October 4, 2011

Horror-A-Day: Black Sheep (2006)

Day four of October Horror-thon is here and after a couple of missteps I think I am back on track! For today's movie I decided to catch up with a movie I have been meaning to see for a few years now. There is no denying the concept is familiar but it is given a little twist that makes it feel considerably more fresh. It is definitely a few grades better than Oasis of the Zombies and Alive or Dead. For today's movie I went Down Under and brought a few genetically engineered sheep back with me. Yes, it is time for Black Sheep!

Jonathan King's debut feature is a complete horrific farce. It is a horror/comedy that plays everything for laughs. Even when the blood and entrails begin to fly, it is still all about making it to the next joke. Don't worry if you miss one, there will be another not too far behind.

The story begins in the past, where we meet a young Angus and Henry. They are brothers and will inherit their father's sheep farm, the largest in Australia. Angus plays a prank on Henry while wearing a recently dead sheep carcass, giving the younger brother a lifelong sheep phobia. Jump ahead 15 years and Henry is returning to the farm for the first time in years. He has sold his half of the farm to his brother and is picking up the check.

While there, he meets the farm manager and they take one more inspection of the property. At the same time a couple of eco-activists, Experience and Grant, are seeking evidence to expose the gentic engineering that Angus has been spearheading on the flock. They steal a mutant zombie lamb fetus, which promptly bites Grant and starts infecting the flock with some sort of zombifying virus.

It is now up to Henry and Experience to figure out how to stop the killer sheep. This leads to all sorts of humorous scenes with the sheep revolting against the humans, humans turning into were-sheep, and all sort sorts of fluffy carnage. There are some great gags in here too, such as the revelation that mint sauce has the same effect on the zombie sheep that holy water has on vampires, not to mention some strange ideas on animal husbandry.

What else can I say but this is one crazy movie! King has clearly taken a few tips from New Zealand's Peter Jackson. You can see some similar sensibilities. This is a movie where you can take nothing seriously, and when you accept that you will be taken for quite a ride.

If you are looking for some blood and guts that fall on the funny side of the coin, Black Sheep is for you!


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