John's Horror Banana-nanza Episode Thirteen : Basket Case

A splitting image...
A splitting image...

In the weird, lost world of VHS rental stores, I came across some strange titles, and even stranger cover art. One of my favorites, however, was 1982's "Basket Case", directed by a crazy fellow named Frank Henenlotter. The movie looks grainy, trashy and sometimes, childish. At least, until a stop motion mutant conjoined twin starts tearing people's faces off.

The movie starts off with a guy named Duane walking around carrying a picnic basket and going to some trashy hotel. Turns out, his conjoined twin Belial is in the basket. The two of them have a plan, which is to kill off a bunch of doctors that separated them, then threw Belial in the trash. Yes, you heard right. I mean, come on! It's the 80's! You can't just throw your patients in the garbage (or your house mother in the pool, but that's for another day) and expect not to get brutally demolished!

The effects are completely insane in this movie. I've never seen stop motion this frightening and hilarious at the same time. The creature basically just climbs on people and I guess scratches them, although I'm not entirely sure how he kills them, or how he can even move. But believe me, he can move.

Duane meets Sharon and they start getting frisky. Of course, that is also a no-no in the 80's, and since Belial and Duane have a psychic connection, Duane starts having fears that Belial will kill Sharon. So he races over to her house and sure enough, after trying to rape Sharon, Belial has killed her. Again, I don't know how he thought he was going to rape her...or kill her...but he managed it somehow.

So Duane starts losing his patience just a tad and runs out into the streets carrying Belial. They end up in a hotel room...and there's some ball grabbing. I won't tell you the ending, but I will say it doesn't really matter, because there's two more of these movies.

So if you like complete insanity, stop motion madness, and low budget mayhem, this is a nice little 90 minute film for you, that has a neat sense of humor, and is definitely not in the mold of most horror movies


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