Sunday, July 8, 2007

Black Sheep (2007)

Fear 0/5
Gore 4/5
Creepiness 1/5
Entertainment 3/5
Nightmares 0/5

Horror-Comedy is hard to pull off and I am usually not a fan. There are exceptions - Shaun of the Dead, An American Werewolf in London - but for the most part, when horror is combined with silliness, it just fails. So while I was interested (mmm, maybe even excited) to see Black Sheep, I was expecting to be let down.

I'm happy to report that I was not. The movie is funny, but not in a slapstick kind of way like Evil Dead 2 or Dead Alive (both exceptional films in their own right). It's not even remotely scary, but then I don't think anyone could make that happen, but it is tremendously gory which it SHOULD be. But what really makes it work is that it's not trying to be funny to make up for it's ridiculous premise. The jokes and comedy come naturally but are not over the top and so corny that they distract. Unlike films like Dead and Breakfast where the zombies have a dance scene or The Mad where the cheesy jokes come at you faster than a Zucker brothers film, Black Sheep is content to let the film's premise remain the central joke and expects that the audience will be smart enough to know that it's funny enough with just that. It then concentrates on doing it's best to make sheep menacing and frightening.

So, what is this premise you ask? Two brothers inherit their father's sheep farm in New Zealand after he dies unexpectedly. The brothers drift apart over the years and the younger one decides to sell his share to the older one. He comes home to sign all of the paperwork and finds that he is still terrified of sheep due to a nasty little prank played by the older brother 15 years ago. At the same time, a couple of "doo-gooder" hippie types are intent on exposing the genetic engineering going on at the farm and they steal a big bottle thing filled with the fetus of a failed genetically modified sheep (lamb I guess?). Turns out the older brother has been working feverishly to develop a new breed of sheep so that his farm can be even more profitable. The franken-lamb is set loose, bites a couple of sheep and one of the hippies and all hell breaks loose as the sheep become ravenous carnivores and really angry at all of the people they run into. The hippie also slowly starts to turn into a were-sheep. See what I mean? Why add any additional jokes, the premise is silly enough as is.

There is plenty of gut-munching, lots of blood and gore and some truly impressive (if not totally outlandish) monsters in the movie that are, dare I say it - believable. It's obvious that a lot of work went into this and it pays off. Black Sheep is funny, very entertaining, nice and bloody and a lot of fun. I wouldn't buy it, but I'm happy to have seen it. And thankfully, David Spade is not in it.

- Complaint Dept

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