Danielle Mason, Tammy Davis and Nathan Meister in Black Sheep (2006)

Silence from the Lambs

As a child living on his father's sheep farm in New Zealand it wasn't a great experience for young Henry Oldfield (Nathan Meister) as he watched his father lavish praise on his brother Angus's (Peter Feeney) sheeping skills. And things get worse when a bloody prank with Angus's pet sheep and their father's unfortunate death leaves Henry with a phobia of sheep. Many years later and Henry returns to the sheep farm to sell his share of the business to Angus but after arriving discovers that Angus has been involved in some genetic experiments on sheep. At the same time couple of animal activists break into the lab and steal a mutant sheep in a jar which is accidentally released and bites one of the activists. So starts a nightmare as mutant sheep with sharp teeth start terrorizing the humans.

I really wanted to like "Black Sheep" as the combination of a horror comedy involving genetically mutated sheep and set in New Zealand sounded daft enough to be enjoyable in the same way as "Shawn of the Dead". Unfortunately "Black Sheep" ended up a bit more "Lesbian Vampire Killers" than "Shawn of the Dead" with a decent idea and some genuinely dark moments of horror humour but not consistently pulling it off.

The actual idea to "Black Sheep" is fine as whilst it uses the cliche of animal activists accidentally releasing a genetically enhanced animal just the idea of sheep going on the attack and having werewolf teeth is amusing. The trouble is that at times it goes around the houses with sub plots which whilst adding layers also seem to distract from the main story. In truth as times "Black Sheep" feels little more than a zombie movie with the zombies switched out for killer mutant sheep but in being so it is entertaining.

As for the acting well the cast do a good job as we have a variety of characters from the laid back farm manager to the sheep phobic Henry and each are entertaining. If I had once criticism is that the lack of a big named actor makes it a little hard to get to grips with the characters.

What this all boils down to is that "Black Sheep" is a lot of fun with its story of mutant sheep terrifying the locals in New Zealand but it just lacks something to make it a great horror comedy rather than just one which is worth seeing.

Tags: Zombie Movies