Wednesday, October 21, 2009
31 Days of Halloween - Day 21 - Movie 1
It could easily have been another "Night of the Lepus" but "Black Sheep" (2006) manages to have some creepy moments, though it's mix of horror and humor becomes more absurd as it goes, undermining its horror aspect.
A man with a serious phobia of sheep returns to the family farm where his brother buys out his part ownership where he's been genetically modifying the sheep to what's about to become disastrous results. The sheep start attacking and eating the humans. Any human who is bitten, but not killed, becomes a were-sheep. In the end it's the sheep's own flatulence which leads to their demise.
You'd think that mixing humor into a movie about killer sheep would be a necessary approach, and about the only way to meet an audience who'd most likely laugh at a movie played straight with such a premise. The truth of the matter, is that much of the humor in Black Sheep is juvenile and not situational and falls completely flat while also eroding at the horrific intent of this movie. There are a few clever comedic moments, such as the mint jelly thrown in the face of one of the were-sheep acting like acid, but it pulls you out of the movie and gives you the impression that the filmmakers aren't taking this movie very seriously, so why should you?
Could this movie have been scary if it had been played straight? After watching so many ecology movies of the 1970s, such as "Frogs" and the aforementioned "Night of the Lepus" about giant killer bunnies, the answer would seem to be no, but in "Black Sheep" after only one single killer sheep attack, suddenly every other sheep, mutated, or normal, seemed a bit menacing. There was definitely a feeling of dread and unease, which was quickly eliminated by scenes of a sheep driving a truck and the unnecessary were-sheep (which looked pretty good actually, but added a layer to the premise that was just too much). The sheep could easily have pulled off the same level of unease as the zombies did in any George Romero movie had this movie not been so intent on trying to be funny.
I had a lot of fun watching this movie, but it didn't really deliver what I was hoping for in watching it. "Shaun of the Dead" this wasn't. "Dawn of the Dead" it wasn't either.