-Written by Robert O’ Doherty
Basket Case is about a brotherly bond between Duane(Kevin Van Hentenryck) and Belial Bradly who share a dark family secret. You see, the Bradly’s are siamese twins who were separated against their own will by a team of ”surgeons”. The separation of the twins grew to a vengeful hate towards the people involved in the split. Unfortunately these twins are in no way identical; Duane got the handsome looks, while Belial got the brain tumor, Gary Buesy look going on, and so it got tossed in the trash after the surgery, but is saved by the handsome Duane.
In their later years, the twins decide to murder everyone involved in the surgery, but that’s mostly Belial’s idea, as Duane wants to live a normal life, which is explored later in the film. Mr. handsome must carry his deformed bro around in a basket, hence the title of the movie. The reveal of Belial is a slow and smart move by director Frank Henenlotter, who only had a puny budget of $33,000 as his disposal. The back story also slowly unfolds, leaving a nice bit of mystery and suspense. To make the production seem bigger, Henenlottter shot in New York city, which evokes how sleazy, dirty and gritty the city used to be.
While Basket Case does it’s best to pull out all it’s resources, it still suffers from it’s low budget which can be seen through some set pieces and honkey acting. Even the stop motion animation for Belial looks tacky. When the neglected twin moves in for the kill, it’s really difficult to know what the hell it’s doing that’s causing the deaths of people. Sometimes it appears to jab it’s fingers down a victims throat, to scarping their face. Don’t get me wrong, there are two kills in particular that will make you laugh, but cringe at the same time.
The charm of Basket Case also comes from the weird assemble of cast at the Hotel the twins stay at called ”Hotel Broslin”. These corny characters distract you from the big question ”whats in the basket” and you’re attention focuses on them. It’s a nice curveball from Henenlotter to keep your mind working on who these characters are and what kind of impact they will play on the story.
If you’re looking for a cheesy horror with some good laughs, Basket Case is for you. I found the low budget a bit distracting at times, but I also admire this flick for pulling off so such with it’s little budget. On top of this, we get some boob shots, and that’s always a plus in horror flicks; they go together like milk and cookies.