Sunday, September 16, 2007


Henry Oldfield (Nathan Meister) returns to the sheep farm he half-owns fifteen years after the misfortunate confluence of a tasteless practical joke and a family tragedy caused him to develop ovinophobia, the irrational fear of sheep. What Henry doesn’t know is that his brother Angus (Peter Feeney) has been conducting genetic experiments on the livestock.
Soon, there’s a massive flock of killer sheep, and Henry receives some hard therapy to get over his phobia.

Black Sheep, written and directed by Jonathan King, is B-movie horror/comedy by way of New Zealand. Think of it as the spiritual successor to Peter Jackson’s early low budget efforts like Dead Alive.
Appropriately enough, Jackson’s Weta Workshop executes the creature and make up effects for Black Sheep, which involves lots of old school, practical effects that make the film a fun, little bloody romp through the rolling hills and woods of New Zealand farm country.

Though the film does get some laughs at the expense of new age thinking and environmentalists, the narrative does address filial legacies and sibling rivalries; in its own B-movie way, of course. It also affords Henry a neat little character arc as he must come to terms with his ovinophobia, and all the underlying issues that the fear is a symptom of.

Granted, Black Sheep does lack a little something that keeps it from the wildly entertaining heights of recent B-movie horror/comedies like Slither and Feast, it is nonetheless a solid entry in the genre, fun, and funny—and naughty—when it needs to be.
It also plays a lot better than the mad cows of Ireland’s Dead Meat, so if B-movies are your thing, you should seriously check out Black Sheep.

(Black Sheep OS courtesy of

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