Jonathan King (Under the Mountain) made his directorial debut in 2006 with Horror/Comedy Black Sheep in New Zealand, a film about genetically altered sheep in New Zealand (which out number people 10 to 1) that go rogue and start hunting down their human masters. It features the tagline; "Get ready. For the violence of the lambs.", which is bloody brilliant in my opinion.
New Zealand's Weta Workshop, the SFX guys behind King Kong, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Xena: Warrior Princess, 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 compare 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. It's plausible that King came up with the idea before deciding to make it a comedy, but this is just the way it ended up, and 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 but 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.
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.