Written by: Goon
Recently we have seen some resurgence in the slasher genre. First there was the documentary style slasher flick Behind the Mask. A great story but it definitely wasn't a return to the classic slasher films that we remember from the 80s or late 70s. Next up was the promise that slasher films were back. That film of course was Hatchet. A great entry but once again it missed something that all of those films from the 80s had. Or perhaps it had something and that was the comedy that ran throughout the film. It was a great way to bring slashers back in a modern way but was in no way a trip down memory lane. So now we have Gutterballs.
The film takes place in a little bowling alley where two rival bowling teams are getting ready for a game. Soon a fight breaks out between them and the game is rescheduled for the next night. But not before a brutal rape would occur that would change the course of their lives forever. The next a mysterious BBK appears on the score card and with each death the skull and cross bones mark on the score board. As the kills mount up the two rivals begin to wonder where everyone is going. As the end grows closer we soon begin to see who might be behind all of the killings.
Gutterballs really is a film that slasher fans will be proud to add to their collection. I am really surprised that no one has ever taken the bowling alley setting before. The best way to think of this film is to think of the legend that was told in Eli Roth's Cabin Fever of the maniac in the bowling alley. All of the kills use the props around them in a new and somewhat refreshing way. It's not often that a flick comes along especially a slasher that can do something that you have never seen before. Director Ryan Nicholson has a past steeped heavily in special FX so it goes without saying that everything in his film would look great.
I think the really brutal part of this film however is not with the slasher aspect of the story. The gore, the killing all comes across in a kind of fun over the top way. The rape scene is by far the center of the film which lends so much to the revenge aspect of the story. The rape is not something that you feel comfortable watching. It makes the revenge bit so much more impactful. Unlike some films where the rape is shown in a sexual way in this film it is shown the way rape really is, ugly.
Now of course I didn't give the film a perfect score so that can only mean that of course there was some things that I didn't like. The largest aspect of the film that I felt was weak was the dialogue. It was almost like I was thrown into a Rob Zombie "fuck fest" script. The language was WAY over the top so much to the point where I began to wonder if they just began to rely on swearing rather than thinking of something original. Beside the language I also didn't like all of the male frontal nudity. Having said that however I am willing to bet that a lot of it will be cut from any potential DVD release. The cut that I saw would probably be way to hard to sell to a distributor.
Gutterballs is a crazy trip back in time to when slasher films were king. Fans that were not impressed with Hatchet will definitely get what they were missing in this film. The film combines elements of the 70's rape/revenge flicks with the fun and gory slasher films of the 80's. I can guarantee you will at least see some kills that you have never even dreamed they would put in a film including a death by 69 which is probably my favorite. At the time of this review the release of this film is still not known however as soon as we know what comes of it we will fill you in.
- Luke Franklin