HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Shazam!
Follow Me
Leto
Fugitive Girls
Missing Link
Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, The
Pet Sematary
Oh... Rosalinda!!
Dumbo
Kaleidoscope
Night Is Short, Walk On Girl
Knight of Shadows: Between Yin and Yang, The
Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich
Klute
Meow
Killer Crocodile
Nutcracker Prince, The
Secret World of Og, The
Benjamin
Fifth Cord, The
Man Could Get Killed, A
Cyborg 009: Kaiju War
Heavy Trip
Nightmare Weekend
Blue Ice
Great Scout & Cathouse Thursday, The
Incident, The
Hell's Angels
Heaven and Earth
Flatliners
Us
mid90s
Holiday
Lovin' Molly
Manhunt in the City
Click: The Calendar Girl Killer
Teen Witch
Devil's Brigade, The
Luck & Logic
Duel of the Masters
   
 
Newest Articles
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
Hammer's Bloodthirsty Bad Girls 1970: Lust for a Vampire and Countess Dracula
Hammer to Fall: Kiss Me Deadly on Blu-ray
Home of the Grave: The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum on Blu-ray
Wondrous Women: Supergirl vs Captain Marvel
Things Have Changed: Films You'd Be Insane to Make Now
The Hole in the Ground: Director Lee Cronin Interview
She's Missing: Director Alexandra McGuinness Interview
Woo's the Boss: Last Hurrah for Chivalry & Hand of Death on Blu-ray
Get Ahead in Showbiz: Expresso Bongo and It's All Happening
Outer Space and Outta Sight: Gonks Go Beat on Blu-ray
Tucked: The Derren Nesbitt Interview
   
 
  Basket Case The Wicker ManBuy this film here.
Year: 1982
Director: Frank Henenlotter
Stars: Kevin Van Hentenryck, Terri Susan Smith, Beverly Bonner, Robert Vogel, Diana Browne, Lloyd Pace, Bill Freeman, Joe Clarke, Ruth Neuman, Richard Pierce
Genre: Horror, Comedy, Trash
Rating:  6 (from 4 votes)
Review: Frank Henenlotter’s zippy gore favourite still exudes a seedy charm and features one of the 80s’ most memorable monsters, the vengeful toothy blob known as Belial.

Belial was once attached to his siamese twin Duane (Kevin Van Hentenryck), a normal young fellow in every other respect. When their father had them separated at the age of 12, Belial was thrown out with the garbage, only the telepathic link with Duane saving him. Reunited, the brothers dispatch their dad and spend the next eight years in the care of a kindly aunt, the only person not repulsed by Belial’s appearance. When she dies, Duane, now 20, places Belial in a wicker basket and heads to New York to find the doctors who performed their separation and seek bloody revenge.

Basket Case’s best scenes take place at the Broslin Hotel, the crummy fleapit on Times Square where Duane and Belial come to stay. Henenlotter populates the hotel with assorted winos, women of dubious morals and general weirdos, and there’s a hilarious performance from Robert Vogel as the hotel manager who seems to sit 24 hours a day behind his little window in the lobby. Acting-wise he’s probably the best thing in it – Kevin Van Hentenryck does manage a certain tortured naivete, but is otherwise resolutely wooden, while the rest of the cast run the gamut from terrible to hopeless. But they do at least seem to be having fun.

Despite their vow of revenge, cracks do start appearing in Duane and Belial’s relationship. Duane gets interested in Sharon (Terri Susan Smith), the kooky receptionist of one of the doomed doctors, their first kiss sending his brother into an insane rage (courtesy of some wonderfully awful stop-motion effects). As in his later Brain Damage, Henenlotter attempts to give his story of a boy and his monster more depth than most, and the way Belial puts a stop to Duane’s budding friendship with Sharon is both gruesome and uncomfortably funny.

In a way, Henenlotter lessens the impact of what could have been darkly twisted in the vein of Eraserhead by playing so much of the film for obvious laughs. But this is still a delightfully unwholesome yarn, aptly dedicated in the end credits to gore-godfather Herschell Gordon Lewis. Followed in 1990 and 1992 by a pair of inferior sequels.
Reviewer: Daniel Auty

 

This review has been viewed 10339 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Frank Henenlotter  (1950 - )

American director of trashy horror comedies. Made his debut in 1982 with the cult splatter favourite Basket Case, which he followed in 1988 with the similarly themed, equally gruesome drug addiction-analogy Brain Damage. Frankenhooker was a taste-free updating of Frankenstein, while Basket Cases 2 and 3 followed in the early 90s. After a long gap overseeing the preservation and distribution of vintage grindhouse movies, he returned to directing with Bad Biology in 2008.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
Enoch Sneed
  Derrick Smith
Darren Jones
   

 

Last Updated: