Check out episode nine of Richard’s new web series, “In Isolation With…” It’s the talk show where we make a connection without actually making contact! Today, broadcasting directly from Isolation Studios (a.k.a. my home office), we meet Michael Greyeyes, star of “Blood Quantum,” new to VOD this week. We talk about the film’s social messages of identity and survival and, on a lighter note, what it’s like to be covered in fake blood. Come visit with us! In isolation we are united!
Posts Tagged ‘Jeff Barnaby’
Richard and CTV NewsChannel anchor Angie Seth discuss the family drama of “Tammy’s Always Dying,” the Cronenberg remake “Rabid,” the social commentary of “Blood Quantum” and the culinary adventure “Nose to Tail.”
Watch the whole thing HERE!
Richard and CP24 anchor Nick Dixon have a look at the new movies coming to VOD and streaming services including drunken dramedy “Tammy’s Always Dying,” the Cronenberg remake “Rabid” and the zombie braaiiiins of “Blood Quantum.”
Watch the whole thing HERE!
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to VOD and streaming services including the drunken dramedy “Tammy’s Always Dying,” the Cronenberg remake “Rabid,” the guts and glory of “Blood Quantum” and the restaurant drama “Nose to Tail.”
Listen to the whole thing HERE!
The very best zombie movies are never simply about the dead coming back to life. Sure, the good ones smear the screen with buckets of blood but just as important as the gore are the brains, and not just the kind the undead use as entrees. The memorable ones use the flesh-hungry creatures as metaphors for societal ills. George A. Romero knew this and infused his movies with allegories to social justice and consumerism, among other issues. Director Jeff Barnaby knows this as well. His exciting new zombie film, “Blood Quantum,” new to VOD this week, contains a powerful central premise: Indigenous people put in danger by allowing white folks on their land.
The film begins with an ancient settler’s proverb. “Take heed to thyself, make no treaty with the inhabitants of the land you are entering.” It’s a portentous warning that foreshadows “Blood Quantum” action. Set on an isolated Mi’gmaq reserve called Red Crow, it takes place before, during and after a plague that has turned most of the world into bloodthirsty zombies. The Red Crow, however, are immune, placing tribal sheriff Traylor (“Fear the Walking Dead’s” Michael Greyeyes) in the position of having to protect the reserve, including ex-wife Joss (Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers), sons Lysol (Kiowa Gordon) and Joseph (Forrest Goodluck), Joseph’s pregnant girlfriend Charlie (Olivia Scriven) and father Gisigu (Stonehorse Lone Goeman), from hordes of undead outsiders.
“Blood Quantum” offers up the blood and guts you expects from a movie like this but director Barnaby also infuses every frame with a vivid sense of indigenous heritage. From the title—which refers to a much-despised colonial blood measurement system used to establish a person’s Indigenous status—to using a zombie apocalypse as metaphor for the fight against annihilation by colonial settlers, it drips with social awareness and gore.
A new take on the zombie apocalypse tale, it brings a fresh perspective to a much-examined genre. The characters are well defined and have emotional arcs amid the madness and skull crushing. The use of occasional animation sections adds visual interest to an already cool looking film—Barnaby has a deadly eye for composition—and will even make you laugh from time to time. A broken narrative timeline doesn’t work as well it should but Barnaby and Co. deliver on entertainment and intellectual levels.
Come for the entrail eating, stay for the cultural observations… and more entrail eating.
Blood Quantum (Jeff Barnaby)
- “Jeff Barnaby’s story of a world ravaged by zombies except for an isolated Mi’gmaq reserve promises both solid horror and insightful social commentary.” — Richard Crouse, host of CTV’s Pop Life. (Wild card: The Burnt Orange Heresy)
Read the whole thing HERE!
Watch the whole thing HERE!
Set on the Red Crow M’igMaq Reservation in 1976, this self-assured debut feature from director Jeff Barnaby is the story of fifteen-year-old Aila (Devery Jacobs), an Aboriginal girl guided by spirits to exact revenge against a vicious Government Agent (Mark Antony Krupa) after she is moved into the reserve’s residential school. There is much to recommend Rhymes for Young Ghouls. Aila is an appealing heroine, played with gusto by Jacobs. There is sardonic humour and grit in the storytelling topped by a wicked soundtrack. Best of all it showcases the talent of director Barnaby, who is on the cusp of a significant, exciting career.
Writing in the Toronto International Film Festival program book Steve Gravestock said Rhymes with Young Ghouls plays, “as if an S.E. Hinton novel were re-imagined as a righteously furious, surreal thriller.”
The self-assured debut feature from director Jeff Barnaby is the story of Aila (Devery Jacobs), an Aboriginal teenager who is guided by the spirits of her departed mother and brother to exact revenge against a vicious Indian Agent named Popper.
“I think the idea behind what we were doing was to show the enormity of that went on,” says Barnaby. “You do want to shock people but not with the content of the film but with the idea that the content of the film actually happened. Most of the reviews have been astoundingly positive but the couple of bad ones that we’ve gotten have complained about the Popper role, and how over the top it is and how he is like this moustache twisting villain, but if you know the history, these guys had to have existed.
“I suppose you could be polite about saying, ‘You can’t leave the reserve and you can’t go find work and you have to live in this poverty, and by the way, you have to give us your kids.’ I’m sure there was an Indian Agent or truant officer somewhere who was really cool about it but at the end of the day these are the acts of evil men.”
It’s a pop culture savvy movie; a work Barnaby calls “a cinephile’s film.” A pop culture sponge himself, he says years of influences came together in the making of Rhymes with Young Ghouls.
“I grew up being saturated in everything, comic books, books,” he says. “My stepmom was going to university at the time so she was bringing home all these great books, like English poetry, T.S. Elliot and Robert Frost, so I began to appreciate art at a very early age.”
Near the top of the influence list are Batman and Conan the Barbarian.
“They are both anti-heroes but they share this idea of not being above physical violence in order to rectify a situation,” he says. “They both lost their parents, they’re both vigilantes particularly with Conan we follow the storyline of the first Schwarzenegger movie—a religious cult comes along and destroys his family and he goes searching for them and destroys the cult. That is more or less the model we used for Rhymes although very loosely, in the way Scorsese says he used The Searchers for Taxi Driver.”
He also cites Scott Hampton’s The Upturned Stone, Dashiell Hammett’s Red Harvest and Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club but adds the influences go “through all these filters and by the time it hits the screen what you are trying to emulate has turned into something completely different.”