Jan 22, 2019

IMDb: Sheep Skin (2013)
Director: Kurtis Spieler
Stars: Ria Burns-Wilder, Bryan Manley Davis, Jamie Lyn Bagley

In 2013 Kurtis Spieler directed the film Sheep Skin, that he also wrote. Starring Jamie Lyn Bagley (Flesh for the Inferno) and Michael Schantz, it is an underground horror film that recently got a release from Unearthed Films. This film puts a modern spin on a couple of old genre favorites. It combines your standard torture/revenge plot, with some twists and tuns involving a werewolf story. So while this film is essentially your movie version of a musical mash-up, it is a pretty decent example.

In working my way through the Unearthed Films catalog, this is an average example of the types of films they are putting out there. It has a more expensive look than many of the earlier releases. It has less gore and violence, than most of the modern releases that the Unearthed fan is probably beginning to expect at this point. While the few moments of gore are brutal and well-done, you have to wait through most of the film to actually see it.

There is a long build up in this film. It spends most of its time in a single location. The warehouse setting is a cheap setting that produces a nice ominous feel. The dialogue, however, is not going to keep you very interested. There is a lot of he said she said conversation that essentially turns the film into a really long Law and Order interrogation. When they  finally get into the werewolf mythology  it gets a bit more entertaining. It even touches on some modern horror satire, that makes the interrogation much more fulfilling. It just feels like it could have been 10-15 minutes shorter in regard to the dialogue that seemed to be padding the running time.

As far as other film-making techniques go, it has a very cool punk rock soundtrack. The opening credits look and sound great, and they carry that style into the closing of the film. They even have a cool surprise for you if you wait through the end of the credits. I also really like the special features. They get into the soundtrack, which really became and unexpected high point for me in the film. They also added a black and white version of the film. I love the look of the black and white throughout, but the climax needs the blood red gore. The director actually talks about this in his introduction, and I totally agree with him. I also think as far as special features go, this extra version was an awesome idea.

In the end, this is a very collectible film from this label. It is not a high priced multiple disc release, like a couple of the more recent releases. It is an affordable release, that most collectors will feel like is totally worth their time and money. You can even stream it from the Unearthed Films site to find out what you think before making a purchase. I would think fans of werewolves, the Universal classics, punk rock, and psychological thrillers could skip all that and confidently buy the film though.


Originally Published on May 9th, 2016