9 pins short of a strike
Tim Brough | Springfield, PA United States | 01/11/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Flashing back to the glory days of gory days, "Gutterballs" reworks a classic 80's teen-slasher formula and drops it into a bowling alley. Shot with a cast of unknowns, crappy lighting and cliched dialogue, "Gutterballs" looks and feels like it was flashed forward from 1982.
However, there is one notable exception. "Gutterballs" amps the sexual violence way past the norm with a near eight minute graphically sadistic gang rape that sets the rest of the movie into motion. It will repulse you and frankly, it sets "Gutterballs" close to a level of grindhouse porn. But then again, one of the first things you see is an eventual victim bending over in her oh-so-short skirt and exposing her camel-toe. The film does have 'gutter' in the title, and it more than lives up to its name.
Like all z-grade horror, there's a batch of (over the top) teens in some sort of conflict, and this time it's a pair of bowling team o'teens set up for an after-hours grudge match. Our hottie gets attacked before everyone shows up, but has something more in mind than calling the cops. When the opposing sides are gathered, suddenly the bowling alley is mysteriously chained shut and the grisly body counts and naked bodies start to mount. There's plenty of inventive murder effects to be had in "Gutterballs," with one of the first being a couple smothered during (again, borderline pornographic) 69 in a restroom.
If it weren't for the fact that the action is so far past the pale, "Gutterballs" would be an utter failure. The cast rates barely past high-school improv and the script - well, my guess is the only things really plotted were the rapes and kills. Otherwise, there's about a page or meaningful dialogue to be cobbled away from the inane spewing of profanity and sex. There's probably more f--ks blurted out in "Gutterballs" than there was in Scarface, and that's saying something.
Is "Gutterballs" cheap and cheesy, slick and sleazy? Heck yes. Although I must admit, the ending did catch me off guard by about one third, so maybe pure gorehounds might get a kick from the naked boobies and the sexual violence. I can even say I liked this more than Hostel II, so if you thought those were too tame, then "Gutterballs" is up your alley."
You Sick Sick Bowling Monkey
Brian Lueth | Chicago, IL United States | 09/10/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Gutterballs is beautiful, it's savage, gory and nasty in the worst, and best, way imaginable. If Ryan Nicholson had made Gutterballs twenty-five years ago this film would be hailed today as "disgusting," "disturbing" and "controversial." It would have been lumped in with amazing exploitation horror like Maniac, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, The Last House on the Left, I Spit On Your Grave, Friday The 13th and Cannibal Holocaust. Gutterballs would have been a video nasties candidate through and through; something this grotesque only comes around every so often.
Now, I'm not going to sit around and pontificate about the raw exploitation on display in this film, if you don't know what you're getting into after the first fifteen minutes you're not paying close enough attention. Nicholson, in my opinion, has crafted himself the kind of sick little underground gem that's going to have goremongers stealing from their grandmother's purses to purchase.
The acting ranged from OKAY to bad to HORRIBLE which isn't really a turn-off for me considering I'm a fan of 70's exploitation. If you're expecting stellar acting from a film called "Gutterballs" you're DEFINITELY not paying attention. I was just happy the actors could walk, talk and blink their eyes at the same time! The real draw here is gonna be the possibility of nudity and, like any good slasher film, a major body count and, thankfully, Nicholson & Company don't disappoint! We get some nifty nudity and some of the best gore and kill sequences I've seen in years. Everything about this film was over-the-top and uncalled for...and that's a good thing indeed."
Extremely nasty but cheesy exploitation film.
Puzzle box | Kuwait | 08/15/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Exploitation and extreme horror fans should like this. Gutterballs is a fine piece of nasty entertainment and is a good deal nastier and better than the director's previous film Live Feed and more accomplished though not without the odd little flaw. Its a rape revenge bowling slasher, where an incredibly heinous act early on leads to death and mayhem at a night time bowling competition. The characters are pretty obnoxious, though perhaps not quite as toxic as the guys in Live Feed. The villain of the piece, Steve is an unbelievably vile scumbag played with verve by Alastair Gamble, who should get some credit for playing surely one of the most noxious people ever to feature in a horror film.
The film's greatness however is the gore and violent death scenes, you get a shocking death scene that I like to call the "69 suffocation" to the "split penis slice" death scene, someones head gets bashed in with a bowling pin, and another person gets his head completely blown off by a shotgun (my favorite scene) the censors probably had a field day with this film. Also this film will probably offend a few people out there especially with that lengthy and disturbing gang rape scene. There's not a lot of plot to Gutterballs, but rather it serves as a homage to 80's slashers and Italian giallo films whose killer wears black gloves, and extreme, over-the-top kill scenes of gore and sex.
The 80's soundtrack that Ryan was able to get for the film really helps drive home the early 80's vibe that the movie has, not to mention the great atmosphere of the bowling alley. The film also genuinely looks and feels like a grainy, gritty, Grindhouse era movie and it had some great humour that was quite funny "the talking ball waxing machine that has a bad temper". I found Gutterballs to be a fun, sick as hell joy ride. Not everyone is going to enjoy this movie, but if you've got a sick sense of humor, like your films to push the envelope of good taste and/or enjoy 80's style exploitation films like I Spit on Your Grave, Maniac, Street Trash etc. then you've got to check this out."