Salutations, my screechers, screamers, and scary dreamers,
Tonight’s tale of terror entitled “Black Sheep” has Henry heading home to settle his estate as nutty naturalists let loose a lethal lamb who quickly communicates its contamination causing usually yielding ewes to transform into tempestuous trotting terrors. But blocking the brawling bleaters brouhahah is Henry who has to face his fleece phobia, dodge deadly droves of rushing rams, and make mincemeat of the multiplying man-mutton mutants.
Sometimes superb cinema seems to suffer in the shadows of similar silver screen spectacles. A flurry of forgotten films found their fate forged before bowing on big screens since super star “Shaun of the Dead” delighted devotees of dark comedies. Consequently commercials convinced consumers that this thoroughly thrilling monster movie made more mention of undead ovis aries. Obviously a few films fade from audience awareness, but does “Black Sheep” merit more mindfulness?
The general conceit is a lot of fun and monstrous sheep creatures are something I have never seen done. It may seem ridiculous for Henry to be scared of sheep, but it is handled so well that it does not feel cheap. The story may be simple but our main character is not which is helpful in making this a memorable plot.
WETA Workshops worked wondrous magic making monstrous man-sheep and simpler synthetic sheep puppets. Pairing practical production practices to monster movies is nothing new, but the sheep’s sheer scale remains remarkable. Simple cinematography and a subdued score keeps crowds contemplating the virtuoso visuals.
Scares are sadly in short supply, but it is not too hard to see why. The movie focuses on the ridiculous but plays it all straight which makes it similar to another monster movie great. I am of course talking about “An American Werewolf in London,” another gory monster movie that proves to be a lot of fun. “Black Sheep” clearly shows that Landis is their inspiration by aping the famous werewolf transformation.
Some films deserve a bit of a skew when the technical factors lower their review so I will use Nightshade’s Notions to voice my conceptions and I promise it will not be in all my dissections. For the films that are lucky enough to get it, it should be seen as extra credit. Since other categories have a max of two, NIghtshade’s Notions will keep that practice too.
Nightshade’s Notions (extra credit): 1
In brief, “Black Sheep” has some amazing features like deadpan humor and creative creatures. While the movie is certainly not complex, it is hard not to be wowed by the amazing effect.
Stick to the shadows, my fine friends.