Thursday, December 4, 2008


Frank Henenlotter's "Basket Case 2". Anybody out there familiar with Henenlotter's work? HIs movies are darkly humorous, twisted, macabre, and oddly human. I love his work.

"Basket Case" is about Duane and his deformed Siamese twin Belial. They were seperated when Duane was a teenager because Belial was just too grotesque. He was attached to Duane's side and is nothing more than a grossly deformed head with two arms coming out of each side and what appears to be a mutated spinal cord growing from the back of his head. The doctors who seperated the two threw Belial in the trash but Duane rescued him and let him live in a picnic basket. They swore revenge on Belial's would be murderers and eventually killed everyone involved in the surgery.

Belial and Duane share a psychic bond: they share thoughts and communicate without speaking. Duane seeks female companionship but Belial is jealous because he cannot experience these things because of his appearance. Eventually the two get into a fight and wind up throwing each other out of the window of their apartment. They fall to their death on the streets of New York...or do they?

Enter 'Basket Case 2". It picks up right where the first one left off and finds Duane and Belial being rescued and taken to a hospital. They are also being investigated for multiple murders and are the center of media attention. Needing to get out of the spotlight, they escape from the hospital and are rescued by the leader of a commune for the grossly deformed. The commune takes them in and Duane and Belial are right at home. The inhabitants of this refuge are a sight. They give George Lucas' creatures in the Mos Eisley Cantina in Star Wars a run for their money. They are very creatively designed.

Things are going well for Duane and Belial. Belial finds love in a female that looks just like him...there is a sex scene between Belial and his companion that will blow your mind. But things cannot stay peaceful forever....there is a pesky female reporter that has to have their story. If the media finds where they are, everyone is in trouble....cultist communes with mutant abominations are not exactly legal.....So everyone vows to defend their secrecy and soon all hell breaks loose and a gory bloodbath ensues as they defend themselves against the media.Eventually there is no more threat from the media.

Eventually there is no more threat from the media. Everyone is at peace. Belial is happy, but Duane is not...he is tired of being considered a freak and wants to lead a normal life. He is in love with a woman at the commune who appears to be normal....or is she? Watch as Duane hovers on the brink of insanity.....

What happens next? Well, you have to watch the movie.

"Basket Case 2" is a well made movie. The acting, the effects, the production, and the script are all good. If you've seen the first "Basket Case" you will be shocked at how good this movie looks. The first one was grimy, dark and surreal, partly due to budget issues. The second one is much easier on the eye but still conveys the same mood.

You don't have to watch the first one to understand the sequel, as you find out what you need to know in flashbacks. I would recommend you see the first one, because you will be hooked on Henenlotter after watching "Basket Case 2" and you'll want to see everything he's ever made. I just can't get enough of Duane and Belial. There is a "Basket Case 3" out there but it is next to impossible to find and I'm dying to see it.

Highly recommended.


Anonymous said...

The Basket Case trilogy is one of my favorites. 3 is definitely worth the trouble of finding it; it's just as ridiculous as the second one.

Steve Smith said...

I can't wait to get my hands on Basket Case 3!