CATEGORIES Comedy, Horror, IFC, The Weinstein Co., Toronto International Film Festival, Cinematical Indie, Toronto Film Festival, CinematicalIt was almost precisely a year ago that Kimi V. and I climbed into a few balcony seats to enjoy a very well-attended screening of Black Sheep at the Toronto Film Festival. And we had a very good time with Jonathan King's wild and (ahem) woolly comedy/horror concoction. Although the New Zealand import didn't make all that much of a splash following its June 22 release date -- IFC released it in all of eight theaters -- an unrated edition is hitting DVD shelves on October 9, courtesy of the Weinsteins' Dimension label. (Horror fans should absolutely give it a rental.)
So now comes the unpleasantness: According to a report at Fangoria, the producers of Black Sheep might be getting sued by an aspiring screenwriter named Rafael Toba, who claims that his 2001 "Killer Sheep" screenplay was blatantly plagiarized by King & Company. Given that the 'nature run amok' sub-genre has been going strong for several decades now, couldn't it just be a case of coincidence? Nope, says Mr. Toba: "If it were any other animal, it could be so ... but sheep? Come on." Fango cites a Spanish newspaper where they say that legal proceedings are already underway.
Now, I know this probably wouldn't stand up in court, but Mr. King told me himself that "there are ten sheep to every one person in New Zealand." But I'm sure Spain has a lot of sheep as well. Regardless, the volume of sheep in each filmmaker's country is kind of beside the point, isn't it? I don't think Mr. Toba has much of a case, frankly, but I'd welcome another "killer sheep" movie any time. Lord knows I've seen enough Killer Croc flicks by this point. And I've long since lost track of all the bat, rat, spider and shark movies I've seen.