Science fiction and fantasy                                            

Black Sheep

directed by Jonathan King

Black Sheep poster  
Black Sheep revolves around a family of sheep farmers in New Zealand. The older brother plays a nasty prank on his younger sibling, scaring him witless with a sheep's carcass in a dark barn.

Fifteen years later Henry Oldfield (Nathan Meister) is still emotionally scarred by the incident, having developed a phobia of sheep. He can barely stand to look at the creatures. He's returning briefly to the family farm to get some money from his brother, who now runs the place. Angus Oldfield (Peter Feeney) hasn't mellowed much in the intervening years. He's preparing to make an important sales presentation, announcing his plans for the future of sheep farming, and he doesn't have much time for Henry.

The trouble starts when a couple of idealistic, hippy eco-warriors break in, and one of them steals a jar from the farm laboratory. It looks like it contains a dead, pickled lamb. The jar breaks whilst Grant (Oliver Driver) is being chased for stealing it, and the lamb turns out to be a bloodthirsty abomination with a taste for flesh.

Experience (Danielle Mason), the other hippy, is frantic when she can't find Grant. She accosts Henry and the farm manager Tucker (Tammy Davis) to try to get them to help her. The three of them end up finding out more than they were supposed to know about the unethical genetic experiments going on at the farm.

Chaos breaks out as flocks of infected and murderous sheep get loose. And not only that, their bite will turn people into giant cannibal were-sheep. The gory effects are absurd and extensive, watchable mainly because they're so bad it's hard not to smile at them. Slapstick humour and incredibly lame jokes about animal husbandry and methane emissions abound. Grant and Experience are particularly marked examples of stereotypical characters, spouting dialogue that's meant to be funny but is simply too obvious to hit the mark. Unfortunately they are not the only examples, since just about every character conforms to some sort of gross stereotype.

Black Sheep is like the mutated offspring of Babe and Resident Evil (with a touch of An American Werewolf In London), minus any decent jokes. It's ridiculous from start to finish, just as you might expect from a horror movie about sheep. It's not really meant to be frightening, so it doesn't disappoint on that front. But the gross-out, slapstick comedy is all too brief and often very predictable. You could watch this movie, or go out and watch a real flock of sheep for 87 minutes instead. The entertainment value is the same.

Film Details

Year: 2007

Categories: Films


Classification: 15

If you like this, try:

Planet Terror cover    

Planet Terror by Robert Rodriguez
In this Grindhouse feature, people in a Texan town face an outbreak that turns infected victims to rampaging zombies.

2 star rating

Review © Ros Jackson