» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum

October 15, 2007
Rating: 7.5

Jonathan King's Black Sheep is one part zombie movie, one part werewolf flick, and eight parts schlocky horror-comedy drive-in fare. That amounts to ten reasons to see this film, now available on DVD. The Kiwi director worked with Peter Jackson's WETA Workshop to create the splendidly silly and gory special effects for the film, and the overall tone has more than a little bit in common with one of Jackson's early projects, Dead Alive. Both films artfully blend humor with over-the-top gore effects, effectively rendering them in a comic-book style that keeps them within the realm of taste.

King's plotline unfolds in the grasslands of bucolic New Zealand, where sheep far outnumber people. Henry and Angus are two young brothers living the simple farm life, when their father is killed in an accident. Flash-forward to 15 years later, and Henry is on his way back to his youthful stomping grounds after years away in the big city. He brings with him a serious phobia of woolly animals, brought into focus as he sits uncomfortably in a car mired in rural traffic - surrounded by a bleating flock of sheep - on his way to see his brother. After running into a pair of hippie animal rights activists intent on freeing the sheep, the dark brother in Angus is revealed when his secret evil genetic experiments on the livestock are discovered. Through his manipulation Angus has created a mutant breed of bloodthirsty and vicious sheep, a frenzied flock capable of transmitting their madness to both animal and human through their infectious bite (hence, the zombie movie ingredient).

There is something inherently funny and, as this film would have you believe, sinister, about dumb livestock like sheep or cows. Their faces, devoid of expression as they stand around and chew their cud, seem to be hiding something ominous behind their masks of simple serenity. Black Sheep latches onto that, its characters running through the plot, never sure which animals are mutated threats and which are nature's harmless field dwellers. There are several man vs. sheep fight scenes which are hilarious - as it turns out, watching someone punch a sheep in the face is a really enjoyable experience. Humans who are bitten by the zombielike sheep eventually turn into giant man-sheep hybrids (hence, the werewolf movie ingredient), grunting and thrashing as they morph into a new and hideous form. Adding a bit to the encyclopedia of the horror genre, Black Sheep dispels the notion that a chainsaw is a useful weapon against crazed monsters, especially when employed on the back of a moving truck, highlighting the fact that it's really hard to get one started if you haven't had the chance to prime it.

Special features with the DVD release of the film include an audio commentary by director King and Nathan Meister, who plays Henry, a "making of" documentary, deleted scenes, and a blooper reel. The special effects are graphic but never malicious, always played with a tongue-in-cheek attitude. That being said, Black Sheep is a fairly bloody film, with entrails and severed limbs flying across the screen from time to time. There's also an underlying subtext about the wisdom of genetically modifying food species, a relevant issue in today's world. If the results of such tampering might even come close to world of Black Sheep, I'd advise against it.

SEE ALSO: www.blacksheepthemovie.com

Jonah Flicker
Jonah Flicker writes, lives, drinks, eats, and consumes music in New York, via Los Angeles. He once received a fortune in a fortune cookie that stated the following: "Soon, a visitor shall delight you." He's still waiting.

See other articles by Jonah Flicker.



If you'd like to help spread the word about LAS, or simply want to outfit yourself with some adhesive coolness, our 4" circle LAS stickers are sure to hit the spot, and here is how to get them:

--> Send an with $2 in PayPal funds to cover postage. Don't worry, we'll load you up with enough to cover your town. Then just be patient. They will arrive soon.


LAS has staff and freelance writers spread across North and South America, Europe, and a few in Southeast Asia as well. As such, we have no central mailing adress for unsolicited promotional material. If you are interested in having your project considered for coverage, please contact us before sending any promotional materials - save yourself time and postage!