Director – Jonathan King
Cast – Nathan Meister, Peter Feeney, Danielle Mason, Tammy Davis, Oliver Driver, Tandi Wright, Glenis Levestam
Release Year – 2006
Reviewed by John of the Dead
Black Sheep is a film I had heard numerous great things about over the years, mainly because of how ridiculous the plot is, and after much delay I have finally gotten around to giving this highly anticipated film a watch. I knew what to expect when I went into this watch, and I must say that I am very satisfied that I was given what I expected to receive, a gore-soaked fast-paced ride that consists of nothing but killer sheep mayhem.
15 years after a freak accident leaves farm-raised Henry Oldfield fatherless and forever traumatized at the thought of sheep, Henry returns to the farm, now partly owned by his brother Angus, to let him know that he is selling his share of the stock. Little does Henry know, Angus has turned the family’s sheep farm into a secretive facility working on genetically engineering sheep to bring in bigger profits. When a couple of animal rights activists break into the farm’s laboratory and steal a genetically modified sheep embryo, they incidentally release the sheep, who bites one of the activists as well as any sheep that crosses its path. This embryo’s bite contains a toxin that turns anything it bites into a bloodthirsty sheep of immense strength, and all hell breaks loose in this once quiet and peaceful farm, leading to a terrible and gory homecoming for Henry.
Boy do I wish more horror films would come out of New Zealand. In the 90s we were given Peter Jackson’s Bad Taste and Dead Alive, and I am glad that these Kiwis are continuing the legend he started with delivering another brainless gorefest with an absurd plot in Black Sheep. Just the film’s title alone brings on the humor with the one thing New Zealand is known for, sheep, and from then on out the humor never relents, and in some cases…becomes even more awesome.
How many times can you say you have seen a film about killer sheep? I am going to assume your answer is “none”, and chances are, you are never again going to see another film about killer sheep after this one. The idea is awesome, simple, and awesome. Writer/director Jonathan King(The Tattooist) took this simple idea and turned it into 75 minutes of hilarious mayhem, poking fun at all of the usual clichés regarding animal/environmental purity, as well as New Zealanders themselves. Supporters of PETA may love to see such a film where animals seek utter revenge against mankind, but be forewarned…Mr. King is making fun of you as well, and I love it.
There really is not much more to the story other than genetically enhanced killer sheep chomping away at unsuspecting townsfolk, which I found no problem with given the film runs a mere 75 minutes. Had the film been any longer then it most likely would have begun to drag and useless scenes would have been thrown in to take up runtime, but it seems Mr. King really knew what kind of him he had and did not push it to what it was not meant to be. This is a simple no-brainer, he knew it, and he ran with it.
His direction is fun and quirky, delivering fun execution of every element involved, including loads of gore and live-action disembowelment and dismemberment of the unsuspecting victims of these crazyass sheep. The usage of the sheep is awesome, with most of them (during the killing scenes) portrayed in the form of puppetry or a man in a giant sheep suit. Yes, I am not kidding, and yes it works awesomely.
Overall, this is an awesome watch that I recommend to anyone who would like to see a horror film with an outlandish plot and lots of insane gore. Mr. King did not push the film to be anything that it wasn’t, and it makes for a simple yet really positive watch for the type of film that it is.