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Black Sheep

a film by Jonathan King

I must admit, seeing a sheep, one of the most docile animals on the freakin' planet, looking sad and dejected, as sheep often do, then suddenly lunging for a person's throat in sheer carniverous delight, well...there are not many things funnier. Really, I mean that. Funny as hell. Of course once you've seen this about three dozen times, the humour, I must admit, begins to wear a bit thin. But when you first witness it - funny as hell. Unfortunately, for everyone involved, that recurring toss-the-fake-sheep-at-the-actor routine is about all we get from Jonathan King's Kiwi faux terror plot.

King's film, taking a cue from genre buddies such as Shaun of the Dead and Bubba Ho-Tep, is a comedic attempt at the horror flick, repleat with all the cheesy nuances of the genre done with a whole new post-modern twist, and with homages to Night of the Living Dead, The Birds and even An American Werewolf in London, one certainly cannot take umbrage to King's love of cinema (or at least a particular wing of cinema) but still, one can surely criticize the outcome, which is choppy, rather one-note (albeit a funny note) and never seems to get going to the fullest of its potential - just sheepishly plodding along (did I just go there?). Sort of all bahhh and no bite (yep, I went there alright).

But then, Gene Shalit-esque quips aside, and no matter the directorial stumbling, it all comes back to seeing that adorable little stupid-looking animal with bloodlust in his eyes, and I laugh out loud (at least the first dozen or so times). Add to that exactly two and a half really funny other moments, and the inevitable sheep/sex joke and this little New Zealand comedy ain't half bad. Though, I think the term "were-sheep" when scrolled upon the final credits, was the one thing (even more than the carniverous lunging lambies) that made me laugh the loudest. Am I the only one with a hankering for mint jelly right about now? [07/07/07]

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