Black Sheep (15)

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The Independent Culture

A healthy strain of the macabre runs through this New Zealand horror comedy about genetic engineering. Still haunted by his terror of sheep, Henry (Nathan Meister) returns to the family farm to collect his half of the paternal inheritance, leaving estranged brother Angus (Peter Feeney) to continue his dangerous experiments in genetic modification. Soon enough, the hills are alive with monster sheep on a blood-thirsty rampage.

Writer-director Jonathan King takes swipes at irresponsible scientists but also at daft hippie saboteurs: his message is the obvious one of letting nature get on with it. There are bawdy gags about the usual suspects, including the notorious intimacy between Kiwis and sheep, but the farce maintains a rollicking pace and the performances are more accomplished and likeable than a film of this sort generally musters.

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