Sunday, October 14, 2012

Basket Case (1982)

Basket Case

Written & Directed by Frank Henenlotter

Kevin VanHentenryck .... Duane Bradley
Terri Susan Smith .... Sharon
Beverly Bonner .... Casey
Robert Vogel .... Hotel manager
Diana Browne .... Dr. Judith Kutter
Lloyd Pace .... Dr. Harold Needleman
Bill Freeman .... Dr. Julius Lifflander

What's in the basket, Duane? What's in the basket? Everyone wants to know what's in the basket, and at the risk of spoiling the “surprise,” I'm going to tell you.

Duane and Belial Bradley were born in upstate New York, a difficult birth that caused the death of their mother. They were anything but normal babies, in fact Siamese..ahem, conjoined twins. Duane appeared human enough, but Belial on the other hand, sticking out of Duane's right side, was a hideously deformed mutant: a matzo ball with facial features. At the tender age of twelve, after all local hospitals had refused to separate the twins, their father opted for a black-market operation in the dining room, performed by a team of three doctors. Belial was believed to have died from the surgery, but we know better. Duane rescued him from his garbage can grave and tucked him into, you guessed it, the old wicker basket.

It's many years later and Duane and Belial have never forgiven their father for having them separated. At Belial's command, Duane—now looking like a virginal Greg Brady—hauls the basket to New York City to seek revenge on the black market doctors. Duane falls in love with one of the doctor's receptionists, however, and Belial feels like he's being abandoned.

What unfolds, bizarre as it may sound, is a buddy movie wrapped in a horror film sprinkled liberally with dark comedy. The budget was shoestring, the acting is typically bad (especially the performance by Diana Browne), the special effects are oft times lame and akin to early claymation. So why see this movie? Because it's an intelligent alternative, paints a creepy and seedy picture of the big city and most of all it's a basket load of fun.

If you like your sleaze with a side of cheese, pull up a chair.

91 minutes
United States


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