There are some movies that take seemingly one-note premises and subvert them to create deceptively thought-provoking, challenging cinema. Black Sheep is not one of those movies.
A cult festival hit on release back in 2006, Black Sheep gleefully mines its USP – what if New Zealand’s most famous resource transformed into flesh-eating zombies? – for every gory gag imaginable, while also throwing a fair helping of shade at vegans and animal rights activists. By those standards, it’s pretty entertaining.
The star of Jonathan King’s directorial debut is unquestionably the effects work from Weta Workshop, a local company that also contributed to Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings Trilogy. In the grand tradition of Jackson’s pre-LOTR video nasty hits such as Bad Taste and Meet the Feebles, no physical gag is too gross for Black Sheep, and they get impressive mileage out of crazed livestock tearing chunks of flesh from their hapless human victims. Is this really the kind of movie that’s going to fully show a mutilated villain having his penis chewed off? Why yes, yes it is!
It’s possibly not the fairest point of comparison, but given how great the film looks, it’s hard not to wish that fellow New Zealand horror afficionados Taika Waititi and Jermaine Clement couldn’t have sprinkled a little magic over the cast and script. The acting in the film is near-uniformly flat, meaning the script’s best jokes are generally lost in the delivery. Forget the mutton, in order to reach the true apex of knowing horror-comedy classics, Black Sheep needed a lot more ham…
In this week’s episode, we make a futile attempt to break down the plot of this movie, before pitching some sequels and reaching out to our listeners for their ideas. You can download or steam this episode using any of the links above. If you enjoy the show, please consider subscribing to receive a new episode every Monday morning.
We’re also available on Patreon, where we offer a range of incentives to our loyal listeners via our pay as you feel tiered non-tiered system. Benefits include extended episodes, access to our weekly bonus show Beyond BTBS, a regular promo slot on our main show and the opportunity to choose a film for us to discuss on a future episode.
Next week, a Patreon-pick that neither of us know anything about, though we’re told one of our most divisive season headliners may be putting in an appearance. Until then, happy listening and remember, four legs good… etc.