The 'Black Sheep' of terror
Director Jonathan King strikes the perfect balance between hilarity and suspense with Black Sheep.
Mon, Jun 01, 2009 at 04:33 PM
MUTANT OR SHEEP?: The heroes in Black Sheep battle a herd of human-eating sheep.
Deep in New Zealand’s rolling hills, farmer Angus Oldfield tries to create the perfect sheep — but his barnyard project goes terribly wrong. When members of his herd are bitten by an altered animal, they become carnivorous killers ready to attack anything within biting distance. What’s worse, the people who are attacked mutate into enormous sheep themselves, and gorge on human flesh. But Black Sheep isn’t your typical B-list horror movie. With the help of the graphics developed by the Weta Workshop (best known for its work on the Lord of the Rings films), director Jonathan King strikes the perfect balance between hilarity and suspense, keeping audiences laughing even as they watch the disaster unfold.
To contain the damage wrought by Oldfield’s experiment, a trio of unlikely heroes springs into action. There’s Henry, Angus’s sheep-phobic brother; Tucker, the fearless farmhand; and Experience, a feng shui–embracing activist. Together, they must combat a herd of human-eating sheep, and save New Zealand from what one character calls “genetically modified devastation.”
Sheep jokes and eco-humor abound. At one point, when Henry and Experience are moments away from an encounter with a rampaging sheep, Experience pulls out a geranium-scented candle. When Henry asks what she’s doing, she explains that she is giving herself a dose of aromatherapy. “My hormones need balancing!” she exclaims.
This film is a must-see for fans of horror movies, comedies, sheep, and Kiwis. But insomniacs take heed: Don’t expect sheep-counting to help you fall asleep after seeing this flick.
Story by Susan Cosier. This article originally appeared in Plenty in June 2006. This story was added to MNN.com.