Bowling: The sound of the balls hitting the pins, the shoes, the beer, the atmosphere, the blood, the murders… wait, those last two aren't so common in bowling alleys… thankfully. Our beloved Horror genre, though, always finds a way to turn any place in to a “house of horror”. So, of course, the list I conjured up for this week will be taking a stare at…
11 Bowling Alley Scenes In Horror
11. Critters (1986)
Even if you've somehow managed to skip over this 1986 monster movie, you've probably at least, heard of it. Crites (or critters) are escaped, extraterrestrial prisoners that crash-landed on earth and go on to cause a ruckus. On their trail, are bounty hunters that can change their appearance by looking at another human. They search place after place and end up in a bowling alley. One of the hunters in the form of fictional Rock Star, Johnny Steele, puts two & two together and hits a strike in a very odd way.
10. The 13th Alley (2008)
This movie is low-budget, absurd, and laughable, but that doesn't mean there's no gore to have a look at. It was released the same year as another bowling Horror movie that we'll get to in a little bit. This one's a lot harder to find nowadays, so, if you can find it, watch it.
9 Suicide Club (2001)
What a surprise… a foreign movie with balls. (I swear, no pun intended) 'Suicide Club’ is a Japanese movie that has exactly what the title promises. There's mass suicides that bring in the gore, but this bowling alley scene is more macabre with its imagery. The dude in this scene is so chill and even sings a song while rape and murder are going on around him. Fuckin’ eerie shit.
8. Cabin Fever (2002)
One of my favorite parts of this movie is from flashbacks of a story that Rider Strong's character delivers while he and his friends sit around a campfire. It's a “slasher” story that took place in a bowling alley. He mentions the killer used his victims’ organs to bowl, then we get a shot of a severed foot knocking over a few pins. Props to Eli Roth for rolling a body part other than a head down the bowling lane.
7. Men In Black 3 (2012)
The 'Men In Black’ franchise has stupendous SFX work. They're not my favorite movies to pop in, but they're always good for a quick pick-me-up in the creativity department. This scene is more funny than brutal, but I had to give it its due credit. Where else are you gonna see a head being cleaned like a bowling bowl?
6. Sorority Babes In The Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama (1988)
I know I just gave Eli Roth props for not using a human head to bowl with, 'Sorority Babes In The Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama’, however, does it as good as it can be done. While the head of a poor soul named Jimmy is being bowled down a lane, we get a quick commentary by a magic imp that was accidentally released.
5. Gutterballs (2008)
This slasher film has its lovers and haters. I, for one, am on its side. The whodunit isn't really that mysterious, the kills deliver, though, and then some. Most of the kills involve objects related to the game of bowling. There's a lot to choose from, but this is the best bowling pin death scene I've ever witnessed in a movie.
4. The X-Files [Se 4 Ep 22] (1997)
In this standalone episode of 'The X-Files’, there's some really good use of a bowling alley being turned into a sort of… haunted house. Atmospheric acts take place and right at the beginning of the episode we see an owner of a bowling alley find what appears to be a corpse stuck inside a pinsetter. As the episode unfolds, we learn the truth of what was seen by the owner.
3. Atom The Amazing Zombie Killer (2012)
A low-budget can sometimes help a movie. Most of the time it turns the average moviegoer off, but if the flick knows that it's cheap and embraces it cheapness, it can be a winner. ‘Atom’ is a mighty fine example of the description I just laid out. The writing is pretty sharp and the FX work range from “Quite good” to “Ehhh, fuck it, it's still cool”. The humor is just as cheesy as the quality and acting, but I can't help loving this movie. I mean… who can't love a decapitation by a pinsetter?
2. Fright Night 2 (1988)
One of the most underrated sequels in the Horror genre, in my opinion, is Tom Lee Wallace's 'Fright Night 2’. Yeah, part 1 is better, but part 2 is not the least bit boring. It has an awesome werewolf played by Jon Gries, the same actor to wolf-out in 1987's 'The Monster Squad’. He brings his humor along in 'Fright Night 2’- a trait he brings with him in every role I've seen him in. In Mr. Gries’ own words from this film, “You should always try and pull ahead”.
1. Beware! The Blob A.K.A. Son Of The Blob (1972)
Making the second list in a row and moving up to #1 is... 'Beware The Blob!’. The Blob just absolutely destroys everything in this bowling alley, including all the bowling lanes at once. This is a killer that can be in the entire establishment at the same time due to it being able to ooze and spread as it pleases. Each time I revisit this movie, I like it a little bit more.
Honorable Non Horror Mentions
There Will Be Blood (2007)
The Package (2013)
I'm Dr.LoveGore peacin’ out. If you have the urge to go bowling, go with a group of friends when it's really crowded, not after hours when a slasher killer, monster, ghost, or imp could be on the loose.
Have you listened to our HORROR Podcast? This week on Beyond The Void Horror Podcast TryHard Heroes joins the podcast to make up a movie for our GravePlots segment called “Puddin Lips”. Infections, Cults, Ancient Ones and Flamethrowers! OH MY Check it out! Listen/Subscribe on iTunes here!