15 Days: Black Sheep
Set in the idyllic pastoral countryside of New Zealand, Black Sheep is a horror-comedy about weresheep. You read it correctly, weresheep. Now, New Zealand’s commerce is largely based on sheep farming, and it’s residents have gotten a reputation of being, to put it delicately, sheep fuckers. Not surprisingly, many of the jokes in Black Sheep are based along that line, but not enough to get tiresome. As always, significant spoilers after the break!
Henry Oldfield is young man descended for generations of sheep farmers who has a nearly crippling phobia of sheep, brought on by an incident in which his older brother Angus scared him while wearing the bloody hide of a newly-skinned sheep. Present time is 15 years later, when Henry returns to the family farm to sell his half of it to big brother Angus.
Here’s Henry as he cowers in a cab surrounded by sheep on the way to the old family farmstead, Glenolden Station. He arrives to find the house seemingly abandoned, and goes into his Dad’s old study. Byt the way, his dad died on the day that Angus traumatized Henry. As Henry looks at a family photo, kindly old housekeeper, Mrs. Mac enters. With a shotgun.
Isn’t she a sweetheart? She sends Henry up to the cliff where Henry’s father fell with New Zealand’s answer to Keanu Reeves, Tucker.
Meanwhile, Angus, older and much more perverted (as we’ll find later) is preparing for the presentation of his lifetime, a new breed of sheep that wil be shown to farmers from around the world. Angus is also a dick.
He seems to enjoy making fun of the sheep phobia that he inflicted on his little brother. He and Henry head to the farmhouse to make the deal on Henry’s half of the farm. Enter our last main players in the movie, modern hippies Grant and Experience. Experience is the beautiful love interest for Henry:
And I think Grant may be a C.H.U.D.:
Seriously, he hasn’t even been bitten yet, and he looks like a were creature of some kind. Maybe a rat or a badger. But no, that’s plain old human hair on that gourd of his, plus a healthy dose of not bathing. He is a hippie, after all.
Grant set off on his course to victimhood by seaking outside of the farm’s laboratory and stealing a glass case containing a preserved sheep fetus from the most oblivious scientists on earth. Seriously, he crashes down a hill with all the stealth of Godzilla coming out of the ocean, and steals this thing not five feet from these morons. Of course, they see him running away and give chase into the surrounding forest.
Grant hears the scientists coming for him and runs, trips, and drops the purloined container, which shatters, sending ooze and the fetus flying. The fetus comes to life, and we get to see one of the funniest parts of the movie.
Grant may be the bastard offspring of Janis Joplin and a can of Crisco, but you have to love a man that can beat himself in the face with a thick tree branch! The mutant sheep baby gets away and starts infecting the herd.
While Henry and Tucker are driving a truck to the cliffs, they are stopped by a sheep standing in the road, and they are met by hippie chick Experience (the D&D player in me loves that name), who steals their gun and holds them up, asking what they did to Grant.
I’m going to skate over the next few bits, as you really have to see the next clip! They band together and stumble upon the first victim, a random guy who was earlier killed by an infected sheep. They escape an attack to find the house surrounded by the infected. Making it back to the truck with Experience egging Henry through his phobia using some claptrap about chakras, they drive away only to find that a sheep has snuck into the truck. Tucker gets bitten. Tucker makes it to the bed of the truck with Henry and XP (D&D talk for Experience), and the sheep drives the truck of of the cliff where Henry’s father died, with ou heroes jumping off at the last second. Yes, the sheep drives the truck off the cliff with a sad little Baa! as it goes over. Classic!
Back to our scientist friends, where one is assigned the task of disposing of the rest of the bio waste. He goes to a pit with a little sign the reads “Offal Pit: No Dogs”. He tosses the waste in an turns around to see that he’s surrounded by infected sheep. Click Play if you want to see a barking scientist get bit in the ass and tackled by sheep.
Aside from sneaking up on people and scaring them, things tackling people from offscreen is the height of humor! Reember those ads with the footbal player who was the Office Enforcer? Those killed me! Figuratively.
Meanwhile, Grant and Angus meet up on a road and grant bites Angus. Dunh dunh duuuunh!
Back to XP, who gives us a little taste of her socio-political jibber-jabber.
