Written by: Greigh Johanson.

This isn't the first movie by Canadian director Ryan Nicholson. But this was the first movie from his archives I watched, and with Gutterballs he also showed me that he is a really talented filmmaker and impressed on me very much. This gritty little flick has received very poor reviews before, so I think there is a certain love-hate behind this title, but I will kind of honour it for what it truelly is; a tribute to the beloved 80's century.

This hell of a ride flirts with fresh 70s rape'n'revenge movies and '80s slasher classic and Ryan Nicholson succeed where Neil Marshall, Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez failed. You who contradict my statement and denies the discrete 80s feeling may not have seen a single slasher film of that decade. The opening sequence features give us clear feelings about everyone's cult favorite "Sorority Babes in the Slim Ball Bowl-O-Rama". We get disco and 80s, short skirts, transvestites, bad jokes and a smoke machine that knows when people approach the alley. Gutterballs embodies the essence of the 80s slasher with a certain exploitation.

Gutterballs set in a bowling alley where two rival gangs fighting over one of the girls. The evening degenerates into total chaos and it ends with the leader of one gang humiliates her. Later that evening the boys retaliate by exposing her for a brutal rape. The following day, it is time for the bowling tournament where the both gangs will fight for their title. The game begins and at first, everything seems okay, but soon a new name emerge on the leaderboards. Something or someone who calls itself "BBK" hitting strike after strike, and strangely enough, nobody knows who BBK is, and now the participants from both teams disappears, one by one, in a very brutal and effective way.

This is an initially strong film and begins with a moderately upsetting rape scene that's at least as lengthy as the scene of Gaspar Noé's "Irreversible". I thought this rape was much more difficult to go through - it was so more than just brutal sex - it showed a realistic aggression and how nasty we men can be associated with alcohol. But the film does, after all, a much more positive turn when it begins to be invited to great music and a crazy killer.

I like how Ryan Nicholson uses a nice twist that oscillate between the severely aggressive and ridiculously fun out of a dark and bizarre sight. The gore-effects ranging from good to painful with creative killing methods that are fun to watch. It's very professionally done, and the spectacle is more than above average for this kind of movie

If you are a person who is offended by nudity, sex and violence, then you will very likely not appreciate this movie. But the rest of you gorehounds out there, I really recommend it. Ryan Nicholson clearly had no intention to make a serious horror movie and it's interesting to see how some people can't understand that on the basis of the criticism the film has received during the years.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Directed by: Ryan Nicholson
Written by: Ryan Nicholson
Produced by: Michelle Grady, Roy Nicholson, Ryan Nicholson, Dan Walton
Cinematography by: Mark Christopher Atkins
Editing by: Lars Simkins
Music by: Patrick Coble, Steve Moore
Special Effects by: Jon Funk
Cast: Alastair Gamble, Mihola Terzic, Nathan Witte, Wade Gibb, Candice Lewald, Jeremy Beland, Trevor Gemma, Nathan Dashwood, Scott Alonzo, Jimmy Blais, Danielle Munro, Stephanie Schacter, Saraphina Bardeaux, Dan Ellis, Brandon Dix, Ryan Nicholson
Year: 2008
Country: Canada
Language: English
Color: Color
Runtime: 1 h 36min

Distributor: Plotdigger Films