Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Black Sheep

The 2006 zombie-sheep flick from New Zealand could be the best movie Peter Jackson never made before the Rings trilogy. The reason for this comparison is not only the fact that the Kiwi was responsible for the most fun zombie movies ever - quite unlike his epic adventures of today - but it shares the blood and gore that we were so used to get from him before he plunged into the PG hell.

Black Sheep owes a lot of debt to "Braindead" and "Bad Taste", but it has its own modern twist to it. In these days of "Shaun of the Dead" and "Scream", mixing horror with comedy seems to be the norm. And there is nothing wrong with that. At least it's not the horror-porn of the Eli Roth crap.

What sets these aforementioned horror-comedies from the Jackson fare is that they all have a very tight script. "Black Sheep"'s structure remains intact until the very end without becoming utterly formulaic like the '80s movies all the screenwriting books are citing. The exposition given in the first ten minutes is very organic and informative. The characters are consistent throughout and the pace never falters. It actually feels like a blessing that this was a non-Hollywood project with completely unknown actors (at least for non-Kiwi audiences) and cheap yet "realistic" special effects. I could easily see the effects being handled with an iMac, but the animatronics work so much better - wasn't that the reason why "Jurassic Park" was so effective?

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