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Classic Drive-in Horror "Basket Case" Comes to Netflix
Belial coming out of his basket
Annie Ross as Granny Ruth ............. in Basket Case 2 and BC 3
If you have had enough of those cheap horrors that hollywood is spitting out these days, go to Netflix and watch Basket Case to see a cheap horror that hollywood spat out 30 years ago that will equal or surpass anything available today.
The film is about conjoined twins Duane and Belial Bradley. In profile, Duane looks perfecly normal. Seen from the front, viewers are shocked at the sight of a gnarled mass protruding from his side - it's a potato sack sized lump of partially formed head, shoulders and arms. That mute and seemingly inert mass is Belial.
Duane speaks normally and he is also able to communicate telepathically with his brother.
The boys' mother died in childbirth, leaving the father in an angry and unbalanced state. He hates Belial and finds three doctors willing to sever the deformed child so that Duane can have a normal life. Bloody surgery does indeed loosen Belial from Duane. Thrust into a garbage bag, Belial is left to die in the rubbish pile. Bad mistake. Duane gets a telepathic shriek from his brother and retrieves him.
Skipping ahead a bit, there is a kindly aunt who loves both of the boys and gives them a good home. But of course - benign aunts do not live forever - she
dies and the boys are on their own.
Now the real fun of the movie begins as Duane gently puts Belial in a basket and they trot off to New York City. Let the games begin!
When I owned a video store in the 70's and 80's, the popularity of the VHS of this movie was only topped by the thrillers, "Nightmare on Elm Street", "Last House on the Left", and the original "Friday the 13th" (with Betsy Palmer).
Check this classic out on Netflix. You will not be disappointed.
The producers made two sequels and I hope Netflix will bring them on. They are almost as good as the first one and both add some interesting twists to the legend.
One of the stars of the second and third installments, Annie Ross, seems an extremely unlikely choice; but she performs very well. She plays kindly Granny Ruth who takes in people like Belial and nurtures them.
In real life Annie Ross (born in London in 1930) is an extraordinary singer of a style called 'vocalese' and SHE MAY BE THE BEST SINGER OF THIS STYLE ON EARTH. Back in the 50s and 60s she sang with ;Lambert Hendricks and Ross' and this group was voted best Jazz vocal trio for four or five years straight until Annie left the group.
Check out LHR on Youtube. She has to be heard to be bellieved. Here's an LHR classic with commentary by none other than the late Carmen McCrae who has high praise for Annie.