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BLACK SHEEP: DVD

SYNOPSIS:
Suffering sheep-phobia after his father's death plunge trying to save a sheep, Henry Oldfield (Nathan Meister) returns to his family's farm to sell out to his older brother Angus (Peter Feeney), who is experimenting with genetic engineering on the sheep, with the help of a small band of scientists. When a couple of animal activists, Experience (Danielle Mason) and Gavin (Kevin McTurk) inadvertently release a mutant lamb into the farm, the ghastly little thing spreads a nasty bug which turns all the sheep into bloodthirsty predators. Henry, Experience and farmhand Tucker (Tammy Davis) find themselves stranded among the herd. As Tucker discovers, one bite from an infected sheep begins a metamorphosis that turns humans into weresheep ...

Review by Louise Keller:
Amid the blood, gore, shrieks and ovine freaks, there's plenty of novelty value in this original flock-horror fest, albeit little else. Writer director Jonathan King fleeces every bale of sheep humour to deliver a perverse, woolly yarn that is tainted black and delivers scares and laughs in equal quantities. This is a film that is ideal for a midnight screening, where it won't matter that the ideas outweigh the execution, nor that things become a baaa--t repetitive, as sheep turn monstrous and men morph into weresheep. Unique is the juxtaposition of this gross-out humour with the serene, verdant beauty of New Zealand.

Set in Peter Jackson territory, the birthplace for such classics as Brain Dead, Black Sheep is saturated with the flavours of New Zealand. The characters speak with the distinctive accent and the scenery is drop dead gorgeous. King gets excellent performances from his cast; in particular Nathan Meister as Henry, the former-farm boy, now in therapy and Danielle Mason as the feng shui disciple Experience, who suggests pretending to be a tree in order to cope when surrounded by flocks of man-eating sheep. Peter Feeney makes Angus Oldfield a formidable wacko and Glenis Levestam as the devoted housekeeper Mrs Mac brings plenty of horrified laughs as she guts rabbits, cooks haggis and offers sheep's balls as a delicacy.

The special effects are well executed and it is with sick fascination that we watch as men turn into sheep-like monsters. This is a monster movie with gross comedic elements. If blood and guts turn you off your lamb chops, you might be best to stay at home. But originality will ensure that this shears the jugular of some flocking fanatics.

DVD includes an audio commentary, making of featurette, deleted scenes and you'll bleat in your sleep after you've watched the blooper reel.

Published December 20, 2007

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 2
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

BLACK SHEEP: DVD (MA)
(NZ, 2006)

CAST: Nathan Meister, Peter Feeney, Danielle Mason, Tammy Davis, Glenis Levestam, Tandi Wright, Oliver Driver, Matthew Chamberlain

PRODUCER: Philippa Campbell

DIRECTOR: Jonathan King

SCRIPT: Jonathan King

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Richard Bluck

EDITOR: Chris Plummer

MUSIC: Victoria Kelly

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Kim Sinclair

RUNNING TIME: 87 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Icon

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: August 16, 2007

PRESENTATION: Widescreen

SPECIAL FEATURES: Audio commentary, making of featurette, deleted scenes, blooper reel

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Icon Film Distribution release

DVD RELEASE: December 19, 2007







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