Movie Review: Gutterballs [spoilers]

July 19, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

"A bowling night will turn into a bloody death match for a team of teenagers, as a deranged serial killer is taking them down one by one."

That's the description found on most sites for Gutterballs. Sounds like a silly but possibly fun slasher film right? It's not.

TRIGGER WARNING: This film contains sexual assault and homophobia.


The movie opens with two groups of young people in a darkly lit bowling alley playing. Somehow they're allowed in after hours to play, allegedly as part of a league yet not one of them is dressed in any kind of bowling team uniform. One group consists of four males leering and being abusive at the four females in the lane next to them. As Lisa goes to take her turn, she's dressed in the shortest skirt possible with half of her ass exposed. Literally her ass, she's not wearing underwear. Apparently she's not too bright either as we see her holding a lawn-bowl before her friends point out she's got the wrong bowl. This apparently allows the males, specifically Steve, to call out "stupid fucking cunt" and later "nice skirt you fucking skank". We find out Steve is bitter because Lisa didn't fuck him at the senior prom and went off with his best friend instead. Lisa informs us she didn't want to go with Steve anyway, she was using him to get to Jamie and it worked. 

In walks Jamie with two of his friends followed by some fog, I guess to let us know these guys are a big deal making their grand entrance? This really is a strange bunch of random individuals. We have one guy in a rattan hat and suit jacket covered in pins and another guy that looks like a metal dude with long hair and a cowboy hat. Then BAM there's a vagina filling my screen. If I didn't know better I'd think I was on the Pornhub channel. They definitely ransacked their wardrobe for Lisa's outfit. 

While Team Toxic Masculinity discuss what kind of balls Lisa needs in her life, Lisa's trans-friend Sam attempts to stand up for her asking them what their area of expertise is. Apparently the answer to that is "bashing queers" and they threaten to shove something up Sam's ass as they start to manhandle her roughly to the point Sam's wig falls off. This kicks off a fight between all the males in the room and while Steve kicks the shit out of Jamie, Lisa throws a bowling ball on his foot to try and stop him. It works. The janitor comes in with his rifle telling them all to piss off before he calls the police. 

As they all leave, Lisa realises she's forgot her purse and heads back inside. She tells her friends they can leave and that she'll be ok because the janitor is her bodyguard. She sneaks around looking for her purse to avoid his attention then heads upstairs to the arcade to look around. It's upstairs that she runs into Steve and his friends. Steve has her purse and starts to choke her, then we get an 8 minute gang rape scene. Steve rapes her on the pinball machine, then the other 2 have a go on the pool table and lastly the geek is told by Steve to rape her with a bowling pin or it's going up his ass. So of course he does that rather than commit to his alleged morals of how wrong this all is. I mean he really didn't fight them very hard.

This is just the first 20 minutes of the film. 

The following night they're all back for another after-hours night of bowling including Steve on crutches with a cast on his leg escorted by two blondes making all kinds of sound effects at the counter. One of the blondes gets friendly with one of the other guys at the bar and follows him into the bathroom where we find out her favourite number is 69 and they just go for it on the floor. Somehow they miss the fact someone walks in on them and they become murder victims #1 and 2. One by one they're murdered in various ways until we reach the ending which might have been interesting if I didn't have some serious questions about what's going on. 


This is quite possibly one of the worst films I have ever seen. Listed as a horror comedy, I'm not sure where the comedy was exactly. Unless you're a racist, transphobic, slut-shaming asshole then there's just nothing to laugh about in this movie.

To go back to my Pornhub comment - but I really stand by it. We've got extreme close ups of vaginas, blow jobs and even the rape scene focuses mostly on the victim's breasts which really made me uncomfortable. I avoid rape films as a general rule so I would never have watched Gutterballs if I'd known what was coming, but that scene doesn't come across like a violent act we should be appalled by. Rape isn't entertainment and it's unsettling watching it from a perverted gaze. Who was that scene even intended for? This movie was only made in 2008 so it isn't that old really, but putting a retro vibe on your film shouldn't be a free pass to be offensive. 

Had the kill scenes that followed only focussed on Steve and his friends, the film would have made sense but instead everyone was murdered including Lisa's friends. I couldn't understand why Sam was murdered so violently when she was a victim herself the night before, and the way she was murdered - a close up of her penis being sliced in half - leads you to believe Steve might be the killer since he has such disgust for trans/gay people. 

The big reveal comes at the end when Jamie and Sarah seem to be the last two standing with two killers on the loose. So who are the killers? Jamie and the Janitor. Apparently the plan meant not killing the "good guys" but the janitor decided to just off everybody. Oh yeah and the janitor is Lisa's father which leaves me with one big question: why was Lisa happily flashing the entire room including her father the night before? That's fucking weird right? Sure our parents see everything when changing our nappies but it's a bit different when you're in your 20's. Not to mention Lisa and her "I've never seen balls that big before", your father works in a bowling alley and you've never seen a bowling ball before? Make it make sense! Then we find out the other killer is the nerd boy from Steve's friend group. There's something insane about a man claiming to be in love with you after he penetrates you with a pin the night before. 

All that aside the poster is a rip off of Maniac [1980] and the makeup effects were well done. Really gross, but well done. They definitely didn't hold back on the blood and guts. 

Now that this experience is over I'm going to do my best to forget it ever happened.




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