Basket Case (1982) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

Basket Case (1982) Review

by Yo Adrian on February 10th, 2020 | Movie Review | Mutant, Vengeance, Splatter, B-Horror

Basket Case was directed by Frank Henenlotter (who also directed Basket Case 2) and stars Kevin Van Hentenryck (from Basket Case 3), Terri Susan Smith and Beverly Bonner. It's about a guy who wanders around New York with his murderous mutant twin brother in a basket.

The tenant in room 7 is very small, very twisted and very mad

Sorry, but there's no way to talk about Basket Case without immediately spoiling it. The plot is so basic there's just no way around it. Sure, a couple of things happen near the end that you might not see coming, but the official synopsis does reveal like 90% of the mystery behind this cult classic.

The first 30 minutes of Basket Case works to build massive suspense over what our protagonist Duane keeps in the basket, after promoting it with a plot summary that tells you exactly what's in the basket.

So, now you know what's in the basket. BUT the cool thing about Basket Case is that it doesn't really matter that you know what's in the basket, it's what comes after this big reveal that makes the movie timeless.

Belial, Duane's mutant siamese twin, is a freakishly awesome product of low budget practical effects. And when I say low budget I mean super low budget. There's actually a couple of scenes that sport some choppy stop motion to show Belial moving around (video below).

BUT the cooler thing about Basket Case is that the low budget vibe doesn't hurt the movie in any way, rather it makes it special. The lasting impact of this movie is similar to other legendary low budget cult classics like Ms. 45 and Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer. Basket Case, like Ms 45 and Henry, is suprisingly powerful. You might not realize it right away, but it's one of those movies you can never quite get out of your mind. It's bizarre, funny, grungy, bloody and tragic.

It's written, cast, directed and crafted better than you'd expect for being a movie cobbled together with a whopping $35k (around $200k in today's dollars). The entire crew consisted of only 4-5 guys. Most of the names in the ending credits are actually fake, used just as filler so the movie would look legit.

The coolest thing about Basket Case is that a small crew spending rent money and faking credits only makes the impact created in this movie that more impressive. But don't take my word from it, here's a few snippets from IMDb user reviews:

"Possibly the ultimate grindhouse exploitation movie" 8/10

"A trash classic all the way... guaranteed to delight" 8/10

"So sleazy you'll want to take a shower afterwards!" 10/10

"The first five minutes totally shattered my expectations" 9/10

"This movie is a classic. That's all there is to it." 8/10

"Essential 80's horror. Cheap, nasty and lots of fun" 9/10

Belial Basket Case

Worth Watching? 

Assuming you're cool with low budget 80's creature features, than yes. Definitely. If you haven't seen it yet you need to, now.

Basket Case Review (1982) Worth Watching? - ALLHORROR Tweet it


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