Basket Case is sleazy and cheap. It’s also a celebration of the darker genres of cinema.
Basket Case Synopsis
Duane and Belial Bradley are conjoined twins who were separated against their will at a young age. Years later, Duane arrives in New York City with Belial hidden in a wicker basket, and checks into a cheap motel. Together, the siblings then scheme bloody revenge on the doctors responsible for their traumatic separation.
When you do you think of when you hear a movie name like Basket Case?
A high school comedy? Sports drama? Something cheap and corny?
If you suspect the last, then you are quite right. The first production by cult director Frank Henenlotter, Basket Case looks cheap, feels raw, and in some parts, is downright nonsensical. On top of being unapologetically gratuitous with gore and nudity.
But does this mean it’s horrible? Is this one of those obscure 80s nasties to only go for when you have insomnia? Oh no. Not by a hundred miles. Basket Case is easily one of the most memorable slashers I’ve watched. To the extent, I’d put it right up there with Halloween, the first Hellraiser, and so on.
What makes this classic horror movie so good? I think it begins with how Basket Case is not at all embarrassed about what it is. Instead, it positively rejoices in its own budgeted devilry, and by doing so, infuses the whole movie with a glee that is, to put it simply, utter refreshing to watch.
Refreshing as well as assuring. The latter in the sense that the movie assures you that it’s alright to indulge in the blood and splatter. That it’s alright to guffaw and maybe even clap.
In my case, I held my breath each time someone ventured near Belial. But I would be lying if I claim I wasn’t eager, even hungry, for the monster to do its worst gnawing yet.
Check out Frank Henenlotter’s other masterpiece. The wicked drugs commentary, Brain Damage.
Check out my other snappy movie reviews!