Duane checks into a seedy hotel in New York, carrying a
wicker basket. Inside the basket is Belial, his deformed siamese
twin. The two had been born joined at the hip, Belial a misshapen
head and two short arms. Although all the experts had said
it would be dangerous to separate them, their father viewed
Belial as an abomination and employed the services of a doctor
prepared to take on the job. Belial was surgically removed
against the express wishes of the brothers and left for dead.
However, the two are telepathically linked, and Duane saved
his brother and escaped to New York. Now Duane wants his revenge
on the Doctor. However, Duane falls in love with the receptionist
and tries to keep his liaison secret from Belial, who becomes
furious at what he sees as competition for their special relationship...
it's many years since I last saw this film. By today's standards
it could be described as quaint. Viewers are more likely to
laugh than be shocked or appalled, although I should point
out that it was writer/director Frank Henenlotter's original
intention for it to be a little tongue-in-cheek, if not an
outright black comedy horror. Basket Case was a labour
of love for him, which began with a more than modest budget
of $7,000 but escalated before its completion to $160,000.
Even in 1982 this was peanuts for the film industry.
Henenlotter's 1988 film Brain
Basket Case has much to offer. The stop-motion sequences,
particularly the one in which Belial trashes the hotel room,
although dated, are well-handled for the time. But this film's
strongest asset is the emotional bond between Duane and Belial,
something you don't expect when it essentially involves a
lump of rubber which spends most of its in a basket and doesn't
talk audibly. This is testament more to the strength of the
script than the acting abilities of Kevin Van Hentenryck,
who wanders through the proceedings with a Frodo-like startled
are a trailer, a written film review by critic Alan Jones
(an oxymoron perhaps, as the review is favourable), and a
Tartan Terror trailer reel. The three filmographies are hardly
worth being present, as they're virtually identical, containing
the film titles Basket Case 1, 2 and 3,
Brain Damage and Frankenhooker.