Ryan Nicholson’s outrageous sex ‘n’ gore flick Gutterballs was one of last year’s love-it-or-hate-it cult offerings. Basically a spot-on homage to the ‘80s slasher formula, spiced up with hardcore porn (or softcore, depending on the DVD release version), it helped capture an authentic low-budget retro vibe thanks to a blend of cheesy ‘80s pop-rock (including songs from Canadian band Harlequin) and a groovy Euro-style synth score by the so-called “Gianni Rossi” – in reality a pseudonym for Steve Moore, one-half of the legendary Philadelphia prog-rock duet Zombi.
That score is now available for download – and on suitably nostalgic vinyl – from indie label Permanent Vacation Records. Read on to find out more about this wacked-out electro oddity!
Steve Moore’s musical output (both alone and with Zombi) has endeared him to horror fans everywhere thanks to his reverence for the stylings of Goblin, Fabio Frizzi and other Italian prog-rock legends, whose tunes have graced the scores of countless beloved Euro-horror classics. Known for his vast, epic compositions, Moore opted instead to go the lo-fi route for Gutterballs, inspired by the stripped-down synthesizer scores employed by countless low-budget slasher flicks from the ‘80s.
This approach is in lock-step with Nicholson’s concept for the movie, and even riffs on the creepy promo art from Bill Lustig’s notorious gore classic Maniac (Lustig reportedly loved the homage) for the LP sleeve art, down to the blood-smeared catchphrase “I warned you not to bowl tonight...”
Moore even created a MySpace page for his alter-ego, which among other things claims that the album was recorded in the fictional Città di Incubi (or “City of Nightmares”) in Firenze, Italy. The site posts samples from the score, which is comprised of nine cues sporting titles like “7-10 Split” and my personal favorite, “Death By 69,” and while you’re there you can find out how to order your own copy.