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21 January 2012

Black Sheep (2006)

Long, long ago I created a doodle that involved were-sheep. The star of the comic strip was a dashing character called Captain Double De-Clutch. He was a World War One RAF-type with a flyaway white scarf and a devilishly handsome moustache. When he wasn't fighting against the woolly horde - which I seem to remember were Kung Fu masters - he was often to be seen doing barrel rolls and loop-the-loops in his trusty biplane. Oh happy days...

Black Sheep - He's gonna get ya!

Little did I realise some twenty-something years later that I would once again come across were-sheep. The film in question is called "Black Sheep" and it was made in New Zealand. Have I ever told you how much I love New Zealand?

Black Sheep has were-sheep and a biplane, but that's where the similarities with my story end. I really think they missed a trick not including some Kung Fu. Oh well... perhaps in the sequel...

Can you see what's driving the ute?
Black Sheep, 2006 NZ Film Commision

It's a simple tale...

A father and two sons run a sheep farm in NZ. The father dies in a freak accident. The distraught youngest son develops a phobia of sheep and departs for the city leaving the mad eldest son behind to look after the farm. Years later the youngest son returns to sell his share in the farm only to discover that in the interim, the elder brother has been dabbling in genetic engineering trying to develop a supersheep. Then it all goes wrong! Tree-huggers invade the farm and unwittingly unleash badness in the form of a virus that creates were-sheep. Oh dear, oh dear! It's an ecological disaster waiting to happen!

After ewe...
Black Sheep, 2006 NZ Film Commision

I love the setting in rural NZ. The scenery reminds me of a number of places, but if Google is to believed, the main chunk of the film was filmed in Wairarapa, which is at the south of the North Island closish to Wellington. Most of the action happens on the farm and as you could probably guess, much of the fun comes from the were-sheep. This isn't a big budget film but thanks to the likes of Weta Workshop, there are some ambitious and pleasing special effects. Some of it is quite gory a la something Peter Jackson might have produced once upon a few years ago. I think they do well with what they've got.

Tammy has an admirer...
Black Sheep, 2006 NZ Film Commision

The cast are pretty good. The pool of actors in New Zealand is a fairly small one which means that the same old faces often crop up, and all, and I mean ALL seem to have started their careers with a stint on Shortland Street. I only recognised a couple of faces in Black Sheep... Tammy Davis was one as the farm-hand... yea Bro! While nobody lets the side down, none really shine either.

The film is billed as a comedy and does have its humorous moments, but it's a low-key affair. Most of the jokes are simply the odd situations that the characters find themselves in as the disaster unfolds and of course it's all over the top. I like the style. It worked for me though I think some of the Kiwi references will be lost on a lot of non-Kiwis.

The start of a thousand adverts...
Black Sheep, 2006 NZ Film Commision

So, did I like the film?

Yes, I enjoyed the ride. This isn't the greatest film in the world, but it is definitely worth a watch; I think that is has been thoughtfully put together and kept me interested right through the to the end.

On the Triple-B I'm going to count to 6 and then jump into the offal pit. Ooh, stinky!


  1. a bunch of pissed-off sheep may be something to worry about :O i'd like to see it though

  2. Get it watched!!! You know you want to! :-)