Boy, do I love surprises! I’ve seen a couple of flicks released by Unearthed Films, which gave me the idea that I knew what I was getting into if I ever watched another one distributed by them. I absolutely hated Thanatomorphose and while I thought Collar was an okay film, it wasn’t the best indie horror I’ve ever seen. After shutting off another film put out by Unearthed recently, I pretty much decided that I was done with them all together. That is until I received a copy of Kurtis Spieler’s film, Sheep Skin. With an interesting plot spelled out on the release’s back cover, I took a chance and pressed play. Thankfully, the film was actually really well done and rather enjoyable from start to bloody finish.
A group of bandmates kidnap a cheating business man after suspecting that he is a werewolf and has committed a series of brutal murders. Ready to end the monster’s murderous reign, Schafer (Michael Schantz) and his buddies just need to know for sure before they pull the trigger. As the full moon draws closer, things get a little messier than the friends planned and all hell breaks loose.
I try to keep my expectations rather low for independent horror flicks these days. While I want to love every film I watch, it’s the sad reality that this is never going to be the case. Within the first 15 minutes of Sheep Skin, however, I was able to tell that this film was going to be A-OK in my book. The acting was well above average — a great sign for no-budget indie flicks — and the overall production quality was pretty impressive, as well.
Sheep Skin calls itself a werewolf film right in its synopsis, but it is much different from most other films the sub-genre has to offer. While the terms ‘realistic’ and ‘werewolf’ certainly read like an oxymoron, I still defend the fact that this is the best way to describe Spieler’s film; A more realistic, gritty approach to a wolf-man flick.
A group of friends who happen to play in a band together kidnap a guy who was having an affair with one of their sisters. They also believe that this two-timing jerk was the one who viciously murdered said sister. It sounds silly to say it out loud, “you’re a werewolf,” but as crew leader, Schafer, rattles off the various pieces of evidence he has, everything starts making sense. It is the interrogating and back-and-forth between the friends over the next 60 minutes that really amp up the anticipation and keep this thing moving at an appreciated pace. Is this guy really a werewolf or what!?
While I don’t want to spoil Sheep Skin for anybody, just know that you will not be disappointed. The film is way better than I expected and I am definitely an instant fan of writer/director, Kurtis Spieler. The man clearly did his homework and stayed loyal to a sub-genre that deserves loyalty to the fullest. The acting was way above par from what other films of this nature have to offer and the practical effects work displayed throughout the film were outstanding, especially on a micro-budget.
If you support indie filmmaking and low-budget horror films, I can’t recommend Sheep Skin enough. You can pick it up on DVD today from Unearthed Films and MVD Visual.
I give this film 4 empty chambers out of 5.