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Black Sheep (2006)

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6.7
 / 10
18 votes
Genres / Traits:
Horror, Horror Comedy, Natural Horror, Creatures: Sheep
Director:
Jonathan King Jonathan King
Starring:
Nathan Meister Nathan Meister
Peter Feeney Peter Feeney
Danielle Mason Danielle Mason
Tammy Davis Tammy Davis
Oliver Driver Oliver Driver
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Review by Chad
Added: October 28, 2007
Here we have a film that takes place and was shot in New Zealand, a film which pits farmers versus sheep, and... well, the jokes sort of write themselves, don't they? I'll take the high road in this review, however, as I'm sure that everyone can fill in their own jokes dealing with this subject; besides, the writers have already slipped a few of their own jokes into the script, so I'd more than likely just be using material that had already been done before anyway. What I will discuss is how funny Black Sheep truly is, and how it could very easily go on to become a cult classic over time. Yes, it's that damned good.

We begin by meeting the Oldfield family - Henry (Nathan Meister) and Angus (Peter Feeney) - and getting acquainted with their positions in life. Having both grown up on a farm with hundreds of sheep to tend to, one would think that the boys would have followed on in their father's footsteps, but that isn't the case: Henry now harbors an intense phobia of sheep thanks to a traumatizing childhood experience, while Angus is dead set on creating the perfect genetically-modified sheep to better the world. The two find themselves together once again at their childhood home to settle a business deal which will determine who gets sole ownership of the farm, and from there, things start to go wrong: horribly wrong.

You see, a group of animal-loving hippies led by a lady named Experience (Danielle Mason) have decided that this will be the perfect day to gather evidence about the genetic experiments taking place on the farm, and their first order of business is to steal one of the failed experiments: a mutated baby sheep stuffed inside a glass container. The researchers are none too happy about this theft, and a chase takes place throughout the neighboring woods which results in the glass container bursting open... and letting the mutant sheep loose. Much like a zombie, this sheep contains a highly-infectious virus, and it doesn't take long before it spreads to the other sheep on the farm, creating a herd of bloodthirsty, vicious, sheep. Talk about a bad day on the farm.

Here we have another splatstick film from New Zealand, and surprisingly, it's - dare I say it - quite similar to Peter Jackson's early work. There are some horror elements in place and there are moments when the filmmakers attempt to produce genuine scares, but make no mistake about it: the goal of this film was to make the viewer laugh and to show off some gore effects courtesy of the killer sheep. With that in mind, the film simply works; after all, who can hold back the laughter while watching a grown man get into a fist-fight with a sheep? Then there's also the subtle nods to other horror films (watch for the chainsaw scene), and the end result of this was a film that had me grinning from damned near start to finish.

Then, to satisfy the splatter aspect of that Peter Jackson similarity, we have some surprisingly nice gore sequences thanks to those damned sheep. One probably wouldn't think that a couple of sheep would be capable of massive amounts of carnage, but gorehounds will be pleasantly surprised once they see some of the things that these filmmakers came up with. Necks are ripped out, limbs are chewed off, and then there's the... well, I won't come right out and spoil it, but I will say that the sheep finally get their revenge for being the butt of so many New Zealand jokes over the years. The best part of all this? It's all done with practical effects, and as such, it all looks fairly realistic; in fact, I can't say without a shadow of a doubt that there wasn't any CGI usage sprinkled in here, but if there was, I sure couldn't point it out.

Overall, fans of Braindead and Bad Taste would be well advised to give Black Sheep some "loving", as those fans will quickly realize that Jackson isn't the only guy to come out of New Zealand with a knack for producing quality splatstick entertainment. 10/10.
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Tristan #1: Tristan - added 09/07/2008, 07:26 PM
Pretty fun movie. Not as much gore as I expected, not as many laughs either. But for a film debut, it was pretty damn good.

8/10
Lucid Dreams #2: Lucid Dreams - added 04/27/2009, 11:00 PM
I was watching this with two hicks I happen to work with; they didn't really like the film at all. I however loved this film, Tristan was right about not as much gore, but laughs kept coming on this one. 9/10
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