starring: Alastair Gamble, Mihola Terzic and Nathan Witte
Bearing the 80s vibe of film grain and cheese, Ryan Nicholson's Gutterballs is one title that got real close to my nasty side with its unrestrained vulgarity, profanity and violence, all in the spirit of the old grindhouse exploitation.
As the next night comes, both teams return for a bowling tournament to settle everything, with Lisa surviving the previous night and noticeably acting strange. Not too soon, a bowling bag-masked killer named BBK, armed with sharpened pins and bludgeoning bowling balls, starts to pick off members from both teams one by one, apparently under Lisa's name. After the night they came hard, heads will bowl!
The film's approach is clear; as the slasher sub-genre normally relies on killing off unsuspecting teenagers, Gutterballs decided to make this approach more "fun" by taking the lengths to create unlikable characters, both rape-guilty and not, giving them an obscure need for sex or plainly making them jerk-holes who swears a lot and are completely insensitive. This said, sleaze is considerably on a helpful serving from both sides of gender (and one in between), often made clear with sleazy sex scenes and close-ups of both male and female genitalia. With this, the sex-and-death cliche is "balls-out" as no one here is clearly all that innocent and the kills made sure these victims are done away in an ultra violent fashion, often in theme to the sport and/or the sleaze such as death by "69" position, a sharpened pin anal rape, "impromptu 'man-gina'", head bashed with bowling balls, and even a head eaten clear off in a nailed ball waxing machine. (The latter being my favorite) No murder is tame, and the shock and splatter is really high on its value thanks to killer special effects. (Though some does look absurd, but who's complaining?)
The rape scene is certainly a hardest punch in the gut; not only was the victim assaulted repeatedly by three merciless men but she's also repeatedly beaten, kicked and, as it's finale, got raped with a bowling pin. This scene got a bit of a controversy due to it's lengthy 8 minute run and graphic take, not unlike the "hunt and rape" scenario of the original I Spit on Your Grave. Small mercies was that at least they didn't go as far as using the "other end" of the pin (Those who saw this flick would probably know what I'm talking about), and for those rooting to see these fucks get their just desserts would be glad to know two of them got quite the bad ends.
Clearly a genre film, Gutterballs' hardcore approach is undoubtedly not a taste anyone will welcome. There will be some peeps who will mind the obnoxious cast or the homophobic and misogynistic undertones, not to mention the weak script and lagged pacing in some parts of the film. Neverthless, I'll assure you that if you're the kind of guy or gal who likes their horror flicks fun, simple, and relatively bloody beyond recognition, without minding much of the small stuff (or big stuff, wherever you boat floats), Gutterballs may satisfy.
1 male and 1 female smothered to death in each other's genitalia while in tryst
1 male gets a bowling pin shoved down his throat
1 male gets a sharpened bowling pin stabbed to the eyes
1 female garroted with shoelaces
1 female had her head bashed open with bowling balls
1 male had his head shredded inside a nailed ball waxing machine
1 male found beheaded
1 male anally raped with sharpened bowling pin, head beaten repeatedly
1 male gets his neck slashed with switchblade
1 male had head blown off with shotgun
1 female shot on the gut with shotgun
1 male shot with shotgun offscreen