Special Edition: Melanie from Grab the Lapels joins Scream in a horror movie buddy review.
“An experiment in genetic engineering turns harmless sheep into bloodthirsty killers that terrorize a sprawling New Zealand farm.”
- If you think about other movies that have a virus/plague plot, how does Black Sheep hold up?
Melanie: Most virus/plague/zombie types of movies make more sense in how the disease spreads. I was surprised Black Sheep started with a sheep baby in a jar that breaks out and next thing you know the entire flock is eating people. I wasn’t sure how that happened — did they all bite each other, breathe the same air, what?
Scream: The sheep baby bites an adult sheep on the nose not long after biting the human. I think from there we have to assume the sheep starts biting other sheep. When compared to other virus/plague plots, I think this sticks to the same formula but they upped their game with their effects.
2. A lot of “virus” horror movies start with do-gooder activists who are incredibly stupid and ruin everything. Why are they always so dumb?
Melanie: OMG, I don’t know. What are activists like in real life? I actually don’t know except when PETA people pop up somewhere online, and yes, those people sound bonkers. I half wonder if activists are always enthusiastic college students who don’t want to be part of the “the system,” but they have money and go to college and thus are part of the system. Their age and lack of experience cause them to not think through what they’re doing. I feel like today’s college students would at least prepare by looking up on YouTube “how to overthrow a sci-fi sheep farm.”
Scream: I’ve actually come to know quite a few activists and I will tell you, it’s probably 50/50. Plenty are intelligent, those are the ones that keep it on the down low and don’t get caught or do dumb shit like this. The loud ones tend to be dumber. (I feel like it’s the same for every group of people fighting for their beliefs.) But I agree, I think a lot of them are younger people who don’t want to think they’re part of the system. Without them, we wouldn’t have this kind of entertainment though.
3. You’ve seen Dead Alive and you’ve seen Black Sheep. What is it about New Zealand horror that is unique?
Melanie: I think it’s the sound effects! Did you notice all the squishy sounds throughout both movies? The blood, gore, sticky-slimey-stuff? It all makes a sound like plunging a toilet. That, and I think the comedy comes from the special effects being just a little bit over-the-top as a purposeful choice, as opposed to being low budget.
Scream: The sound effects WERE awesome but for me, if I’m basing it on those two movies, it would be their superb use of practical effects. There was very little CGI in this movie, and I was HIGHLY impressed by that.
4. Thoughts on the special effects? Have you seen similar special effects in other horror movies?
Melanie: When you see the guy turning into a sheep and his face pushes out to create a sheep jaw, I instantly thought of An American Werewolf in London. I learned how that special effect was done this year after watching some documentary, and it’s pretty cool. And much like the movie Cujo, there was a good combo of animal special effects (puppetry, costume, etc.) and using animals. I mean, those sheep are real in most scenes!
Scream: The transformations and the final sheep monsters were crazy good and honestly, sold the whole movie for me. My husband and his friend walked in on the last 27 minutes and were cheering and loving every second of it. In my opinion, there are not enough movies that use these kinds of effects anymore and that’s a crying shame.
5. Would you call Black Sheep horror (as in scary, gory, horrifying, etc.)?
Melanie: It’s a lot of humor, but to be honest, my neck is sensitive, and those sheep were constantly going for the throat! The director filmed it so you’re the perspective of the person being attacked and it looks like the sheep is coming right at you, up close and personal. Then, it cuts to the sheep’s mouth on the person’s neck. I could feel myself raising my shoulders to protect my neck, lol. Oh, and the people turning into sheep slowly (like the dude suddenly has a hoof) definitely brought back the horror I felt watching the donkey scene in Pinnochio as a kid.
Scream: I would say it’s a horror comedy. There are so many good one liners and it’s such an off-the-wall concept that it’s hard for me to take it seriously. I will note that I am not a squeamish person, so this and Pinocchio definitely didn’t scare me MELANIE. Haha!
Special thank you to Melanie for recommending a movie I had never heard of and therefore, would probably have never seen otherwise. I had a great time watching it and discussing it with her and I will have to look into more New Zealand horror!