Saturday, September 5, 2009

Day 220: Black Sheep (2006) - Rank 4/5


I believe I've mentioned before that I possess a penchant for animal attack films. Therefore, the only surprise that should arise from my watching "Black Sheep" is not that I liked the film, but that it took me this long to catch it. Oddly enough, it's not a parody of the drive-in schlock of the 1970's. Instead, its more a tongue-in-cheek homage to the early works of Peter Jackson ("Braindead" or "Bad Taste" primarily). As such, it's replete with absurd creature effects and needless gore to the point of hilarity.

Henry Oldfield (Nathan Meister) returns to the family sheep farm, located in the heart of New Zealand, a decade after leaving it. He's there to both confront his phobia of sheep, as well as sell off his portion of the family farm to his corrupt brother Angus (Peter Feeney). While there, Henry meets Experience, an animal activist who's come to the farm in search of evidence of animal cruelty that will bring down Angus. But petty vendettas and ghosts of the past have to be laid aside once the sheep develop a craving for human blood (explained by the fact that they've been genetically-engineered by a mad scientist - though it's not like a serious reason is really needed).

The delightful absurdity of watching men and women alike devoured by sheep had me rolling. Peter Jackson produced this first-time film endeavor by writer/director Jonathan King, and was even kind enough to put his Weta crew on the project. As a result, the gore is not only hilarious, but it looks damn believable too, making it all the funnier. There are also moments of ovinanthropy (come on, how many times in my life will I have the opportunity to use that one?) that are cleverly conducted as well, for it seems that once humans are bitten by the sheep, they're doomed to turn into weresheep if not treated. I guarantee that when Rick Baker saw some of the transformation scenes in the film, he felt jealous. The movie is scarcely an intelligent way to pass the time, but it is smart and funny to the point that it hurts.

Watch the Trailer

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