Shear-ly a One-Joke Movie

Obviously connections between Jonathan King’s horror-comedy Black Sheep, a ridiculous little film about genetically-engineered sheep that bleat to a murderous rampage, and the early works of Peter Jackson can easily be made. After all, not since Dead Alive – or perhaps the very-underrated Frighteners – has New Zealand been the backdrop for a schlocky horror film.

Black Sheep film reviewUnfortunately, Black Sheep spends entirely too much time deciding if the film is to be either a gory horror-fest, or a light-hearted Spielbergian romp. Nathan Meister’s fear of sheep is a little too forced and the obligatory romance between his character, Henry, and that of Danielle Mason’s lacks any sort of chemistry, genetically-engineered or not.

Completely missing from the film is an element of pure sarcasm; an event where the actors can almost get away with winking to the audience in shared knowledge. In a film featuring zombie sheep, the audience is not looking for the sophistication of The Ring or even the horror of Nightmare On Elm Street, rather something akin to what should be this film’s goofy contemporaries: the Evil Dead trilogy, Slither and even Shaun Of The Dead.

Black Sheep does have its charming moments, charming, that is, for those lovers of zombies. The attack during older-brother Angus’ speech is a highlight of the film. Mutton aside, the movie downright looks great. Weta’s creates high-caliber practical effects, but even the lighting and, in particular, the location sets provide a top-notch feel to elevate this b-movie production. That creepy drop of nervous anxiety – or maybe just wool –  running down your spine was the only feeling missing.

A version of this review was posted on imdb.com

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