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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
I approached Gutterballs with caution; as while the premise sounded interesting enough, I was not a fan of director Ryan Nicholson's first feature film 'Live Feed'. Gutterballs seems to take inspiration from slasher flicks such as Intruder and Stage Fright, in that we have a group of people locked inside a small location with a maniacal killer, and mixes this with a gleeful eighties style and a bucket of blood and gore. The result is a film that is not for everyone; but a dream come true for fans of exploitative horror, as Gutterballs is completely unflinching in the way that it portrays violence, and it's actually very refreshing to see someone still making films like this with all the watered down horror coming out of most modern day studios. As the title suggests; the film focuses on a bowling alley. We are introduced to two rival teams and the animosity between them soon becomes obvious when they start scrapping within the first few minutes of the film. Cut to the next night and their game is intruded by an unknown bowler calling himself 'BBK', and the bowlers start being picked off one by one.
Gutterballs is a film that really doesn't hold back at all; the gang rape scene within the first twenty minutes is liable to get more than a few backs up pretty quickly, but it actually turns out to be just a taster for what is to come as we are treated to a barrage of murder scenes and various body parts are mutilated. Despite all the blood and guts, it's clear that the film isn't meant to be taken completely seriously either; and parts of it are absolutely laugh-out-loud funny, which is nice. Ryan Nicholson ensures that the film is entertaining throughout and Gutterballs never really slows down or becomes boring for a minute, which makes for a very fun viewing. Most surprising of all is the fact that the film is very professionally done - the acting is more than above average for this sort of film, and the gore - while ridiculously gratuitous - doesn't look completely fake. The killer's identity will be obvious to anyone familiar with the genre, and not too hard to guess for anyone that isn't; but the film does have more than one twist up its sleeve and the ending itself is a blast. Overall, I don't expect Gutterballs to receive universal praise, but I would think that it will get respect from genre fans (who also have fun spotting various tributes) and I would certainly rate it as one of the better horror flicks of this decade. Recommended!
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