Gutterballs (2008)

Directed by Ryan Nicholson [Other horror films: Necrophagia: Nightmare Scenarios (2004, segment ‘Blaspheme the Body’), Torched (2004), Hell Hath No Fury (2006, ‘Torched’), Live Feed (2006), Hanger (2009), Star Vehicle (2010), Famine (2011), Dead Nude Girls (2013), The Profane Exhibit (2013, segment ‘Goodwife’), Alarming (2013), Collar (2014), Gutterballs 2 (2015)]

In many ways, Gutterballs is a somewhat amateurish effort, and there could be an argument made that it runs a tad long. I’ll admit that it’s far from a perfect movie, but it does have a decent rape-revenge plot with solid gore, all in somewhat brutal fashion, if that’s your thing.

I think the biggest complaint I have about Gutterballs, and I suspect many might feel the same, is that most of the characters we spend significant time with are utterly despicable. Steve (Alastair Gamble) and his friends Joey (Wade Gibb), A.J. (Nathan Dashwood), and Patrick (Trevor Gemma) were really hard to feel even an ounce of sympathy for at any point. Being the rapists in the film, that can be excused, but everything, from their overly childish banter to their aggressive jock attitudes, just screams “I deserve death.”

Sure, we get a little insight into Lisa’s (Candece Lewald) character, who is the victim of the gang rape, but most of her friends, from Sarah (Mihola Terzic), Jamie (Nathan Witte) to Dave (Scott Alonzo), whoever, get very little to no development. These characters seem a hell of a lot better than Steve and Co., but we really don’t see them all that often, which was a problem.

Alastair Gamble did great at playing a horribly convincing jock rapist, and was about as terrible a character as you’d expect (I don’t doubt for one second that he is worse than anyone else in the film, killer or not). Nathan Dashwood and his terribly annoying laugh was pretty bad also, but the two of them certainly worked together well here despite really weak (but potentially realistic) dialogue.

One of the most interesting performances here is that of Trevor Gemma, who was involved in the rape, but was a lot more hesitant than the other three, and in fact attempted an apology to the woman the following night. With that, his heart might be in the right place, but as the movie shows, a simple apology isn’t near enough to exact the required justice. Still, Gemma was someone I wish we saw a bit more of throughout.

A large selling point of this movie is the gore, which couples well with the special effects. I think that most of the kills are okay, but some of the most gruesome really stand out (including the one penis scene, and a head getting obliterated in a ball-waxing machine). Certainly there’s a lot of gore (though that throat slit near the end, not to mention a shotgun blast taking off someone else’s head, might make up a large amount of that), but many of the kills aren’t necessarily highlight material.

Worth mentioning also is that the conclusion is not entirely satisfactory. We’re given a twist or two, what with the identity of the killer (or even perhaps multiple killers), but it seemed a bit overkill. I mean, I get the killer, but then you throw in some accomplices, and it feels a little silly. The final scene itself was also somewhat iffy.

All-in-all, Gutterballs is decent for a lower-budget rape-revenge film, and it’s retro feel (most obvious in it’s musical choices, from Loverboy to Chilliwack) is somewhat appreciated, but it definitely could have been better. I still think I’d rate the film about average because I think it hits above it’s weight, but I wouldn’t blame anyone for seeing this in a more negative light.

7/10

This is one of the films covered on Fight Evil’s podcast. Listen below as Chucky (@ChuckyFE) and I discuss this one.

Author: Jiggy's Horror Corner

Fan of the horror genre, writer of mini-reviews, and lover of slashers.

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