While everyone else was busy listening to some serious bullshit being slung around about how me getting married is just going to RUIN everyone else’s life, I was making more worthwhile use of my time watching the Basket Case trilogy. So let’s get right to it.
BASKET CASE (1982)
Basket Case is one of those sleazy low-budget films that came out just at the right time to find a cult following on VHS. This movie is 1982 at its best. It takes place in a scuzzy New York City hotel full of low-lifes.
The plot is simple. Duane carries his brother Belial—a little mutant thing that was originally attached to Duane’s side when they were born—around in a basket. They come to New York to get revenge on the “doctors” that separated them.
Basket Case is the perfect blend of gross, disgusting, repulsive, fucked up, and so cheesy it’s virtually a comedy. There’s delicious bright red blood, hysterical stop motion animation of the basket case moving around, a rubber hand killing people, and a “sex” scene that puts you right in it, so to speak…and leaves an impression you’ll never forget.
On top of all that, the actress who plays the “vet” completely steals the show during her big kill scene, Duane runs around completely naked with his wanger hanging out, and his brother Belial really hits below the belt in a moment of fury, lifting poor Duane in the air by his crotch!
BASKET CASE 2 (1990)
The best thing about Basket Case 2 is that Belial is much more polished looking. Oh. And Duane is looking more mature, has lost the really bad Peter Frampton hair, and shows his bare ass.
Picking up where the first film left off, the brothers are taken in by a woman who provides a safe haven for freaks. So this is a big old freak movie, some of them icky, some of them cartoonish. Duane struggles to fit in because he feels out of place. Just when he’s ready to set out on his own to get a life, the media finds out where he and Belial are shacked up and come after them. So Duane agrees to stay and fight.
While there’s nothing scary about this film because the freaks are the “good guys,” there are some cool kills. A fun camera flash scene in the attic gives us a creepy strobe light kill. And a mask scene in a bar is eerie…until you realize it looks like the cantina scene from Star Wars.
The ending is just delicious and it’s the point at which the film reaches the heinous levels of the first film, from the sex scene between TWO basket cases to Duane going absolutely bat shit and doing the unthinkable to be close to Belial again. Of course, because this is 1990, it just doesn’t have the low-budget grit of the original 1982 film.
BASKET CASE 3: The Progeny (1992)
As usual, the way to kill a series is to make a sequel in the 90s. Basket Case 3 is a fricking disaster. A circus. An absolute farce.
Duane’s stuck in a strait jacket. The freaks go on a road trip. The lady from part 2 performs a musical number and the freaks sing background. Belial’s basket case girlfriend gives birth to dozens of little Belials. Belial is surrounded by naked woman sucking on his fingers. Duane ends up in jail and the sheriff’s daughter comes into his cell for some S&M. Belial ends up inside a M.E.C.H. like Sigourney Weaver at the end of Aliens.
Basket Case 3 goes so far off the deep end in its attempt to be zany it’s insulting. And the evolving relationship between Duane and Belial isn’t explored (I can’t believe I just said that) until the last half hour.