Review by Jack Foley
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: # Director’s Commentary; Making of Documentary; 5 Deleted Scenes; Blooper Reel; Icon Trailer Reel.
BLACK Sheep director Jonathan King pulled off something of a coup in his homeland when he guided a movie about zombie killer sheep to second spot at the box office, beaten only by Mr Bean!
But at a time when mainstream horror seems content to wallow in remakes and pointless gore, it marks a refreshing change to find something that dares to be different – and succeed. Black Sheep is a fun, if hokey, horror flick that gleefully combines elements of Shaun of the Dead with the early splatter flicks of Jackson’s Bad Taste and Braindead.
It’s not quite as successful as those it seeks to emulate but it has great fun trying and there’s more to it than the concept initially suggests.
The film picks up as Henry Oldfield (Nathan Meister) is forced to return to his family farm in order to conclude his ties with the business.
Traumatised by a cruel childhood prank, Henry has a paranoid fear of sheep and so is extremely unnerved to find the flock behaving suspiciously.
Upon further investigation, however, it seems that older brother Angus (Peter Feeney) has been running genetic experiments that turns them into zombies. And thanks to some over-zealous environmental campaigners the evil flock has just escaped…
Black Sheep has two very big things in its favour – a knowing sense of humour and special effects courtesy of the world-renowned Weta Workshop.
Hence, what should have become a tacky B-movie that’s quickly consigned to the DVD scrap heap instead boasts nice production values and instant cult appeal. King drops in some really nice touches and mixes the gags and gore well, even if things get a little too OTT and depraved towards the end.
That said, audiences will no doubt lap up gags involving mint sauce and animal flatulence, while staring in disbelief as humans transform into sheep (a la An American Werewolf in London) and large flocks lay bloody waste to an entire field of businessmen. There’s even well aimed jibes at the expense of genetic experiments and corporate politics if you’re prepared to look a little deeper.
In the end, you have to tip your hat to King for taking a potentially very baaa’d concept and creating a much better film than ewe’d have any right to expect!
Running time: 87mins
UK DVD Release: March 31, 2008