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Director: Jonathan King
Tagline: When sheep go baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad!
A childhood incident has left Henry (Nathan Meister) terrified of sheep and he is returning to the family farm one last time to sell off his share of it to his brother Angus (Peter Feeney).
Unknown to Henry, there are strange things going on at the farm and two animal liberationists Grant (Oliver Driver) and Experience (Danielle Mason) sneak onto the property to try and gather evidence and things go wrong.
At the same time Henry has a reunion with Mrs. Mac (Glenis Levestam) via a shotgun to the back of the neck and she cajoles him into taking a trip through the property one last time with farm manager and childhood friend Tucker (Tammy Davism).
Henry and Tucker have a great time catching up, but Tucker is frustrated by Henry's phobia as it makes it hard to do even a simple thing like move a sheep out the way of the Landover. It is here they meet Experience who holds a gun on them and forces them to search for Grant. In one of my favourite scenes Tucker tells Experience that the safety is off and takes the gun off her to put it on.
Things get serious when they see smoke coming from the house of a farm worker and discover his dead body inside. An attack by a sheep turns things serious and they realise they have to get back to the homestead and raise the alarm. There is a slight problem with this and they have to make their way through 40,000 sheep with no idea which ones are bad.
I had been warned not to go see this movie, but I was always going to and it was great to see it with a big crowd and everyone seemed to get most of the jokes. I am sure it will be a popular midnight movie in the future as it is very cult oriented.
Nathan Meister as Henry was great and reminded me of Derek from Bad Taste. His transformation from coward to hero was great to watch and he didn't ham it up which also helped his performance.
Peter Feeney as Angus reminded me of Bruce Campbell for some reason. He wasn't really evil, just a misguided businessman and he also had some of the funniest scenes in the movie and will have to endure people baaing at him for years to come - as much as the bloke who played the priest in Braindead would hear "I kick arse for the lord!" shouted at him I reckon.
Danielle Mason as Experience was funny as she started out as a hippy and turned into a farm girl by the end. I liked the scenes where she started spouting hippy jargon and then looked surprised when Henry started doing the same to her when they were in trouble.
Tammy Davism as Tucker has a very relaxed screen presence and it was a shame that he spent most of the movie passed out on a slab. You could imagine him leaning over the fence to check on the mob and I hope he stars in more movies soon.
Even though it was only a small role, Glenis Levestam as Mrs Mac had some scene stealing turns as the reliable old housekeeper. Mrs Mac a rock in the movie and can even face down horrible beasties without losing her composure and can help in any plan without a second thought.
As expected the special effects are great with Weta Workshop and the crew pulling off some great work. Some of the scenes look like the sheep are just eating grass with the gore placed next to them, but that makes it funnier as it suits the way the movie works.
The pacing of the story is great and everything happens pretty much as you would expect with a few surprises along the way. The mass attack scene is a highlight and it would have been a disappointment if they didn't have one in the movie after all the build up.
Every sheep and Kiwi joke known to man gets a run, but as the director explained it wouldn't work if there also wasn't a story to go along with it. There wasn't much baaing during the screening, but people were laughing too much to remember to do it. I expect in general release and at late night screenings people will do it constantly or to relieve the tension in scenes.
I would recommend going to see this movie with a group of friends and drinking a lot first so you can get more enjoyment out of it. Sneaking around behind the seats wearing a sheepskin car seat cover would also be good for a laugh during the screening, have fun with it!
Q&A with the director of Black Sheep Jonathan King
Questions were taken from the audience after the screening.
Did you make the actors eat raw meat?
Are you a vegetarian?
Are you a fan of the Australian movie "The Howling"?
Tell us about the special effects.
How long did the movie take to produce?
How did you pitch the idea?
Any plans for a sequel or going on to other species?
What was the inspiration for this movie?
Were you ever menaced by the sheep during the filming?
What are your future projects?
Was the character of Experience based on a real person?
Will there be a director's cut of the film?
Was that the same farmhouse as was used in Bad Taste?
What film has been the biggest buzz getting up, Black Sheep or the Tattooist?
Will this movie be on limited or general release?
How have overseas audiences reacted to the movie?
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