Basket Case

Basket Case

4.5 2
Director: Frank Henenlotter

Cast: Frank Henenlotter, Sean McCabe, Kevin Van Hentenryck, Ilze Balodis

     
 

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The poor social skills of a young yokel turn out to have a horrifying explanation in this low-budget splatterfest, which marks the debut of Frankenhooker director Frank Henenlotter. The film begins with a bloody prologue and the arrival of young Duane Bradley (Kevin Van Hentenryck) at a broken-down New York hotel full of drunks, hookers, and assorted weirdos.…  See more details below

Overview

The poor social skills of a young yokel turn out to have a horrifying explanation in this low-budget splatterfest, which marks the debut of Frankenhooker director Frank Henenlotter. The film begins with a bloody prologue and the arrival of young Duane Bradley (Kevin Van Hentenryck) at a broken-down New York hotel full of drunks, hookers, and assorted weirdos. An upstate native with few big-city survival skills, the earnest Duane seems slightly off. He flashes lots of bills at the hotel manager, carries a large wicker basket with him, and seems bewildered at the variety of characters on display. Once he's alone, Duane's own behavior becomes bewildering as he talks incessantly to some unseen presence and drops prodigious quantities of fast food into his basket. After Duane visits a surgeon's office and the doctor gets rendered into a mangled corpse, all becomes clear; Duane is half of a pair of Siamese twins who were separated against their will in a brutal operation a decade earlier. Belial, his lumpen, beachball-sized brother, secretly survived the procedure and now wants to exact revenge on those who separated him from Duane. Things go according to plan except for one thing: Duane falls hard for coy, busty Sharon (Terri Susan Smith), the receptionist of one of the nefarious doctors. That doesn't sit well with the malformed Belial, who's as attracted to Sharon as he is jealous of Duane's romance with her. Although no sequel appeared for several years, Basket Case was eventually followed by Basket Case 2 and Basket Case 3: The Progeny; Hentenryck and Belial also make a cameo in the director's Brain Damage.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Brian J. Dillard
This quirky, inventive little comedy-shocker was only the first of many efforts from writer/director Frank Henenlotter, and it's certainly his most modestly budgeted outing. The gory auteur gets around this problem throughout much of the film by using suggestion rather than explicit special effects and focusing on the clash between Kevin Van Hentenryck's wholesome if offbeat Duane and the assortment of freaks who surround him in his bowery abode. With this fish-out-of-water framework in place, the director slowly teases out his revelations about evil twin Belial, culminating in an extended flashback that is among the film's most cheerfully creepy segments. The lumpy little guy himself is often shown only in flashes, jumping out of his basket on attackers or attached to his victims' necks. Unfortunately, Henenlotter stretches his budget with a pair of extended sequences that utilize stop-motion animation of a quality several steps below that of your average Christmas claymation extravaganza. Far more effective are those scenes that go for lots of blood and just a little Belial, or those that use puppetry, stationary poses, and offbeat humor. (One sequence involving indoor plumbing proves particularly amusing.) Although Beverly Bonner makes a strong impression as Casey, the hooker with a heart of gold who befriends the bewildered Duane, the rest of the acting is what you'd expect from a low-budget horror film. Playing Duane like a particularly winsome autistic child, Van Hentenryck exhibits a strange kind of charisma, but it's hard to tell whether he's a master thespian or just inexperienced. Lucky for him, Henenlotter has learned a lot from the schlock horror of the '50s and '60s, and fashioned a vehicle that renders all such questions of quality and skill moot.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/27/2011
UPC:
0014381733556
Original Release:
1982
Rating:
NR
Source:
Image Entertainment
Region Code:
A
Presentation:
[Full Frame]
Sound:
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
1:31:00
Sales rank:
26,561

Special Features

New video introduction by Frank Henenlotter; Audio commentary by director Frank Henenlotter, producer Edgar Levins, and actress Beverly Bonner; Rare outtakes and behind-the-scenes footage from the director's personal collection; Two theatrical trailers plus TV spot; 2001 video short: in search of the hotel Broslin; Two rare Basket Case radio spots; Gallery of Basket Case exploitaiton art and behind-the-scene photos

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Sean McCabe Young Duane
Kevin Van Hentenryck Duane Bradley
Ilze Balodis Social Worker
Terri Susan Smith Sharon
Beverly Bonner Casey
Tom Robinson Thief in Theater
Chris Babson Casey's Date
Robert Vogel Hotel manager
Diana Browne Dr. Judith Kutter
Maria T. Newland Patient
Lloyd Pace Dr. Harold Needleman
Florence Shultz Nurse
Bill Freeman Dr. Julius Lifflander
Mary Ellen Shultz Nurse
Constantine Scopas Hotel Tenant
Charles Stanley Hotel Tenant
Sydney Best Hotel Tenant
Johnny Ray Williams Hotel Tenant
Yousef Abuhamdeh Hotel Tenant
Lubi Kirsch Hotel Tenant
Catherine Russell Hotel Tenant
Mitchell Huval Hotel Tenant
Pat Ivers Street Girl
Emily Armstrong Street Girl
Noel Hall Drake
Bruce Frankel Second Detective
Russell Fritz Casey's John
Richard Pierce Mr. Bradley
Kerry Ruff Detective
Joe Clarke Brian "Mickey" O'Donovan
Ruth Neuman Aunt
Dorothy Strongin Josephine

Technical Credits
Frank Henenlotter Director,Editor,Screenwriter
Ilze Balodis Casting
Arnie Bruck Executive Producer
John Caglione Makeup Special Effects
Ken Clark Makeup
Bruce Frankel Camera Operator
Kevin Haney Makeup Special Effects
Jerome Horowitz Asst. Director
Edgar Ievins Producer
Tom Kaye Executive Producer
Frederick Loren Art Director
David Maswick Score Composer
Ugis Nigals Makeup
Gus Russo Score Composer
Jonathan Sinaiko Camera Operator
Mort Tashman Production Manager
Peter Thomas Sound/Sound Designer
Bruce Torbet Cinematographer
Emily Webster Sound Editor

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Basket Case 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I swear that i watched this movie and collapsed a lung. Though its not supposed to be funny, who could not laugh at Belial?
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie was great if you can enjoy a b-rated horror movie for what it is. Belial is great.