Sunday, 3 November 2013

Review - Basket Case (1982 - Dir. Frank Henenlotter)

It's been a long time since I've seen Basket Case. So long ago it was on VHS. The reason why I've never upgraded to a DVD of it is because I felt that it was quite funny and quite horrific, (more bloody than gory) but 'quite' isn't enough to get me to part with my cash.

Duane Bradley (Kevin Van Hentenryck) checks into a hotel carrying just a basket. The basket contains a grizzly secret, his deformed brother, Belial. They are on a mission to get revenge on the doctors that caused them such grief. Being a handsome fellow, Duane gets plenty of attention from the lovely ladies. Things aren't all fun and games though, because Belial is Intensely jealous when Duane gets down with the ladies. And Belial has got rather sharp teeth.

On watching it again, I feel exactly the same. What it does have going for it though is a grimy, sleazy atmosphere that you only seem to get in films pre-1990. It's almost made to be watched on VHS rather than in hi-def on a shiny Blu-ray.

Another positive is Duane's hair. It is so big and luxurious. He looks a bit like Doncaster Rovers legend Colin Douglas. Let's compare (sorry the picture's such a low quality but Dougie comes from an era when photos were less prevalent):

It's also got a great ending that uses viewpoints very cleverly. And it's really seedy. Which is a bonus. 

I have to say I prefer the Belial puppet from this first film. It helps in creating the dirty atmosphere and crops up in a fair few iconic shots.The puppet used in the second is better technically but visually not as interesting. But Basket Case 2 does have some advantages over its precursor which we'll find out about in the next review.

If you like this you could also try:
Basket Case 2, Brain Damage.

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