During the after hours at the bowling lane, Xcalibur, two rivale teams go at it to see who are the better bowlers. Things heat up as the games progress and the hormones for these over-sexed-horny kids becomes too much. Although they might not only be losing their clothes, when a killer wearing a bowling bag over his head, locks them in for the night and picks them off, one by one in the most brutal of ways.
Since the official DVD of "Gutterballs" was recently released, I figured it was time that I finally turned out a review for one of my favorite movies from 2008. "Gutterballs" is a movie that was made by Ryan Nicholson that has grabbed the horror community as a whole, and shook it. Shook it like a baby. With the mainstream being watered down with PG-13 vengeful ghost movies, and the underground market only being supported by a handful of good directors. Nicholson and "Gutterballs" broke down the barriers and gave the horror genre a much needed kick in the ass by showing everyone what an unrestrained horror movie looks like.
Both the Plot Digger and Danger After Dark DVD releases of "Gutterballs" have dubbed it the "Balls-Out Edition" not merely for the pun but because the best way to describe this movie is to call it "balls-out". There has always been a set of unwritten rules for what is and isn't acceptable in a horror movie, of where horror ends and an unadulterated trash begins. Nicholson takes all of that and tosses out the window by setting up a movie in the guise of a typical slasher, only to give it a big set of balls.
Oh sure, we could have been given the typical setup of a girl being attacked and raped to give reason for people being picked off one-by-one from an unknown killer. That just wasn't enough for Nicholson, oh no. Instead he shows the audience one of the more sadistic and mean-spirited rape sequences for a horror movie or even an exploitation movie. Like a typical slasher, we aren't sure what or how the rape ties in with the masked killer but we know it has something to do with it. Of course we are given more than our fair share of red herrings, as not only do the "bad guys" get it, but both innocent people and the friends of the victim fall at the hands of killer.
Which is where "Gutterballs" really stands out in the crowd. While it may not be typical, "Gutterballs" is quite obviously a slasher movie, anybody with a lick of sense could see that. It's the unique and very graphic death scenes that'll make you not only remember "Gutterballs" longer after it's over, but it's also what will keep you glued to your seat. Ever see a couple die by "69"? No? Well, how about someone having the front half of their head removed from a ball-polisher? I can't think of any. Sure, that's only two of the scenes, and the movie does feature some standard death scenes of stabbing and being bludgeoned to death. It's in thanks to Ryan Nicholson's SPFX background that makes even the mundane scenes memorable, as the movie features some of the best effects work featured in any horror movie. Not to mention the performance he gets out of his actors to help sell the scenes. Not often do I actually see a woman shedding tears while being suffocated, or a man mumbling incoherently while gurgling up blood as he has his head bashed in repeatedly with a bowling pin.
Now "Gutterballs" falls under heavy scrutiny for the bad acting, which I'm willing to admit, it does get bad at times. Not to mention the fact that certain dialogue exchanges between characters gets to be pretty bad as well. There is no denying that. In the end though, you know what? It simply does not matter. Where the movie may lack in acting, it makes up for in large quantities by how entertaining it is. Let's be serious though, most of the people who tear down "Gutterballs" for the acting are the same ones who talk about how great 80's horror movies are. For the life of me, I could name at most only a handful of horror movies that had good acting from that decade. Does that make them bad? Of course not, especially since horror movies have never been known for having good acting. Ever. That's not their purpose. Sure it allows you to be scared more if the actors are able to sell you on what is happening to them, but in this day-in-age for horror fans, it's more about being entertained rather than being scared just because of how desensitized we all are. So why is "Gutterballs" is looked down upon for being guilty of what most other horror movies are as well? I don't know, especially since the acting in here is definitely far from being the worse, both from new and old movies.
To simply put it, at the end of the day "Gutterballs" is a throw back to the hay-day of slasher movies, with out being stupid/cheesy about it or being self-aware and filling it with unnecessary references. Not only that, but it is a movie that doesn't pull any punches, it goes beyond the standards of slasher territory from being a "balls-out" movie that isn't afraid to be graphic in terms of both sex and brutal violence. Any horror fan that isn't a prude about the genre they love, will most likely find themselves being entertained in one way or another with "Gutterballs".