Well, bizarre gore/splatter films are nothing new to the country of New Zealand, and in a land where sheep out number the people (or is that just a myth?) it’s not surprising that eventually someone would make a play at a zombie sheep story, lets face it Irelands ‘Dead Meat’ had a zombie cow and under-rated ‘Boneyard’ had a giant zombie poodle so why not sheep? Whether, in this film, they are actually zombies or not is up to you but either way they want to eat human flesh.
Naturally it’s a comedy and naturally it’s incredibly silly. The plot is simple; a greedy farmer experiments with genetically modified sheep and as a result creates a tiny monster sheep that has a desire for human flesh. When this sheep bites a human guess what happens… no they don’t turn into zombies, they turn into giant half man half sheep monsters! Basically it’s up to a hippy protester and a once farmer turned city boy to uncover the even and survive.
This film works on all levels its funny, it’s gory and the sheep monsters look brilliant.
The comedy is simple, relying on circumstance, and lets face it when is a zombie sheep not going to be funny, slapstick and good old fashioned toilet humour as there are several references to sheep shagging.
The blood and gore is nothing to the extremity of ‘Brain-dead’ but there is still plenty of it. The sheep attacks are normally accompanied with a few squirts of blood and there is even a person who gets disembowelled by a flock (horde?) of sheep. The effects don’t exactly look realistic but they look pretty good none the less. It is really good to see that they hadn’t forgotten to put it in, settling for just a comedy. In various places through the film we see the person to sheep transformation which is pretty gruesome, particularly the growing of the buck teeth in place of the persons own.
The sheep monsters themselves are pretty cool. The puppet sheep are pretty obvious but they don’t over use them. It is pretty amusing to see that the live sheep they film picking at mangled corpses are just chombling away, none rabid like, but I’m so glad that they didn’t resort to the use of dodgy CGI. The person/sheep hybrids look absurd (as I’m sure they would if the situation were ever to arise) but good none the less.
Overall ‘Black Sheep’ is a quality film. It’s meant to be taken tongue in cheek and is genuinely funny, this, and the good creature design, acting and script will mean that it’s probably suitable for a more mainstream audience as well as the underground. Recommended.