Written by: deadhorse13
Well what can I say about Gutterballs? If gore and sleaze are up your alley then you must give these frames a spin. Some more delicate individuals might find the film crossing the foul line, but I felt it had enough hook to keep in the lane and at least rack up a spare. As far as slashers go, it doesn't knock down all the pins consecutively, but it bowls a mean game.
Gutterballs premise is simplistic genius. Where in Tarnation haven't we seen enough carnage play out, considering the setting seems ripe for exploitation? Well it's the bowling alley of course! The production obviously tries to encapsulate the spirit of the eighties' contributions to the genre and succeeds: from the suspension of disbelief required, the inept OTT acting it offers, the predictable set-ups and executions, right down to the score - it all smacks of glorifying the "cut-ups" of the Me Generation. However, director Ryan Nicholson pushes some envelopes in the film's unfolding, and its candid treatment will likely polarize some viewers.
How you percieve the gratuitous nature of Gutterballs will ultimately make or break the film for you. It's a simple revenge ploy like nearly all these types of flicks - you know in the end the bad guys are going to pay. There's a prolonged gang rape scene, it propels the story but its running time uncomfortable tests your patience. But not to worry, to check and balance that misogynistic display we're later treated to some cringe-worthy penis mutilation, so all is not lost. A surprisingly graphic sex-then-death scenario grabs your attention as well, giving new meaning to being smothered by affection. All of the butchery is propelled by some inspired eighties musical selections to keep the tongues tastelessly in cheek. Nothing revelatory here in plot or characterization, but there are a few interesting twists, and all the splatter should satisfy the blood-starved.
The direction and cinematography are technically proficient. In fact, to its credit, the film is almost giallo-like in appearance and treatment. The acting is purposefully stilted (I hope), the two male leads especially beg of disposal, and most of the dialogue is nothing short of obnoxious. The plentiful gore is balls-out and effective, and there's an abundance of flesh for the prurient. Gutterballs wants to offend, it is unquestionably crude and tawdry, but isn't that the nature of this particular beast? If you're settling in to see numerous folk die in resourceful ways then you're not expecting high art, just sordid entertainment. In this department Nicholson delivers a solid strike.