Friday, September 28, 2007

Black Sheep DVD arrives Oct. 9th!

I had an opportunity to see this when it opened here in L.A. in June--along with some WordPlay buddies and some of the gang from the SoCal Film Group. Unfortunately, I had another commitment--so since I didn't get to see writer/director (and WordPlayer) Jonathan King's feature debut in the theater, I jumped at the chance to review the DVD.

As well as jump a lot during the viewing of this gory take on what happens when good sheep go bad. Really baaaaaddd. Sorry--couldn't resist! I haven't had the chance to meet Jonathan but if his film is any indication, he is one sick twisted son-of-a-bitch. I like that in a person. Black Sheep mixes special effects (compliments of Peter Jackson's WETA Workshop), splatter-gore and dark humor in this cautionary tale of hubris and ethics.

Wait--that makes it sound really highbrow and classy, doesn't it? Black Sheep is actually more Shaun of the Dead than The Shining in tone and effect. Yes, it's graphic and gory--plenty of blood, mayhem and dismemberment. I guess I'm lucky I didn't see it with my WordPlay comrades--because they'd probably be teasing me about the amount of time I spent grimacing and looking away from the screen. How Jonathan King is able to make--without makeup or special effects--a stupid, woolly, ridiculous looking farm animal look menacing is beyond me. But he does it.

The story starts in a bucolic setting of a sheep farm in New Zealand. A sick and gruesome prank pulled on Henry by his psychopathic brother Angus gives the young boy a life-long case of angoraphobia. Oh wait--that's fear of fuzzy sweaters. Anyway, he's afraid of sheep. His twisted brother Angus on the other hand is an "angora"-phile--in every sense of the word. Henry, who is undergoing therapy to deal with his issues, comes back to the farm to sell his share to Angus. While there, he finds out that Angus has been doing genetic experiments to create a new breed of sheep--and that the result is an infection the travels through the flock turning them into blood-thirsty, flesh-eating killers. Sheep zombies if you will.

And if that weren't enough, a chomp wound from an infected sheep will turn the bitten into a sheep zombie, too--showcasing the terrific WETA Workshop special effects as the mutation/metamorphosis occurs. It's grotesque and graphic and silly and fun all at the same time. The DVD includes these Bonus Features:

* Five Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary
* Blooper Reel
* Commentary by Writer/Director Jonathan King & Actor Nathan Meister
* The Making Of Black Sheep featurette
* “Early Morning” – Surprise Scene shot exclusively for DVD

If you love a good scare, definitely check this flick out! You'll never look at a mutton chop the same way again--I promise!

1 comment:

  1. YAY! My friends at DD (big effects company) have been talking about this quite a bit -- I'm glad it's hitting DVD sooner rather than later.

    Killer zombie sheep? Brilliant!