GUTTERBALLS (2008) Review

Directed by: Ryan Nicholson
Starring: Alastair Gamble, Nathan Witte, Dan Ellis

I like to think that I have a pretty diverse taste when it comes to horror films. I love a good intelligent psychological horror, I love creepy shit with plenty of scares, and I love a good ol' balls-to-the-wall gorefest, when they're done right that is. GUTTERBALLS fits nicely into the latter category, and before we start I will mention that if you're not a fan of gratuitous violence, rape scenes and a more than casual dropping of the F-bomb then you may as well stop reading right now because this movie has all of this plus more.

GUTTERBALLS is my first introduction to the films of Ryan Nicholson who is a guy I have heard quite a bit about, especially in regards to his 'more is more' mantra. It's a rape/revenge slasher set in a bowling alley after hours with two bowling teams pitted against each other. There is more than a little bad blood between the two teams which leads to a brutal gang rape scene. During the ensuing bowl-off the participants start to get picked off one by one by a sadistic killer armed with weapons fashioned from bowling pins and wearing a bowling bag on his head. As the Bowling Bag Killer piles up the bodies the yet-to-be-killed desperately try to escape.

Nicholson proves that he isn't afraid to push things to the extreme to achieve his vision (especially when viewing the uncut version), beginning with the nasty rape scene which makes you look forward to the perpetrators getting a taste of their own medicine (and believe me they sure as hell do) and continuing on through every graphic death scene. Buckets of blood, insertions, dismemberments and decapitations, it's all here. Keep an eye out for the particularly inspired scene where a couple are killed simultaneously mid-coitus.

I mentioned swearing earlier and believe me when I say that this movie is full of it. Almost every other word seems to be 'fuck'. Is it overkill? Probably, but it makes a hell of a drinking game. Have a shot every time you hear the F-word and I can guarantee you will be hammered after about the first half hour.

The neon filled bowling alley acts as a great backdrop and there is a definite 80s feel going on here.
The acting is pretty lousy but honestly, who the fuck goes to see a slasher flick for good acting?
Every single character in GUTTERBALLS is completely unlikeable which works when they start dying off, but I had the feeling that some of them were just a little too unlikeable. Mainly Steve (Gamble), I mean I really can't imagine anybody being that much of an asshole in real life. There are some stupid moments and the writing isn't the greatest but that's not what will attract people to this film anyway.

This is the kind of movie you watch when you want to see a completely over the top, gratuitous gorefest with plenty of violence and sex. If that's not what you're looking for then stay away. For all of it's shortcomings, I personally loved it and I look forward to seeing more of Nicholson's films.

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