Yeah, baby, talk socialist to me! We find that Tucker’s foot is turning into a sheep hoof, so obviously the place to go is to the labs where out heroes are captured by Angus and the scientists. Henry and XP go on the lamb, leaving Tucker to fend to himself as he slowly turns into a weresheep. It’s a baaaaa-d situation.
They make it to the Offal Pit (No Dogs), which is exactly where I’d go because there’s no way you’d fall in while your douchebag brother looks on. Except they do fall in, the douchebag brother watches, and they are chased down a tunnel by an infected sheep. They escape the tunnel and the sheep, lighting it on fire. The sheep mewls piteously as they kiss, love blooming by sheep-on-fire-light. Get that sheep some baaaa-ctine! I wish I could promise you that that’s the last Baa pun, but if I did, I’d be a goddamned liar.
They run to the barn to hear the sounds of wool shearers. Turns out Grant is in there, fully turned, and is trying to shear his own wool off. Monster models are pretty good here, but could use more facial animation.
Our heroes escape. Meanwhile, Angus continues preparations for his presentation, and the scientist chick gives an untested cure to Tucker. It works! Shear brilliance! She goes to find Angus to give him the cure, but instead falls prey to the sheep and is torn apart.
Our heroes make it back to the house to meet Mrs. Mac, and are attacked by grant again. In a classic bit of movie history, Henry douses grant in mint sauce, which acts as holy water to a sheep, apparently!
Back to the presentation, where the attendees have gathered. Angus unveils his genetically engineered sheep, which starts braying. The sound brings a horde of infected sheep which start gorging on the attendees. One man gets his leg bitten off, and the following hilarity ensues.
Yes, he throws his own severed leg at the attacking sheep. Brilliance! Angus escapes with the show sheep when he finds that they won’t attack him due to his infection from Grant’s bite. They get back to the house and into Angus’ study, where uncomfortable heavy petting ensues. Angus and the sheep were fine with it, but it made me uncomfortable.
Sheep are now surrounding the farmhouse, and Henry breaks into Angus’ study to find a phone. Even the petting scene above did not prepare me for the lengths to which this movie would go to carry the sheep-fucker joke. Henry finds Angus in the study, pantsless and sminking a cigarette. Gross. Then we find out from Angus used his own DNA to modify the sheep. Leave it to the New Zealanders to tie bestiality and incest together. *shudder*
The sheep start breaking in to the house, and we find that Henry’s been bitten. Our heroes spy Angus heading to the barn, apparently to fly out on his plane and start infecting the world. Henry gives chase, telling the ladies to flee to town. Instead they drive around like maniacs, blowing away weresheep who were once presentation attendees. Damn the collateral damage in these movies!
Henry catches up to Angus, who then completes the transformation to weresheep, and beets the wool out of Henry with a series of large chops. The plane at this point is circling on the ground, and poor Angus gets chopped up by the propeller. But Angus isn’t dead yet, but is sneaking up on Henry. Tucker appears to save the day, vaccinating Angus (who is still torn up) and Henry as well.
Gross! Henry and Tucker then start rounding up the infected sheep into the barn. Angus, not quite dead yet, walks into the barn to be savaged by the sheep, penis first. Worth seeing, but I’m not going to take that last step into showing an unclothed penis on this blog. Plus, you need some reason to see the movie, right?
Anyways, the sheep start farting up a storm in the barn and Henry throws a lit lighter in, causing an explosion that Michael Bay would be envious of. Bye, bye, crack sheep!
As we come to the close of this little adventure, our heroes are corralling the remaining weresheep and giving them the cure. The last of them is Grant, who gives a glimpse of the over-the-top acting that sheep-fu, er New Zealanders are capable of.
And we leave our heroes as XP gives Henry a pamphlet on organic farming, then eats a Rocky Mountain Oyster, spitting it out when she learns it’s a sheep testicle. Of course there’s a twist ending, when the camera gives a close-up to the family dog, who baas. Oh noes!
This was a fantastic movie! I’ve seen it twice, and will again, probably many times. Not for the bestiality, but for the laughs. It is a testament to New Zealander actors that they were able to treat igniting the farts of sheep to kill them in the resulting explosion with straight faces. If you’re a fan of movies like Shaun of the Dead, you must see this sleeper!