Basket Case tells the story of Duane and Belial, a man and his deformed conjoined twin who go to New York City in search of the doctor who seperated them. Apparently Duane liked being connected to Belial and Belial isn’t too crazy about it either so they intend to kill the doctor for revenge. Since Belial is tiny and horrifying, he lives in a large basket that Duane carts around.
I can’t honestly tell you why I like Basket Case. The movie is shoddy from top to bottom, supposedly the wad of cash that Duane is seen holding at the beginning of the film is the movie’s actual budget. It’s poorly acted, poorly filmed, but it’s got a sleazy weird charm that so many of the New York-sploitation movies did. Belial, for what he is and the film’s budget, actually looks pretty decent. I also love how weird his character is. He’s some sort of sharp-toothed super strong monster, but he has a psychic connection to Duane (he can even possess him if need be) and is capable of creating super-elaborate machines of murder. Stupid, weird, wonderful, that’s Basket Case.
Basket Case 2 picks up immediately after the first where Duane and Belial fell out of a building to their apparent death. Well, it turns out they both lived and manage to escape the hospital with the help of Granny Ruth (Annie Ross), a woman who collects “freaks” to help them live a normal life. Unfortunately a reporter begins snooping around Granny Ruth so Duane and Belial have to kill her and anyone she has told to protect their community.
Does It Hold Up?
Basket Case 2 is a marked improvement over the first. The acting is better, the special effects are better, the story is still pretty empty but still better. We really dig into the relationship between Duane and Belial, get to know the resentment that each of them feel. Belial resents Duane because he’s normal, Duane resents Belial because he’s a burden. The two reluctantly team up to help protect Granny Ruth’s haven but things come to a head in an incredibly fucked-up and bleak finale.
Basket Case 2 is weirder, funnier, more poignant, and just a better movie than its predeccesor. It’s still a trashy straight-to-video cheesefest and the cast seems to be competing to see who can overact the most but it’s great.
Watch, Toss, Or Buy?
If you’re into this kind of movie, buy it.
Where Can I Find It?
There’s a Blu-ray out from Synapse.