Black Sheep

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The ViewDunedin Review

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Review byMatthew Turner10/10/2007

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 87 mins

Enjoyable, frequently hilarious horror comedy, although it's stronger on laughs and gloopy gore effects than it is on actual scares.

What's it all about?
Traumatised as a youth by a practical joke involving a dead sheep, Henry (Nathan Meister) returns to the family ranch as an adult, in order to sign the business over to his unscrupulous brother, Angus (Peter Feeney). However, all hell breaks loose when two animal rights activists (Danielle Mason and Oliver Driver) accidentally free a genetically altered mutant lamb, causing a rapidly-spreading outbreak that turns hundreds of sheep into flesh-eating zombies.

The Good
Shot in a similar style to Peter Jackson's early schlockfests Bad Taste and Braindead, Black Sheep takes its glorious set-up and runs with it, piling on the gags and gore with barely disguised glee. The effects (courtesy, appropriately enough, of Jackson's WETA) are superb, cleverly concentrating on the gore and ensuring that the sheep themselves remain relatively normal-looking rather than turning them into stupidly designed monsters.

Nathan Meister makes a solid, likeable lead and there's strong support from both Danielle Mason and Tammy Davis, as Henry's childhood friend Tucker. Similarly, Peter Feeney has a lot of fun as the obnoxious Angus and Oliver Driver gets several laughs as the gradually mutating activist.

The Great
The witty script is packed full of great gags (including every sheep joke imaginable, as well as a rather unorthodox interpretation of animal husbandry) and the inventive action sequences are extremely funny. One scene in particular, in which a zombie sheep somehow ends up driving a truck, is genuinely hysterical.

The only real problems with the film are that it's never quite as scary as it could have been and that it starts to run out of steam towards the end, but these are minor quibbles at best.

Worth seeing?
Black Sheep delivers pretty much everything you could expect from a film about zombie sheep. A cult classic in the making.

Film Trailer

Black Sheep
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