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Black Sheep - Preview

Black Sheep

Preview by Jack Foley

HORROR fans should keep an eye out for Black Sheep, the utterly bizarre but totally enthralling “zombie sheep” movie from emerging New Zealand director Jonathon King.

The film recently opened London’s Frightfest to considerable acclaim and has led to King being hailed as “the next Peter Jackson”.

Black Sheep is the odd tale of Henry Oldfield (Nathan Meister), a New Zealander with an unfortunate phobia of sheep. When Henry was a boy, his father was killed in a herding accident on the land, and Henry fled to the big city.

Years later, he returns to sell his half of the farm and confront his fears unaware that sadistic older brother Angus (Peter Feeney) has taken over the family business, and become widely known for his controversial genetic experiments on the animals.

When two animal activists release one of Angus’s genetically-altered lambs, Henry’s trip quickly turns into his worst nightmare, as the lamb’s zombie-like bite turns sheep and people into vicious flesh-eaters.

Black Sheep takes its cues from early Peter Jackson films like Bad Taste and is notable for featuring special effects from Weta (the people behind Lord Of The Rings). But it’s fun, occasionally violent and definitely one of the most inventive horror films you’re likely to see in a while!

When it opened in the States, critics mostly warmed to it. The Hollywood Reporter, for instance, described it as “a giddily subversive addition to the age-old cinema tradition of the horror comedy”.

And The New York Times described it as “essentially a silly, grisly elaboration of a simple idea: What if sheep started feasting on human flesh and turning their victims into huge ovine zombies?”

Variety felt it was endearingly amusing, while Boxoffice magazine felt it was “hilariously reminiscent of the early career splatterfests of Peter Jackson”.

And the San Francisco Chronicle rounds off this overview by stating: “Black Sheep is never very frightening, but it’s clever and fun, with a memorable amount of humor and gore. Imagine if the Monty Python folks made the killer rabbit part from Holy Grail into a full-length movie.”

The film opens in UK cinemas on October 12. We’ll review it then and interview the director, Jonathon King. b>Watch the trailer