Black Sheep is a long overdue film for New Zealand. It contains all the elements of a quintessential kiwi flick: lots of sheep (and sheep jokes), a down to earth ‘she’ll be right’ hero, a city boy that does good, and a dastardly evil older brother and a love interest. Oh yeah, and splatter so bad, it’s funny.
It also manages to contain a very relevant political message.
So basically sheep phobic brother Henry goes to visit older Brother Angua on the family farm with the intent of selling his half and getting back to the city ASAP – check out the meter reading on the taxi when Henry gets out, the poor boy doesn’t have a clue!.
Whilst at the farm, he meets up with one of the old farm hands and takes a quick tour. At the same time, animal activists are braking into Angus’ secret genetic experimentation lab, and accidentally let on of the experiments loose.
The experiment turns out to be a zombiefied sheep that soon infects the whole flock. Black Sheep now turns into a kiwi comedy style horror survival movie, as our heroes and love interest try and out smart not only a horde of flesh eating woolly zombies, but also Angus, who is now so deranged as to stop at nothing to keep his little secret from getting out.
All in all, Black Sheep is a great little low budget splatter flick. The work done by Weta Workshop is great, but not quite Lord of the Rings. It looks great, but at heart it’s still a homemade splatter.
The thing that keeps the movie from being too scary is the bountiful Kiwi humour that helps keep the story moving – it does delve into the suggestive adult arena late in the movie, but for the most part is down to earth laugh out loud funny.
The actors are quite at ease in a story that centres around the sheep, and the South Island high country farm is a beautiful location for filming.
Black Sheep is sure to become a cult kiwi classic.
Food for thought
Will genetic modification ever improve on creation?