BARE BONES: BLOOD QUANTUM (2019)

MZNJ_bareBones_Marquee

now playing

Humerus-Bone1

BLOOD QUANTUM (2019)

Canadian zombie flick presents a novel twist on the popular sub-genre. It opens with a starkly effective scene of a fisherman’s gutted catch coming back to life and escalates from there. An outbreak of some kind has the dead returning to life and eating the living, while also infecting those they bite. It is, however, not affecting the Mi’gmaq people of the Red Crow reservation and now they must fight to survive against the growing horde from across the river. There is another conflict though…Red Crow Sheriff Taylor (Michael Greyeyes), wants to help survivors from outside the reservation, who obviously present a danger, while others feel they should fend for themselves. Now the tribespeople are split as the dead close in.

Film is written and very well directed by Indigenous Canadian filmmaker Jeff Barnaby. On a zombie film level, it has fast moving zombies, some fantastic and very abundant gore and some very impactful attack sequences, despite being part of an overpopulated sub-genre. What makes this stand-out, is the sometimes powerful commentary on the treatment of indigenous peoples and on the state of their own communities on the reservations. The metaphor of a people being overrun and their land taken by outsiders is certainly not lost here. The conflict between those wanting to abandon the outside world and those like Taylor who want to remain compassionate is very compelling. It’s a strong statement on human compassion, when those who have been treated terribly by others, in the face of crisis, risk and sometimes loose their own lives to help those who have never been kind to them. It gives an already solid and inventive zombie film a very effective emotional undercurrent. Add to that a strong cast of characters with indigenous actors playing indigenous peoples and you have one of the more unique and effective tellings of a very familiar story in quite a while. This is a very good example of how the horror genre can be used to portray important themes and messages while still being entertaining. Check it out on Shudder!

-MonsterZero NJ

3 star rating

Humerus-Bone1

bars

BARE BONES: 13 EERIE and OUTPOST III: RISE OF THE SPETSNAZ

MZNJ_bareBones_Marquee

now playing

Humerus-Bone1

13_Eerie_poster

13 EERIE (2013)

Canadian zombie film, directed by Lowell Dean and written by Christian Piers Betley, is a routine one, though, entertaining enough. Flick has a group of forensics students, including scream queen Katharine Isabelle, going on a field trip to an island that once housed a prison. Unknown to them, there were experiments performed on the prisoners there that have left some of the corpses they are to examine a bit livelier and hungrier than they are counting on. The film moves quickly and has lots of action and well-executed gore but, really doesn’t do much new with the zombie formula to really set it apart from the numerous other walking dead flicks we’ve seen. Competently made and it passes the time, but ultimately it’s routine and forgettable zombie fare even with the lovely miss Isabelle as a potential meal.

2 and 1-2 star rating

Humerus-Bone1

outpost 3

OUTPOST III: RISE OF THE SPETSNAZ (2013)

I liked the first two Outpost films which tell the tale of zombified Nazi soldiers and while this latest installment isn’t outright bad, the formula is wearing thin and it is very by-the-numbers. This film directed by Kieran Parker and written by Rae Burton also takes place in WWII, like the second flick, with a group of Russian soldiers being captured by the Nazis and taken to an underground bunker where they are experimenting with the creation of super soldiers from the bodies of dead German troops and using captured prisoners as fodder for the undead’s training. Our valiant comrades must somehow fight their way out if they are to survive. The film does move quick enough, there is plentiful gore and has plenty of action, but it never really caught my interest and the endless battles with growling corpses seemed to get very monotonous after about halfway in. I suppose it’s worth a look if, like me, you enjoyed the first two films, but I think I have had enough of this series, if they decide to continue from here.

2 and 1-2 star rating

Humerus-Bone1

bars