Tuesday, March 25, 2008

There sheep. There castle.

I finally got around to watching Black Sheep last night. No, not the Chris Farley comedy, the independent New Zealand movie about weresheep.

Right off the bat I'll tell you, this is a niche film. If you don't like horror/monster movies, AND you don't like cheesy comedy, you will not enjoy this movie. As such, that probably alienates 95 percent of the standard movie audience and at least 60 percent of this film's target audience. The thing about this movie is that it knows what it is. The filmmakers didn't have any illusions that they were making the next Exorcist, Alien or Halloween. They knew they were making a cheesy, single-plot device film. For me, it seems that this freed the filmmakers from any of the pressures of making a "good" movie and wound up reveling in what they had.

New Zealand hippies are terrified of the dreaded mutant hand-puppet sheep.

Reveling in the "B" grade of their movie means that the mutant sheep embryo, obviously a hand puppet, goes over funny and still manages to be creepy because of the fact they were so obviously attempting to be funny. If it had been played serious, the cheesiness of the puppet and the scene would have blown the movie from the outset. But if you get past this point, taking it for what it is, then there's some real funny stuff in store for you. Flying killer sheep body tackles being one of them.

Looking into reviews, it's interesting to see the differences between what people are saying on IMDb and Rottentomatoes. The majority of detractors on IMDb seem flabbergasted that it's a bad movie. Come on folks, it's a movie about weresheep. Of course it's a bad movie. As I said, you've got to accept it for what it is. If you can't do that, you're just not going to enjoy it. However, those on Rottentomatoes seem to find the humor easily enough, but rate it poorly because they compared it to Shaun of the Dead, which was released shortly before this film. Kind of an unfair comparison, I think, but I do understand their point. Shaun has cast the mold for recent horror comedy and just about any independent horror/comedy film is going to be compared to it. The more apt comparison and contrast would be between the infinitely likeable Fido and Shaun of the Dead.

So, if you're apt to enjoy a good horror/comedy, if you were disappointed that Slither wasn't what it should have been, then you might just find Black Sheep to fill the niche you're looking for.

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