Black Sheep (15)

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The Independent Culture

A genetically modified hybrid of Shaun of the Dead and Shaun the Sheep, it's one of the few horror-comedies which deliver both in the horror department and the comedy. It's set on a New Zealand sheep farm which is far from organic: the owner's genetic experiments have had diabolical results, and when his estranged brother visits the homestead, he's just in time to witness the ewes changing into carnivorous woolly bullies which, in turn, change everyone they bite into were-sheep.

It's a funny idea in itself, but writer-director Jonathan King (not that one) doesn't rely on it. As well as a steady stream of jokes, there are buckets of blood and guts, and some memorable animatronic beasties designed in Peter Jackson's special effects lab. Black Sheep has a neater plot than most horror films have, too, and although the acting betrays the low budget, the hill scenery camouflages it well: for once, New Zealand gets to play itself instead of standing in for Middle Earth or the mid-west. Viewers who aren't expecting anything too meaty should flock to see it.

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