Terrified of sheep and dosed up on therapy, Henry Oldfield returns to his family’s farm to sell out to his older brother Angus, unaware that something baaaad is going on: Angus’ reckless genetic engineering program. When a pair of inept environmental activists release a mutant lamb from Angus’ laboratory onto the farm, thousands of sheep are turned into bloodthirsty predators. Along with farmhand Tucker and greenie girl Experience, Henry finds himself stranded deep on the farm as his worst nightmare comes to life. Battling their way to safety the intrepid trio discover there’s worse to come: one bite from an infected sheep seems to have alarming effect on those bitten...
With Angus acting suspiciously sheepish, a delegation of international investors gathering at the homestead and a ravenous flock descending from the hills, Henry must find the farmer within to wrest control of the farm from his monstrous brother, defeat an ovine invasion and save New Zealand’s pastures green.
BLACK SHEEP was filmed in and around Wellington, New Zealand, during March and April 2006. Locations on six farms stretching from Wellington’s spectacular south coast to the Wairarapa, were used to create the world of the film. An irreverent thrill ride into the dark heart of rural New Zealand that charts a battle between the forces of science and the guardians of nature, Jonathan King’s debut feature is a high-spirited take on the question that has puzzled New Zealand for over one hundred years. Are we forever to be known as a small isolated nation dominated by sheep? It is, as King says, “the New Zealand story that had to be told.”BLACK SHEEP explores a myriad of twists on New Zealand’s defining woolly icon.
There are methane emissions, car seat covers, gourmet cuisine, drenching and, of course, sheep shagging.
A flock of over one thousand animals, a small number of trained sheep and animatronic puppet creatures, created by world renowned Weta Workshop, were captured in camera to bring the rampant underbelly of ovine rage to life on the big screen. Inspired by Peter Jackson’s grand tradition of Kiwi splatter using physical effects, King’s collaboration with Richard Taylor and his Academy Awardwinning team at
Weta Workshop, lies at the heart of the film. Devising everything from conceptual art to buckets of gore, sculpted body parts and sophisticated prosthetic makeup, a highly experienced crew came together to build King’s distinctive vision of Kiwi bucolic bliss turned monstrously on its head.
Attack of the lamb
The making of BLACK SHEEP draws on the enormous skills and infrastructure in the New Zealand industry developed, most recently, through the LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy and KING KONG to tell this uniquely NewZealand story.