Black Sheep Reviews
With aspects of Cronenbergian body horror, the practical effects were fairly impressive considering the budget it must have had. A bit of work on the writing and some higher calibre actors, and this film would have achieved even greater heights of self-aware, tongue-in-cheek madness.
New Zealand's Weta Workshop, the SFX guys behind King Kong, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Xena, Daybreakers, Distric 9, Avatar, Van Helsing and 30 Days of Night worked on the SFX for Black Sheep too, and you sure as Hell notice it. The effects are out of this world. Who would've thought you could realistically go ahead with a transformation from man to "weresheep"?
Watching this, I sort of compared it to to Isolation, because they're basically the same thing, done in completely different ways. (For those of you who have never seen Isolation it's a British film about genetically altered cows that kill their human masters). Where Isolation failed, was in that despite the drama of the situation, I just couldn't take it seriously, Black Sheep doesn't even try. I suppose it's plausible that King came up with the idea before deciding to make it a comedy, and this is just the way it ended up, but it works.
Though I find New Zealand accents mildly irritating, the fact that the characters actually have development begs my forgiveness, and I'm more than willing to reciprocate. It's fantastic to have a gore-ridden, uproariously funny film, where the characters are not only believable, but you actually kinda care about them. Sure there's not really anything to it other than absurdist humour, but it's the perfect example of it.
Setting is a big deal to me, and though it's not on par with the cinematography of Wolf Creek or Rome, but it's beautiful enough for that one aspect for of it to hold up all on its own. It's yet another of those films I talk about often, where it's great to watch while you're drinking, where it differs though, is that even if you're sober, you'll still enjoy it, albeit, less so.
Almost everything about it is good, but it's important to note, that if you think about any single thing in the movie on its own, you could think of another film that does it better. It's still very enjoyable, but it wasn't all together cohesive and seemed to throw away on a whim a lot of the potential that it had. For a first film though, a lot of congratulations are in order for Mr. King.
So a dodgy sheep owner on a farm is carrying out dodgy genetic experiments on his sheep to turn them into carnivores. Naturally a couple of people steal a mutant lamb to try and expose this but they accidentally release it causing a mass infection of the sheep.
So its pretty much any infectious zombie flick you can think of but replace dead humans with mutated sheep. Sounds insane and it is, but I guess animals of such vast numbers like sheep, cows, chickens, pigs etc...would be perfect for this type of genre. If you think about it they are the most unlikely creatures that humans would be worried about, so there would be the under estimation of danger along with their sheer numbers.
This film is labelled as a horror comedy and has clearly been influenced by 'American Werewolf in London'. The sheep are like weresheep, their bite turns people into half sheep half human bipedal freaks that look like zombiefied monster sheep, plus the blood and gore is through the roof with some great hands on makeup effects. There is even a homage to the classic moment in 'American Werewolf' where David transforms and we see his face n body extending with cracking bones. This is pretty much copied here (mainly the face) and looks just as good I might add.
Not your average horror and not really scary, more of a fun idea (possible homage) showcasing some great makeup effects and good use of some real flocks. What I'm waiting for now is the same thing again but for pigeons in London, seriously it could work.
The creature FX are quite fantastic and the concept behind the film truly entertaining.
In the end, this has elements of Dead Alive, Shaun of the Dead, plenty of gore, black humour, and a story only New Zealand (or perhaps Scotland) could truly create.
Worth checking out for fans of this kind of absurb horror comedy.
- 'Black Sheep' is a 2006 horror comedy from New Zealand. It is said to be inspired by Peter Jackson's 'Bad Taste' and 'Braindead'. We have killer dogs, whales, worms, bunnies, birds, ... so why not do something with murderous sheep? I HATED this film, the story is a load of bull... and the characters are really annoying. I like the horror genre, but this was an absolute waste of time. I don't understand why people like it. The only good thing I can say about it is that the make-up artists did a very good job.
After 15 years Henry Oldfield returns to his hometown to sell his share of the family farm to his twisted brother Agnus. Henry has a phobia of sheep and wants to go as quickly as possible. Unknowingly he will have to face the horrible experiments of his brother, who wanted to create a new breed of genetically manipulated sheep. The animals whoever have developed a taste for blood. Can Henry escape his worst nightmare?