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Mary Had a Little Lamb (2023) Review

Mary had a little lamb, its heart was black as coal.
It crept into her room one night and ate her fucking soul.

If you’ve been on the internet for any length of time, you’ve probably seen that little ditty and the picture of the shark toothed sheep that goes with it. When I heard they were making a horror film, I hoped that was the inspiration. I should have known better.

Instead, we get crazy Mary (Christine Ann Nyland, Wiccan) leading a rather abused looking young woman to the table for dinner. There’s a similarly beaten looking guy there already. Enter an axe wielding figure in a sheep’s mask…

Carla (May Kelly, Mega Lightning, Easter Killing) is the host of a true crime radio show “Carla’s Cold Cases”. Unfortunately, her recent ratings have been as cold as her cases, and the station manager Pete (Mark Sears, Van Helsing, I Am Vengeance: Retaliation) suggests she find some more recent cases to bring the ratings up, and she has one week to do it.

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Desperate for something sensational to save her show Carla sees the case of a missing woman Joan Evans (Lila Lasso, Unloved Ones, The Area 51 Incident). We recognize her from the prologue, Carla recognizes the boost in ratings finding her would bring. So off she goes with her crew, Ray (Harry Boxley, Easter Bunny Massacre: The Bloody Trail, Haunted Hotel), Shelly (Charlie Esquér, Return of Krampus, Mona (Gillian Broderick, Alive, The Killing Tree), Liz (Danielle Scott, Prototype, Looks Can Kill), and much to everyone’s dismay, Liz’s boyfriend Matt (Rob Kirtley, The Rise of the Beast, Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands).

Apart from playing Ray, Harry Boxley also wrote the script for Mary Had a Little Lamb, and while he only has three previous scripts to his credit, he has thirteen listed as completed or in post-production. Somebody obviously thinks highly of him. Director Jason Arber on the other hand is cited in the film’s publicity for being part of the animation team on Meg 2: The Trench rather than for directing the likes of Divide by Zero and the video for Children of the Sun by Dead Can Dance, that’s not such a good sign.

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Now, the reporter goes looking for a story and finds more than they can handle plot is a very overused one, and Boxley and Arber do nothing to try and freshen it up. Almost as soon as they reach the woods they end up walking in circles before stumbling across a house hidden in the woods. Guess who lives there?

Just as the makers of Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey slapped a couple of guys in generic animal masks and made a generic slasher, the makers of Mary Had a Little Lamb grabbed a cheap mask and made a cheap slasher that takes forever to get started. In fact, given the cast’s previous credits, the familiar looking woods and estate house we’ve seen in plenty of Scott Jeffrey’s films, I’d be surprised if there weren’t a few of them involved under pseudonyms.

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The effects in Mary Had a Little Lamb aren’t particularly good either. Some obviously fake body parts and blood-smeared cast members, for the most part. Any actual prosthetics are extremely simple, few and far between, and a scene of someone having their head repeatedly slammed against a car’s windshield is laughably bad.

Low on scares, effects, originality, or any reason to watch it, Mary Had a Little Lamb is a baaaaaad movie. Don’t buy it, you’ll feel sheepish for getting fleeced and wasting your money. As for the filmmakers responsible, ewe can flock right off.

Uncork’d Entertainment will release Mary Had a Little Lamb on DVD as well as to Digital Platforms on October 3rd.

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