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A brutally sadistic rape leads to a series of bizarre gory murders during a midnight disco bowl-a-rama at a popular bowling alley. One by one, players of two teams meet blood-drenched gruesome deaths at the hand of a black bowling-gloved masked killer. This alley runs red with blood by sunrise.Written by
Brutally Violent, Oversexed and Over the Top... Amazing!
There is an alternate dimension where the 1980s and 2000s meet, and Ryan Nicholson ("Live Feed") opens that world up to us in "Gutterballs". All the classic archetypes are here in the bowling alley. And after a brutal rape, everyone will come together for one last night of bowling. There will be spares, strikes, gutters... and pure carnage, as blood flows free like Pabst from a Milwaukee tapper.
The tone of "Gutterballs" is unique. In some sense, its an homage to older films. The 80s feel is there, the DVD itself spoofs the cover of "Happy Birthday to Me" and the menu spoofs "Maniac". But it's also a comedy of sorts, with some of the dirtiest one-liners and comebacks you'll ever hear. Lastly, it's non-stop gore and over-the-top offensive cinema. Plenty of sex, violence and sex mixed with violence. There's absolutely no way this will ever receive a theatrical release and Blockbuster probably won't carry it without ten minutes of cuts, which would make the film worthless.
Even from the start, you know you're in for a treat. The opening shot features bowling pins, calling to mind such bowling classics as "The Big Lebowski", "Kingpin", and that cult favorite "Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama". We get disco and 1980s music, very short skirts, a transvestite, plenty of bad "ball" jokes and a smoke machine that knows when people enter the alley. This film clinched the feel of trashy 1980s videos.
Have I stressed the blood, gore, violence and language? There is going "over the top" and then there's "Gutterballs". Aside from such rarities as "Necromantik", I've never been treated to so many mutilated bodies and sexual depravity. One scene, which blows my mind, features a couple engaged in a certain oral sexual act... and the killer doesn't shy away from using this to his advantage. And they show it... all of it.
The transvestite comes to a bloody end after answering "I bleed from my heart; everyone judges me and nobody knows me" when asked if his new female parts will work. And my absolute favorite scene features a trash-talking ball waxer that taunts bowlers with vulgar language and insults. I was cracking up pretty hard. All this while being treated to countless tracks from Loverboy and other treasures. Another reviewer commented that "the 80s hits throughout the film will leave you scratching your head as to how director Nicholson scored the rights to so many classic tunes", and he's right -- that was precisely my first reaction. It's an amazing onslaught of pure rock.
I had only two concerns with the film. The theme gets a bit old, even for such a short film. After the "ball" jokes run out, the bowling theme seems to be in the tenth frame, but the film just keeps playing. Also, like many other commentators, I felt the rape is a bit extreme and makes the audience uncomfortable... it's a good successor to "I Spit on Your Grave", but the long scene breaks the otherwise humorous flow of the movie. While offending me is certainly not easy, I think this might be the first film to see "the line" and cross it without looking back. If that was Nicholson's goal, mission accomplished.
I have to say this was a good film for anyone who loves gore. Faces ripped off, genitals mutilated, shotgun blasts to the head... I can't think of any film in the past decade that even comes close to this level of intensity. Some of the parts are beyond offensive, so please don't watch this with children around or anyone you're trying to impress. This is the sort of film that causes divorces. But with those precautions in mind, you'd be missing out on piece of film history if you passed up on "Gutterballs".
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