Basket Case Trilogy (1982,1990,1992)–Hilariously Ridiculous
Wow… I had never heard of the Basket Case movies until my buddy suggested we watch them about a month ago. Well, last night we finished the last of the three movies and I have to say that I was left pleasantly surprised at how much these movies entertained me.
The Basket Case movies tell the story of two Siamese, or co-joined twins, separated in childhood. One twin, Duane Bradley (played hilariously cheezily by Kevin Van Hentenryck) is a fully formed, mostly normal looking guy, but his brother, Belial, is a disgusting blob of flesh with one dangerously powerful arm and, a very strong leg and a disturbingly human face with a mouth full of jagged, dangerous teeth. Belial is a dangerous character who is understandable unbalanced. Spending most of his time in a basket (hence the name of the movies), he and Duane have a psychic bond and can communicate without words). Duane and Belial were separated against their will when children in a horrific home surgery. Now Belial and Duane are looking for revenge on the doctor’s that did the brutal operation. Belial, extracting his revenge – this little guy is a damned efficient killing machine – having killed a large number of people, gets into a scuffle and he and Duane fall out a window together. Apprehended and brought to a hospital, they both escape.
Basket Case 2 picks up where Basket Case left off – now Duane and Bradley find themselves in the home of Granny Ruth (played by Annie Ross), a woman who has taken it upon herself to provide sanctuary for horribly and bizarrely deformed people. The cast of strange creatures is interesting and funny – I thing the creature designer on this film most likely had a great time. This is a place where Belial can feel at home and not have to hide from the world. Duane, though is having a tougher time fitting in, as he feels like the outsider. That said, he manages to fall in love with Granny Ruth’s assistant, Susan (played by Heather Rattray), a seemingly normal young lady – and it seems that she loves Duane, too. Also, Belial finds love himself when he falls for a similarly mutated Eve. Soon Granny Ruth’s sanctuary is threatened by a sleazy reporter and photographer. Duane and Belial decide to organize the ragtag group of mutants into an efficient and deadly defence. After saving the day, Duane and Susan start to get it on… and Duane finds out the real reason Susan stays with Granny Ruth. Duane flips out and goes off the mental deep end (and something happens to Susan)… And the movie ends. Oh, I can’t forget to mention the weirdest love scene ever between two lumps of mutated flesh.
Basket Case 3, starts the moment Basket Case 2 ends. Duane wakes up to find himself in a straight jacket, calling out to whomever claiming that he’s all better now. Granny Ruth enters his padded cell and explains how long he’s been there and why. She also gives him some good news: he’s going to be an uncle, as Belial has impregnated Eve. Eve, being massively mutated, is starting to go into labour, and Granny Ruth is concerned that she may require medical attention. She packs up the entire group of mutants into a school bus and they take off to a sympathetic Doctor referred to as Uncle Hal. Uncle Hal has been taking care of a genius, multi-armed mutant, Little Hal. Duane, still a loose, mildly crazy loose cannon, is trying to escape at any cost. Meanwhile Eve Gives birth to a…a lot of little Belial copies, despite the fact that Belial loses it and attacks Uncle Hal (due to a flashback). Getting the attention of the Sheriff’s daughter, who he stupidly trusts, he soon finds himself behind bars, while the stupid deputy’s decided that they want to capture Belial for a reported $1,000,000 reward offered by a rag newspaper. Yeah, well that doesn’t go very well and one escapes with his life and a basket full of baby Belial looking offspring. The mutants aren’t going to stand for that, and they launch a brazen attack on the jail in order to save the babies. Things get even weirder.
Okay, these are low budget movies that leave a lot to be desired. That said, I really enjoyed them. Duane is an unbelievable silly character that while fake, is super fun to watch. Belial is such a weird character that it’s hard to find him scary, and the gallery of mutants under Granny Ruth’s roof are very… crazy. Still, I really liked these movies – they have a certain charm that is very rare in the horror genre, and if you can suspend your sense of disbelief, you might just have a good time watching these crazy movies.