Black Sheep

March 6th, 2008 DVD Reviews, Film, Xpress

We’ve seen zombies, sharks, werewolves and even androids tear victims limb from limb, but this is the first film to contain mass disembowelling by ovine farm animal.

As the premise suggests, Black Sheep is a comedy-horror. Where a lot of comedies nudge and wink at the audience, Black Sheep plays it completely straight. Its sounds like a one-joke comedy that goes on way too long and yes, there are a few inevitable lags once the joke kicks in, but Black Sheep is an inventive film that’s easy to like.

When city slicker Henry returns to the farm of his childhood to claim his share of the property from his brother Angus (Feeney), his phobia of sheep threatens to overwhelm him and he only wants to get his cheque and leave.

Unbeknown to all but a small group of scientists, Angus has started bizarre genetic research, and when a pair of trespassing hippies accidentally release a carnivorous, mutated lamb from a toxic waste jar in one of the movie’s funniest scenes, all hell breaks loose as the mutation gets out.

It turns anybody infected or bitten into the fearsome were-sheep (yes they sound ridiculous but believe it or not provide many of the film’s genuine scares) and turns the sheep themselves into hungry, angry, bloodthirsty monsters.

It’s shockingly gory, lots of laughs and thanks to taut direction and editing and not dwelling too long on any one joke, Black Sheep doesn’t overstay it’s welcome as much as you fear it might. Some deleted scenes and bloopers don’t add up to much but the commentary by star Nathan Meister and writer/director Jonathan King is worth it.


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