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Black Sheep (Unrated)
DVD disk
Oct 9, 2007 By: Quigles
Black Sheep (Unrated) order
Director:
Jonathan King

Actors:
Nathan Meister
Danielle Mason
Peter Feeney

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A project involving the genetic alteration of sheep goes awry, resulting in them becoming bloodthirsty killers ready to bleat the hell out of anyone in their path. Also, puns ensue.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
There are moments of genius to BLACK SHEEP, but most of them are relegated to the very things you'd expect its story to entail. To those as excited to see this New Zealand indie horror/comedy as I was, this makes for a rather disappointing experience, if only because (outside of the movie's hilarious premise) it's basically a straightforward horror romp down to even the most familiar clichés. There's definitely a tongue-in-cheek vibe to the events, but the film's execution isn't quite effective enough to tell if the thing's a full-on parody. If so, much of the humor falls flat.

It's also not scary. That's not to say it's meant to be, but some real quality horror could've made up for what the hit-and-miss comedy was lacking. As is, there are plenty of the normal horror facets (blood, guts, violence, a genetically enhanced retard version of Lamb Chop, etc.), but it never amounts to anything more than goofy B-movie fun. Although to be fair, when that goofy B-movie fun involves people being ripped apart by mutated sheep, you can't really complain too much. (But that doesn't mean I'm going to stop.)

As a rule, horror filmmakers should always make sure their surviving characters are likable enough that people will care when they survive. The people behind BLACK SHEEP did not follow this unspoken rule, and in turn the film's biggest flaw was born... The characters are annoying. The ideas behind the characters are very funny (the central protagonist has ovinophobia - an irrational fear of sheep, while the love interest is a spiritual vegetarian hippy), but the way those ideas are handled are not.

If you don't care about any of these problems, and only care about seeing a hilarious one-joke premise about killer sheep being stretched to its limits, then you'll probably enjoy yourself. The actual gore and make-up effects are all handled extremely well (props goes to WETA for that!), so those looking for some quality sheep violence won't be disappointed. Those looking for a witty script and imaginative direction, however, will be.
THE EXTRAS
These are just more of the same basic special features we've come to expect, but they're good nonetheless.

Audio Commentary (with writer/director Jonathan Kring and actor Nathan Meister): A fun, informative discussion about the ins-and-outs of the film. Exactly what you'd hope for when listening to something like this.

The Making of Black Sheep (31:29): An extremely worthwhile look at the making of the film, showing all the work that went into creating the effects, doing the stunts, and so on.

Deleted Scenes (3:38 - with optional commentary): A few cut segments have made their way here, many of them featuring gags fans should find amusing.

Blooper Reel (2:26): The usual line flubs and goofs. Amusing, but nothing you haven't seen before.

Early Morning (0:32): This extremely short "surprise scene shot exclusively for DVD" is nothing more than an humorous throwaway gag.

Also included is the film's Trailer.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
I wanted to love this movie so much. The idea of a werewolf/zombie movie, except done with mutated sheep in New Zealand, is nothing short of brilliant. Unfortunately, the film falls flat due to the annoying characters, uncreative direction, and a dull storyline. The only time the movie fully succeeds is whenever it focuses strictly on the sheep attacking people. For some, that will be enough.
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