BLACK SHEEP

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Black Sheep Cover Isn't New Zealand a beautiful country. There's bountiful meadows a plenty. There are quaint yokels whom are always happy to share a smile. Plus in addition to this, there is sheep. A shit load of sheep. Just like in this film in fact. One Directed by Jonathan King; and Starring Nick Fenton, Peter Feeney, Danielle Mason, and Tammy Davis. It was made in 2007; and lasts for 82 minutes.


Black Sheep (Unrated)


THE STORY:
I am sorry to say that Kiwi, Henry Oldfield (Nick Fenton), is in a right pickle at the moment. You see, if it was not bad enough that he has a phobia to sheep. On top of that, this brother, Angus (Peter Feeney), has ushered him back to the parental farm, so that he can sell to him his share of this property.

OK, I know that when I put it in those terms, it does sound like life is looking good for Henry, huh? Though little known to him at the time, is that by accident, an environmental lady called Experience (Danielle Mason), plus her cohort, Grant (Oliver Driver), have unknowingly set free a mutated sheep belonging to a couple of geneticists.

She gets away. He gets bitten and mutated by flossy.

Now eventually this strange predicament comes under Henry's watchful eye, when he and his brothers farmhand, Tucker (Tammy Davis), bump into Experience during their travels. In no uncertain terms she explains to them both what has just happened. And of they didn't get the basic gist, SHEEP SUDDENLY ATTACK!

Firstly on the spot where they all met. Secondly in a farmhouse belonging to a sheerer. And thirdly at a geneticist lab belonging to Henry's brother, Angus, who unveils himself to be the mastermind behind this strange sheepish situation. Worst still, is that Tucker gets bitten, forcing Henry and Experience to reluctantly leave him behind.

Ouch! Well, I suppose that is why what next transpires is a right pain in the mire. As mutated lamb serve mint sauce - death leads to intercourse - brothers have a bit of a scrap - and hasta la vista, baby, the sheep will be back.

BAAAA!




THE REVIEW:
When I went to school, a friend of mine called Christian originated from New Zealand. Very nice chap he was. Big in stature. Bulbous in girth. And always with a spring in his step and a twinkle in his eye, primed and ready to correct people who thought that he was Australian. Well, just like how Canadians don't like being called American, Kiwis don't really like being called Aussies. No disrespect to the country in question of course. It's all a matter of clarification.

However, do you know what is so poignant about this past tale? 'Black Sheep' is one of those films that only partly lives up to its’ clarification.


Black Sheep Film


You see, it is defined as a comedic horror movie. Though for my own personal tastes, it is not either of them. Please note, I am not trying to imply that this is a bad-bad film. Because it is not. What I am trying to say is that the comedy was isn't that funny, and that the horror was not that terrifying.

Well, if I had to define this film myself, I would have to classify it as a ‘mildly amusing peculiar adventure, with a spattering of grotesque looking sheep thrown in for good measure’.

Still, saying that though, I would also have to applaud this film in the same breath. On a conceptual level, it does manage to present an innovative approach to a genre that has been stretched to its’ limits in this more special-effects driven day and age. ‘Black Sheep’ is not a lavish film. ‘Black Sheep’ is not a big budget film. But what it is, is an adventurous take on a peculiar subject matter.

Though maybe you have to come from New Zealand to understand the jokes? Maybe you have to have some knowledge about sheep to gauge what makes it so terrifying? Difficult to define unless you are in the know.


Black Sheep Bahhh!!!


But I have to admit, on the flip side of this argument, all the actors are pretty decent though out this project. Nothing groundbreaking mind you. But each of them are able to present a level of charm upon the screen, that makes you care for them, even if not for the adventure that they are partaking in. Both Nick and Peter play off of each other very well. Danielle has a spirit to him that makes you care for his character. And Tammy is pretty as a picture, with a very holistic stance to her stature.

I just wished that I could complement the premise in the same tone though. Well, come on,“Mutated Sheep”? This is something that comes right out of a sketch comedy.


Black Sheep Poster


In the past, I have found that people like ‘Monty Python’ and ‘Beyond the Fringe’ have tackled this silly subject matter in a more satirical manner. And are able to do something with it that is much more amusing too. Still, as I have stated previously, this does not make it a bad-bad film. It is just a film that does not sit comfortably in the classification that it is trying to present. Unlike the film 'Evil Dead 2' for example (click here for review).

So-so film. Most probably for people from New Zealand or die hard horror fans.

THE RATING: B-