It’s been a while since I sunk my teeth into a really juicy zombie film with the hubby, so it was time to feast on these two features. Turns out both Redcon-1 and Blood Quantum deliver munching, meaning, a message, emotion, and men that are non- white as heroes. Let’s take a look.
Running a whopping two hours long, Redcon-1 goes from an action-packed military mission movie that plays out like a video game to a character-driven social commentary that is eerily timely, reflecting much of what is going on in this country right now.
The plot is familiar—military team is sent into a quarantined zone to rescue a scientist believed to be able to cure the virus.
As the team kicks zombie ass to a rockin’ soundtrack, there’s plenty of blood, cognitive zombies, and man bods on display. Quite a hunky cast.
The battles are fantastically choreographed and visually thrilling, but it does all become a bit repetitive, so of course I’ll say that the film could have been shortened. However, just when things begin to lose steam…
The focus shifts to the black leader of the team and the little white girl he forms a bond with and swears to protect until the bitter end, all while contending with turncoats on his own team and rogue gangs fighting over the territory they’ve claimed.
The finale echoes the current state of affairs in the U.S.—there’s infection everywhere, but the real threat to society is the white man in power. And that’s when the revolt begins.
BLOOD QUANTUM (2019)
Blood Quantum is another socially conscious film that has a lot going on—maybe too much.
We meet major players on an Indian reservation, including a sheriff and his sons, who begin to discover something is very wrong.
Members of the community are starting to get attacked and bitten by people that have turned into zombies!
It’s a tight little zombie outbreak film, with crazed zombies, loads of great gore, suspense, and scares. And then…
We jump ahead 6 months. Now the zinger plot point comes forth. The outbreak has spread, and for unknown reasons the Native Americans on the reserve are immune to it.
They make their land a fortress to keep threats out (including the white man), and they have to decide whether or not they should risk allowing those seeking refuge to come in.
It’s a refreshing, thought-provoking plot, but it’s barely established when they leave their community to scavenge for supplies, making a long stretch of this film feel like many of the other zombie films out there.
However, there are plenty of other aspects to the film, for it juggles exploration of family issues, moral dilemmas, some oddly Tarantino-esque flashbacks, and even animated moments.
The pacing was a little slow to me, and I felt the goal of addressing serious subjects concerning Native American life got lost in the zombie shuffle for a while before the ending brought back the humanity at the heart of the story.