The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum

BLACK SHEEP (2007) **


When’s the last time you saw a GOOD killer sheep film?  Show of hands.  Didn’t think so.  If anything, Black Sheep serves as a humbling reminder that the definitive Killer Sheep Movie has yet to be made. 


You know, ever since Peter Jackson forgot his splatter movie roots and went all Hollywood on us with the Lord of the Rings trilogy, I’ve been waiting for another New Zealander to pick up and run with the gore movie mantle.  Writer/director Jonathan King tries his best with Black Sheep, but the results just goes to show that nobody makes Kiwi splatter like the master. 


When Henry (Nathan Meister) was a kid, his brother Angus (Peter Feeney) wore a bloody sheep carcass and scared the bejabbers out of him, so naturally he developed sheep-o-phobia.  He returns fifteen years later to the family farm to make amends with his brother, and besides it’ll be good therapy to work on that whole crippling fear of sheep thing.  Meanwhile two lamebrain PETA rejects rescue a genetically engineered sheep fetus from a lab, which also happens to be run by Angus.  Of course, the fetus gets loose and bites one of the dirty hippies and takes off for the fields where it bites a bunch of ewes.  The sheep turn into rabid flesh eaters, while anyone they bite turn into cannibalistic “Were-Sheep”. 


Basically what we got here is Night of the Living Sheep.  Just like that classic, the only way to kill them is to SHOOT ‘EM IN THE HEAD.  Unlike that flick, it isn’t very good. 


The characters are all more or less annoying, especially the hot but extremely irritating hippie named Experience (Danielle Mason) who talks a lot of nonsense about “trees”, “shakras”, “Feng Shui” and “third eyes”, but since she is a HOT hippie, it’s supposed to be okay.  Now I normally can deal with vapid, wafer thin and obnoxious female characters as long as they expose their breasts or die spectacularly, but sad to say, this Experience chick fails miserably in both departments. 


You can tell that King was going for the whole Return of the Living Dead “horror-comedy” vibe, except you know, with sheep.  The problem is that nearly all the film’s intentional “humorous” moments fail to tickle the funny bone.  (The “humping sheep” gag was directly stolen from Top Secret!)  King plays his sole trump card (HEY KILLER SHEEP ARE FUNNY) early in the film and it kinda wears thin soon after that.  You’ll probably end up laughing more at the bad effects (from WETA Workshop of all people) than anything else. 


Gore wise, we DO get some great scenes of sheep biting people’s faces off, tearing them limb from limb, munching their guts out, and yes, even gnawing off a penis.  Sadly, King makes us wait OVER AN ENTIRE HOUR to see it.  Ol’ PJ never made us wait THAT long.  There is one classic scene where a man fights off a killer sheep with his disembodied foot, but these moments of inspiration are few and far between. 


Had it not been for the gore, Black Sheep would’ve set American/New Zealand relations back a good quarter century, but since Jonathan King knows how to show a man’s most intimate organ get chomped off by a rabid sheep, we’ll give it a mulligan. 

Tags: b, comedy, horror
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