that has already received wide critical acclaim for its substantive timely messages, served at the backdrop of a zombie apocalypse. Set in 1981, Blood Quantum tells of a tribal sheriff who fights to protect his son’s pregnant girlfriend and other survivors seeking refugee on the isolated Mi’gmaq reserve of Red Crow, whose Indigenous inhabitants are immune to the zombie plague taking place.
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Blood Quantum stars Michael Greyeyes (True Detective, Fear the Walking Dead), Forrest Goodluck (The Revenant, The Miseducation Of Cameron Post ), Kiowa Gordon (The Twilight Saga) Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers (The Body Remembers When The World Broke Open), Olivia Scriven (Degrassi: Next Class & The Next Generation), revered MMA trainer Stonehorse Lone Goeman and Brandon Oakes (Rhymes For Young Ghouls), William Belleau (Frontier, Scalped), Devery Jacobs (American Gods, The Order, Rhymes For Young Ghouls) and Gary Farmer (Dead Man, Jimmy P).
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.
BLOOD QUANTUM is produced by Quebec-based production company Prospector Films as well as John Christou & Robert Vroom, and executive produced by Todd Brown, Nate Bolotin, Gabe Scarpelli, Ryan Shoup, Adrian Love and Noah Segal.