Oscar Wilde once said that the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about. I have to agree with Mr. Wilde. Be really good, be really bad, be really weird, just be something. Don’t be boring. That is the cardinal sin of New Zealand’s Black Sheep (2007), which is why we’re having a trial separation.
I was so excited about this movie. Maybe my expectations were just too high. But, a movie about killer sheep? You’d think this was custom-made for me. I love eco-horror and I love zombies, this should have been like the best of both worlds. I was extra-excited when I found out that Weta Workshop did the special effects. Those are the folks behind the Lord of the Rings trilogy plus, more recent movies like the terrifying CGI Tintin movie and Avatar. Plus, there’s the fact that Black Sheep is an homage to Peter Jackson’s Dead Alive and Braindead. So I watched it eagerly and was bored. Yes, a killer sheep movie left me bored.
The movie starts in the past. Henry’s brother, Angus, kills Henry’s pet sheep and plays a cruel prank on Henry. At the same time, they receive the news that their father has died. The shock of the news combined with the prank leave Henry with a fear of sheep. Henry visits the farm, in the present, to accept a buy-out from Angus for his share of the farm.
At the same time, Grant and Experience, two animal-rights activists, are trying to infiltrate the lab where Angus has crafted genetically engineered sheep. Grant steals a vial with a deformed sheep-thing in it and escapes into the woods with Experience. They get separated, Grant breaks the vial, and is attacked by the sheep-thing. It’s like they learned nothing from Twenty-Eight Days Later.
Meanwhile, while driving around the farm with his old friend, Tucker, Henry finds Experience and discovers that the sheep are attacking.
That’s pretty much it. Henry, Tucker, and Experience try to contain the sheep while Angus tries to continues with his presentation about his new breed of sheep. That’s the whole movie, basically. Just insert lots of gore and jokes about having sex with sheep.
My problem with the movie is that it promised loads of gore but didn’t really deliver. While it was bloodier than a mainstream horror movie, it really wasn’t on the same level of goriness as Dead Alive. Plus, the jokes and a lot of the acting fell really flat. Finally, the effects weren’t that great. Sometimes, they were cool. The human-sheep hybrids were suitably gross and the little sheep-thing that spread the outbreak was icky.
A lot of the time, though, the attacking sheep looked a lot like puppets.
Mostly, the problem was pacing. There were stretches where not a lot happened and it just didn’t feel like the characters were under threat. It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t really good. Black Sheep, my friends, was just boring. So if you want to see a movie like Dead Alive, don’t settle and just watch Dead Alive.
You’re probably thinking, “You’ve changed, Scarina. You used to be cool. How could you not like Black Sheep?” How dare you. I still like The Golden Girls much more than you.
- Scarina--the authoress and editrix of this site. I like scary movies and have dedicated my free time to cataloging horror--the good, the bad, and the ugly. Sometimes there are books too.
There's film criticism, literary criticism, and humor here. I can be highbrow but there's lots of pop culture too. And feminism.
I fervently love "Twin Peaks" and wish it were a real place so I could move there. I can't list my favorite scary movies because they change depending on my mood, the season, and how much coffee I've had.
I'm an artist looking for ways to blend creepy with cute. I try to channel my childhood nightmares, my love of horror, and my experiences with sleepy paralysis.
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