Black Sheep [Blu-Ray] Jonathan King

Black Sheep [Blu-Ray] Jonathan King
Australia's premiere entry into the horror-comedy genre gets the Blu-Ray treatment, giving this under-seen film another chance to charm audiences fond of silly, over-the-top gore and cautionary tales about genetic engineering. Sheep, a quintessential kiwi concern (according to proud comments in the "Making Of"), are the unlikely source of terror in writer/director Jonathan King's debut creature feature. To view the unassuming, woolly quadrupeds in a sinister light even before a genetic mutation turns them into flesh-eating beasts, the protagonist, Henry Oldfield (Nathan Meister), is traumatized as a boy by a nasty prank involving a bloody carcass his brother, Angus, pulls on their father's farm. Forsaking the family business due to his fear, Henry becomes the titular black sheep when he returns 25 years later upon the death of his dad. Angus (Peter Feeney, 30 Days of Night) has become a ruthless businessman, conducting horrific experiments in the search of the perfect sweater-providing specimen. Originally wanting only to collect his share of the inheritance and get the hell out of sheep country, Henry gets trapped in his worst nightmare when a couple of dippy environmental activists "liberate" a mutated sheep foetus, the bungling of their mission spawning a weresheep outbreak. Weta Workship (the effects company famous for their work on The Lord of the Rings) does a great job creating hilarious animatronic killer sheep and the many stages of development, from man to fuzzy Minotaur, for those unlucky enough to get chomped by a bleater. The extremely graphic gore is always played for laughs, which is wise – sheep, even limb-rending weresheep, are too ridiculous to be scary, no matter the amount of plot engineering. With only a few variations on the same types of gags, little personality in the direction and half-baked environmental notions that exist only to move the action along, Black Sheep never becomes more than a collection of amusing scenes of an exceedingly silly concept. Falling short of viscera-soaked classics like Reanimator and Braindead, it's nonetheless fun enough to be worth a watch when you've exhausted those filthy gems. The special features are pretty typical: bloopers, the aforementioned "Making Of," deleted scenes (the optional commentary is appreciated) and a meandering feature commentary with King and Meister. (Alliance)