Friday, October 28, 2011

Sheepish Zombies

Zombies don't always have to be people (or former people, even). In writer/director Jonathan King's hilarious 2006 Black Sheep, the zombies are... well, sheep. 

After being pranked by his brother Angus, Henry Oldfield learns that his father has died in a farming accident and develops an intense phobia of sheep. After 15 years of therapy, Henry (Nathan Meister) returns to the family sheep farm in New Zealand where Angus (Peter Feeney)  is about unveil his latest breakthrough: a genetically engineered perfect sheep.

Meanwhile, two animal activists named Grant (Oliver Driver) and Experience (Danielle Mason) break into Angus' secret lab and steal a mutant sheep embryo in an attempt to expose Angus' evil experimentation. While making their escape, the container breaks and the preserved embryo (somehow still alive) bites Grant on the ear and then makes off into the field where it infects the rest of Angus' flock.

Thinking Grant is dead, Experience makes her way to the farm where she, Henry and farmhand Tucker (Tammy Davis) try to stop what has been put into motion. Tucker is bitten by an infected sheep and it soon becomes apparent that he and Grant have become "weresheep."We also learn that Angus, in a variation on about a million and four shepherd jokes, is having sex with his creation.

Of course, just as Angus is about to unveil his perfect sheep to a group of potential investors, the flesh-hungry flock attacks in one of the movie's most hilarious (and gory) sequences. 

Angus is turned into a giant weresheep, kept at bay only by one of the family's sheepdogs. Eventually, one  of his scientists uses genetically engineered amniotic fluid to cure everyone and Henry decides to use only organic farming  methods from then on. The virus (or whatever) is contained and everyone lives happily ever after. That is of course, until the very end where the dog is shown bleating like a sheep. Baaaad dog! (Sorry, couldn't help myself).

Preposterous; hilarious and gory as all get out (thanks to special effects by Peter Jackson's WETA Workshop), Black Sheep is probably one of the most underrated and under-seen horror comedies ever made. It is not to be confused with the dreadfully unfunny 1996 Chris Farley/David Spade movie of the same name.

You gotta a love a movie that uses the tagline "The Violence of the Lambs." If you've never seen Black Sheep, I highly recommend it.

More, anon.

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