Gutterballs (2008) Review
Written by: the5thdroog
Take a bowling alley, an all-night lock in league game, 80’s music, and a killer on the loose who likes to wear a bowling bag over his head for a mask and you know what you’re getting yourself into with Gutterballs. Oh there is one more thing, make sure the kills are excessive as well as the nudity. I’ve been looking forward to this movie ever since I heard about it a year ago and I wasn’t disappointed. If you’ve seen Live Feed you only know a little about what you’re getting into with Ryan Nicholson’s second stint as a director.
The story takes place in a bowling alley. A couple of teams from a league who are very serious about their bowling are paired up for the championship. The teams hate each other and things get a little heated so a fight breaks loose. The janitor comes over to break it up and tells them they can’t play tonight. The two teams argue about the consequences of the series, so the janitor says the can come back the next night and play after hours. The teams break it up and leave. One of the girls forgets her purse inside and tells her friends she’ll be fine to go back inside and find it on her own. The other team is inside waiting for her and brutally rape her (I don’t know that there is any other kind, but brutal is kind of an understatement here). The next day both teams show up after the lanes close to continue their series even the girl who was attacked. They start bowling and as they load their names into the system another name mysteriously shows up on the screen…BBK. I would say one by one people start getting murdered, but they aren’t always alone. So the movie continues with the audience trying to figure out who BBK is and (for me anyway) why is he so over the top.
The acting isn’t as bad as I was expecting, but this isn’t a movie to showcase ones acting. There were a couple of notable performances though. The janitor (Dan Ells) was a nice touch with the outdated humor and not caring attitude. He had me laughing a few times. Maybe not so much for what was being said, but more the way it was delivered. Joey (Wade Gibb) also had his moments as well. Of course, I did seem to see more of him that I had anticipated. As I said before though, this movie really wasn’t so much about the actors acting abilities.
This movie was all about gore and excess. The kill scenes were just outlandish. Not in a bad way. I didn’t know human bodies actually contained that much blood. I guess being directed by an effects artist was a big reason that this is what the movie was all about. Crushed skulls, exploding heads, and even a unique was of killing a couple in a popular sex position can be found here. It is all done pretty well, to be so violent and as they say “balls out”. Be prepared when you see this because, they aren’t kidding.
This all plays out with a soundtrack of 80’s music. This really helps put you in the mind of those earlier slaughter films of that decade. I don’t think I saw anything back then that pulled this off, some that tried, but didn’t succeed the way Gutterballs does. It was good music, but I think they did stick to just a few bands with a lot of songs from each. I recognized Loverboy and April Wine, but I didn’t realize Chilliwack was behind some of those songs. I liked the choices of where to put the songs as well.
In the end, Gutterballs is fun for me, but definitely not for the average viewer. If you like the old style 70’s exploitation mixed with your 80’s slasher film with extreme amounts of both, then your going to like this. My comparison of saying this was fun for me is the same comparison as when I would tell people Faces of Death was fun for me. It isn’t at all a pretty movie, but it is one I’ll be happy to pull on to see how many people actually stay to see the end credits. Don’t expect me to be going to get anybody name Steve a beer anytime soon though, that only leads to trouble.