Aiming to recapture the feeling of good old 80s slasher films, “Gutterballs” ends up way overshooting its target and instead becomes a rather nasty customer all of its own: a brutal rape leads two bowling gangs to be stalked by a masked killer at a late night bowling alley. Don’t let the cutesy title fool you: this one definitely is not for the casual viewer.
There’s no way to pretty it up – “Gutterballs” is repulsive through and through. It takes place over two nights at the same bowling alley, the first featuring the extremely graphic rape scene, as one of the bowling gangs traps and assaults a female member of the opposite gang. I call them bowling gangs because that’s how they act. It’s like the gym a******s from “The Toxic Avenger” were cloned and then decided to go bowling together. No, not a lot of bowling gets done, but rather a ton of screaming and yelling and bad behavior. And this is how “Gutterballs” maintains its repulsive nature, as its characters are all so incredibly repugnant that you have to question why you’re even spending time with this movie. Fortunately, the misanthropy is so overblown that the movie does become kind of funny. . . especially if you’ve been drinking.
And, yes, there is also plenty of sex on display. As the gangs return to the bowling alley for the second evening, the members are more interested in scampering away to a dark corner and screwing rather than actual bowling. You’d be right in thinking that this sounds like your run-of-the-mill slasher movie behavior, but “Gutterballs” takes it a step or two further and goes pornographic. Now, this isn’t one of those bullshit porno movies trying to masquerade as a real horror movie. The sex scenes in “Gutterballs” are more graphic than most other horror films; however, they don’t go on forever like they would in porn.
It’s when the killing starts, however, that you start feeling that you’re finally on board because you really want to see all these a******s die. “Gutterballs” does not hold back on doling out the gruesome deaths – some cheerworthy (one douchebag gets his face pressed into a bowling ball cleaner) and some truly disturbing (a transvestite gets a quickie sex change operation) and all of them extremely gory with top-notch effects. This shouldn’t be a surprise, as filmmaker Ryan Nicholson has worked in Hollywood as a special effects make-up artist for over 15 years.
But, no matter how special the effects are, there’s another area of the production in particular that is most lacking. Sound quality in this film shifts radically throughout, mostly from terrible to completely f*****g awful. More specifically, the dialogue recording was seriously botched and all too often these actors sound like they’re delivering lines from the bottom of a well. It’s rather frustrating, so just be ready for that.
This is not a good movie, but it is a must see for true fans of sicko cinema. “Gutterballs” does indeed have plenty of balls and it doesn’t stop ramping up the sleaze factor until it’s over and you’re sitting there with your head spinning. If you think this movie might be up your alley, you definitely need to check it out. I’m not guaranteeing that you’re going to like it, but you need to see what’s going on here.