Black Sheep Review
Country : New Zealand
Running Time: 87 minutes
Distributor: Live Stock Films
Never mind the chickens, it's the sheep that are coming home to roost in this darkly humorous wool-fleeced romp....
Written and Directed by Jonathan King. Starring Nathan Meister, Danielle Mason, Peter Feeney, Tammy Davis, Glenis Levestam, Tandi Wright, Oliver Driver, Matthew Chamberlain, Nick Fenton, Sam Clark and Eli Kent.
Black Sheep has an unusual mix of comedy and horror, but rarely misses the mark. Itís funny without making fun of itself, and the scary scenes are never played for laughs.
Terrified of sheep and dosed up on therapy, Henry Oldfield returns to his family's farm to sell out to his older brother Angus, unaware that something baaaad is going on: Angus' reckless genetic engineering program. When a pair of inept environmental activists release a mutant lamb from Angus' laboratory onto the farm, thousands of sheep are turned into bloodthirsty predators. Along with farmhand Tucker and the 'green'-minded young woman, Experience, Henry finds himself stranded deep on the farm as his worst nightmare comes to life. Battling their way to safety the intrepid trio discover there's worse to come: one bite from an infected sheep seems to have alarming effect on those bitten. With Angus acting suspiciously sheepish, a delegation of international investors gathering at the homestead and a ravenous flock descending from the hills, Henry must find the farmer within to wrest control of the farm from his monstrous brother, defeat an ovine invasion and save New Zealand's greener pastures.
So, the best part of the film is the transformation that we witness, from human to sheep, and is fabulously realized....probably the best transformation since An American Werewolf In London. No kidding....and all done with practical F/X. Further proof that CGI is for the filmmakers looking for the easy way out.
Black Sheep culminates in a fabulous action sequences, great characters, and slick direction. Itís thrilling, exciting and scary, all the while writer/director Jonathan King has his tongue firmly planted in cheek, it still works wonderfully. While the acting isnít the filmís greatest strength, Nathan Meister's fresh-faced approach works well, and Tammy Davis as Tucker is hilarious. Peter Feeney also comes across well, and the supporting players, many of whom are chomped by the beasts, also do their bit capably.
You donít need to be a horror movie fan to appreciate Black Sheep. This is the sort of film anyone can enjoy Ė especially those who are impressed by how a low budget movie can make the most of a modest budget, and still make you laugh and gag at the same time. It might not belong on anyoneís all-time greats list, but it definitely rates right up there among the most entertaining films of the year.
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Review by John Gray, for Pitofhorror.com