Low budget 80’s horror Basket Case provides exactly the sort of cheap shocks you’d expect from a film of this genre.
Telling the story of Duane Bradley (Kevin Van Hentenryck), the film follows Duane as he checks into an inner city hotel. Never without his basket, Duane is a recluse unaccustomed to the hubbub of city life. For much of the first half of the film the contents of the basket remains a mystery; it spends its time gorging on an amazing amount of food and is easily rattled.
Duane sets out on a journey that takes him to various doctors. It is thanks to these visits that the inhabitant of the basket is revealed alongside some flashback scenes that flesh out Duane’s life story. With his mother dying during child birth, he is later separated from his Siamese twin due to the horrifying picture they present. Though the doctors think the toothy brother dead, Duane finds and rescues him…
The story is one set on revenge, with Duane and his decidedly low budget twin seeking bloody payback for their separation. The production values of the film let down a surprisingly good premise; the ADR is clunky whilst the acting is suspect at best. Lingering shots on faces set with mock horror do little to aid the progression of the movie.
Amidst the mayhem, Duane finds time for love but this too is short-lived with Sharon (Terri Susan Smith) being ditched so that Duane can devote his spare time to ensuring his homicidal brother doesn’t go on any unplanned killing sprees.
Although the mix of gratuitous gore and countless terrible 80’s bouffants has made Basket Case a cult classic, you’d do best to steer clear if you’re more accustomed to more polished films.
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