How many movies are there that really utilize the full potential of a bowling alley? Hmm, there’s Kingpin, The Big Lebowski, and, umm… well that’s about it. And none of those were horror films (well, Kingpin may fall into the horror category depending on how you look at it). The Italians made a terrible and seldom-seen Alien rip-off sequel entitled Alien 2: On Earth that featured an off-screen massacre at the “hands” of evil alien critters that took place in a bowling alley, but, in all honesty, that was about it. Fortunately, horror and bowling have found a new home in Ryan Nicholson’s excessively outrageous Canadian splatterfest, Gutterballs.
Owing more than just a nod to the over-the-top grindhouse exploitation films of the '70s and '80s, Gutterballs has arrived on DVD from TLA’s Danger After Dark label. The story (and I use that word sparingly) involves a ragtag group of competing leaguers that consists of violent jocks, loose women, and a transvestite (among others). The tension between these morally nihilistic individuals goes from bad to worse one night when the jocks gang rape one of the ladies (who wears a short skirt sans underwear — which director Nicholson is more than eager to point out to us in a gratuitous up-skirt beaver shot) and ram a bowling pin up her crotch when they‘re finished. This is just the beginning of the film, too, kids.
The next night, an unknown killer (who wears a bowling bag over their head) begins to off all of the social outcasts that inhabit the film in various gruesome and bizarre ways: one couple is suffocated whilst performing a “69” in the men’s room; the transvestite gets an unwanted sex change operation; the jock is penetrated by a sharpened bowling pin; etc. In the meantime, the oblivious bowlers continue to play their game, never really going out of their way to find out where their “friends” are or why an unknown player called the BBK (Bowling Bag Killer) keeps racking up the points on the scoring system.