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Growing up on the family sheep farm was idyllic for smart, sensitive Harry Olfield, except for some knavish mischief from cocky brother Angus, until their dad has a fatal accident. Fifteen years later, Harry has finished sheep-phobia therapy and his ICT schooling and returns. Angus buys him out, all ready to present the genetically engineered Oldfield sheep he bred with a ruthless team. When environmentalist Grant steals a discarded embryo, which has sharp teeth, he gets bitten by it, and thus the first to be infected with predatory hunger and a mechanism that turns any mammal into a werewolf version. Running for the farm men, Grant's mate, student Experience, gets teamed up with Harry and his boorish but gentle pastoral youth friend Tucker. They must survive both the bloodthirsty sheep and their creators, who didn't realize this yet but dispose of an antidote. Written by
When will mankind ever learn? Deranged, over-ambitious scientists have tried to genetically alter pretty much every species of the animal kingdom so far, and it always results in gigantically mutated critters and outrageous massacres. All the better for us bloodthirsty horror freaks, of course, as there's nothing as fun as a good nature-revolting-against-men creature feature! And we never had sheep before! On one hand this is no real surprise, because sheep are probably the least menacing type of animals on the planet and it's a lot easier to scare people with mutated rats or over-sized crocodiles. But on the other hand, sheep played a very important role in one of the most major breakthroughs in the history of science when "Dolly" was the first living being ever to be cloned successfully. The Dolly-experiment gone wrong would have resulted in a crazy sheep-themed horror film already, but we had to wait till now, with Jonathan King's "Black Sheep". All the necessary ingredients to put together a traditional and delightfully clichéd creature-feature are well presented: an isolated location, over-the-top crazy scientists, a genetic experiment that is too imbecile for words, the reluctant anti-hero and of course dimwitted animal activists to let things go totally out of control. The New Zealandian film-industry is definitely growing lately (mainly thanks to Peter Jackson) and naturally this is the ideal country to produce a film about sheep, as there are gazillions of them! The two brothers Angus & Henry grew up of the family's farm but drifted apart ever since their beloved father died in a terrible accident. Henry is terrified of sheep ever since and never set foot on the farm again, but now he finally returns to sell Agnus his part of the property. Henry arrives just in time to discover that his brother has been messing with Mother Nature's creation and that he's about to artificially create a new and revolutionary species of sheep. But when an over-enthusiast activist runs off with on of the mutated lambs, all the nearby flocks are soon infected with a virus that turns the calm & woolly animals into a aggressive and carnivore monsters. "Black Sheep" stands for extremely entertaining and undemanding splatter, with loads of black humor that is actually funny and make-up effects that are thankfully accomplished the old-fashioned way! When director Jonathan King introduced this film at the Belgian Horror Festival, he said he didn't want too much CGI to ruin his film and I definitely concur with him. Especially the scene where a bunch of uncontrolled zombie-sheep attacks a gathering of international businessmen is an absolutely terrific homage to vintage cheesy horror, with disembowelment and ripped open throats. "Black Sheep" is a good film, but of course it still could have been a lot better. Some chapters in the script could have used better plotting and dialogs, and particularly the ending was a bit of a letdown. They could have done so much more with the ending, if you ask me! Nevertheless, despite some obvious flaws, "Black Sheep" is a must-see film for every horror fan who doesn't take him/herself too seriously.
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