Black Sheep (DVD)
Directed by Jonathan King
Distributed by Dimension Extreme
Just the other night I was speaking to some brothers in arms about horror and asked, "Hey, did you see Black Sheep?" Their answer -- "Yeah. It had good sheep F/X." What kind of a backhanded compliment is that?!? That's all they could say good about it too. The sheep looked good. Needless to say I wasn't expecting very much after that. Still, we here at Dread Central are fucking soldiers, man. We watch it all -- good, bad (the Foywonder should get a purple friggin' heart), bizarre, you name it. All because no matter how much we complain, we just cannot get enough of this shit. Horror's in our blood, and if you're reading this, it's most likely in yours too. I put on my bad cinema helmet and waited for the worst. Quickly that helmet was removed. You see, Black Sheep turned out pretty good -- offering further proof that opinions and reviews should be taken solely as guidelines and not gospel. One man's trash, another man's treasure and all that. Come with me to the land of sheep and muddy ... New Zealand.
Meet, Henry (Meister). After having the shit scared out of him by his sadistic older brother via a bloody sheepskin, the poor kid learns that his dad was killed in a horrible accident. Talk about a double whammy. Things were so bad in fact that poor Henry became sheep-a-phobic and had to move away from the farm as a means to get his head together. Fast forward several years and our wool fearing protagonist returns home to sell his share of the farm. Unfortunately for him, he finds that things have spiraled farther our of control. His brother is no longer content with just shearing the little white fluffy fuckers. Instead he now makes his living genetically altering the land's sheep and in turn ends up accidentally turning them into murderous flesh eating monsters. Even worse, the victims of these long faced bastards rise from the dead to walk the Earth as were-sheep.
I shit you not.
Simply put, Black Sheep is a dark and very gory black comedy that feels very much at home being as outlandish as possible. It's a true midnight movie in the same vein as Peter Jackson's Dead Alive (or Brain Dead for you cinema loving sticklers out there) that ends up tossing rationality on its ass in favor of some good old fashioned mayhem.
This second horror release under the Dimension Extreme label also comes home sporting its fair share of bonus material. First up is a truly funny and engaging commentary with director Jonathan King, and star Nathan Meister. These two cats have chemistry and I'm fairly certain we've not seen the last of their pairing. Next up we get a thirty minute making-of featurette called -- what else? -- The Making-of Black Sheep. Here we get a look at a lot of cool stuff in addition to the usual cast and crew interviews, like an amusing look at the amazing F/X work of the folks over at Weta. There's no question, these guys can breath life into anything. Even creatures as absurd as were-sheep. From there we have five deleted scenes (that sport very little additional sheep action) with optional commentary which clocks in at about three and a half minutes total, a two minute blooper reel, and a special filmed for the DVD scene called, Early Morning Surprise. I'm not going to spoil it for you, so be sure to check it out for yourself! All in all, not too shabby!
Here's the bottom line -- we're living in a really fucking weird world right now. Remember when direct-to-video films sucked and all the good shit could be found in cinemas? Well, folks, the landscape of horror entertainment has changed drastically. The more Hollywood keeps dropping the ball, the more DVD is becoming the horror fan's best friend. Black Sheep along with films like Reeker, the upcoming Wrong Turn 2: Dead End, and Flight of the living Dead are all sterling examples of this. Sit back, pop a brew and enjoy this night of the bleating dead!
4 out of 5
3 out of 5
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