Saturday, June 02, 2007

A movie about killer sheep. Ain't nothing wrong with that.

If you only see one genetically mutated killer sheep movie this year, make sure it's Black Sheep. I guarantee you will be hard pressed to find a movie that's half as entertaining as this in theaters right now. (As for blood, you'll find it to be on par with a few of late). It's a gleeful, bloody riot from start to finish, and I'll be damned if the smile never left my face.

Black Sheep feels like a throw back to the gore days of Peter Jackson, when he had $50 to his name and a lack of Academy Awards on his mantle. In fact, one of the creatures in the film looks like the Rat Monkey from Dead Alive, and that's not where the similarities end. It's another film from New Zealand, with nice effects work from Weta, and a sensibility that toes the fine line between clever and stupid. (Not to mention ridiculous and disgusting). Writer-Director Jonathan King has served up a masterpiece of low budget ultra gore and laughs, and can hopefully inherit the left void by Jackson.

I'm not gonna tell you the plot, because I already did. It's about killer sheep. Sheep are ridiculous, right? So how can sheep be terrifying? They can't, until they ram you and start eating you. Then it's frightening and hilarious. Throw in a cute hippie activist named Experience (Danielle Mason) and a man who's petrified of sheep (Nathan Meister) and you have yourself some fodder. Add a mad scientist or two, a man who loves sheep a little too much, a brilliant noise of sheep bleating repeated infinitely to signify terror AND hilarity, and you have yourself a movie. I've already given away too much. You need to discover most of this movie's secrets for yourself.

The thing is, you really will have made your mind up this movie before you see it. If you can stand the idea of killer sheep, you will like this movie. If that sounds like the stupidest thing you've ever heard in your entire life, you won't need to bother. Move on, because they don't serve your kind here. This is a movie about killer sheep. And it's damn funny. But, again, it's about killer sheep.

It's also about some fantastic effects work. There's a lot of gore in this movie. Almost an obscene amount. There's even a giant pit of it our heroes get trapped in. It's revolting, but in a good way. There's also much larger sheep, and these are great. But I should point out that if you want to live your whole life without witnessing a sheep bite off a man's wang on screen, there might be a moment for you to shield your eyes. (Hey, be grateful I warned you. I can't burn it out of the retinas).

Many many years ago, there was a movie called Night of the Lepus. It was about giant killer rabbits. It featured DeForest Kelly, from Star Trek, and it also featured large men in furry suits tackling people to show the wrath of these bunnies. (It was also featured in the background in The Matrix, when the bald kid tells Neo there isn't a spoon). It's a terrible movie, and I laugh out loud at it to this day. But they didn't mean to make it funny. Black Sheep is like the intentionally funny version of Night of the Lepus, only with a lot more blood and money. (In that order). Black Sheep stands up there with the bests of the genre, no matter what killer menace is involved.

No comments: