Gutterballs review by The Grim Ringler


Maybe it’s time to let the seventies and eighties go. Sure, they were fun, they were a good time, and we got a lot of classic films from these eras but, darn it, maybe it’s time to just start making new movies instead of aping what has come before. Sure, I love the fun and corny eighties and I love the dark and nasty seventies but when you get a movie like Gutterballs, well, maybe that is just a sign that it’s time to hang the whole thing up and call a moratorium.

GUTTERBALLS takes place over two nights in a lonely bowling alley, two very momentous nights. Two groups of friends are at the bowling alley for some competitive bowling. What begins as good natured fun between the two disparate groups though quickly turns violent and a fight breaks out between them. The fight is quelled but the tensions are not and when a girl from one of the groups goes back into the bowling alley and is caught by the other group (who are all guys) and is brutally raped (and we are talking ridiculously brutal and clocking in at ten minutes!!) and left nearly dead. Flash to the next day and the two groups are back at the bowling alley for another match but no one knows what has happened to the girl and the group that attacked her isn’t letting on they did anything. When the girl shows up she says nothing and it seems as if she is hiding the fact of what happened to her. As they two groups bowl a masked killer stalks the darkened areas of the bowling alley and starts cutting down the young people in brutal and inventive ways. As the groups get thinned out, they find they are trapped within the bowling alley and they have to find out who is behind the brutal murders before they join the body count themselves.

Now, I am going to totally admit to you something, I didn’t get this movie. I can tell you that I know it was supposed to be gut bustingly funny and just terribly clever and fun and I will also tell you that I didn’t get it. What ruined the movie for me was the rape scene, it was utterly horrific in the worst of ways and that they tried to make it funny was just lost on me. The scene is so brutal then it tries to be so outrageous as to be funny, sort of like a really dirty and sick joke, but it fell flat and it is that sort of tone that is throughout the film. The crummy thing is that there is a germ of a fun film here. The killer wears a freakin’ bowling ball bag on their head, how fun is that? But if you mix I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE with STUDENT BODIES and it just doesn’t work. There is a sex scene in the film that is essentially a hardcore porn scene but done with a prosthetic penis, and it is the strangest thing I have seen since I saw some porn trimmed to be mass market and ‘R’.

The film is very gory, the actors are very enthusiastic, and there are some crazy plot twists. A lot of fans, fans of the extreme and of gallows humor, will ‘get’ this film and love the heck out of it. For me, the film is killed by the tone, which plays it too loose. I couldn’t buy it as both shocking AND funny. It just didn’t work for me.

The DVD, from DANGER AFTER DARK is well done had has commentary from the director and a making of doc. The film is pretty gritty but that look was intentional and works for what they were trying for.

A rare film where I can only leave you with this – meh.

4 out of 10 Jackasses
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