Monday, October 13, 2014

Movie Review: "Black Sheep" (2006)

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Movie"Black Sheep"
Director: Jonathan King
Year: 2006
Rating: NR
Running Time: 1 hour, 27 minutes


After a traumatizing experience as a young boy growing up on a sheep farm, Henry Oldfield (Nathan Meister) has developed an irrational fear of sheep. Henry returns to his childhood farm 15 years later to sell his remaining share to his older brother Angus (Peter Feeney), who is the one who traumatized Henry in the first place. What Henry doesn't know is Angus has been conducting genetic experiments and is trying to develop a more perfect sheep. When a pair of animal rights activists named Grant (Oliver Driver) and Experience (Danielle Mason) try to take photos of the genetic experiments in an effort to expose them, Grant steals a container of genetic waste on a whim. When he falls down busting the case open, a small mutant sheep fetus pops out and attacks him. They have unknowingly unleashed a plague on the farm and any sheep bitten becomes an aggressive flesh-eating animal and any man bitten becomes a giant mutant Weresheep. It's up to Henry, Experience, and Tucker to try to contain the sheep and stop the plague from spreading to the rest of New Zealand...or even possibly the world.

When people think of sheep, they probably think one of the most non-threatening animals in the world. Hello, what do you count when you need to fall asleep? They so are so unassuming that they are even kept in children's petting zoos. "Black Sheep" flips this notion on its head and makes them horrifying flesh-eating mutant sheep. If you are going to pick an animal to be terrifying in New Zealand, sheep are a pretty good choice, especially considering they outnumber humans 10-1. The concept seems pretty ridiculous and wholly outrageous, but it completely works as a horror comedy.

This film has some amazing practical effects work done by Weta workshop, the brainchild of Peter Jackson. The killer sheep look spectacular and the weresheep are incredible, as is all the makeup throughout the film, including the transitional phases from human to weresheep. On top of that, there is a ton of gore in the movie. There is absolutely no shortage of dripping blood, oozing guts, torn off limbs, overextended tendons, stringy ligaments, and flesh being ripped every which way possible. Even though these scenes of terror are rather serious, they still manage to be hilarious based on the fact that people are basically being ripped from limb to limb by a fluffy white blood-soaked sheep. This film very much follows in the tradition of "Evil Dead 2" and "Dead Alive," where they ramp up the gore and violence to 11 and make it so over the top that it becomes funny. This is another example in a long line of films where the elements of slapstick plus the blood and guts of horror come together to equal a perfectly gory, devilishly humorous movie.

Overall, we were surprised by this movie the first time we saw it and loved watching it again. It's a novelty of a horror film, one that won't be for everyone, but magically ridiculous enough for us to be intrigued. Take a heaping tablespoon of fart jokes, some dark humor about sheep sex, a man who grows hooves, and sheep that are able to magically appear in your house and you've got a recipe for wonderful.

My Rating: 8.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 8.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 5.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 70%
Do we recommend this movie: Yes!
One year ago, we were watching: "Halloween"

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