Sunday, March 27, 2011

Basket Case: Terrible, Horrible and Amazing

Basket Case is another one of those movies that I had the complete wrong idea about. Like Monkey Shines and Dead Alive, I would also have to blame the cover art here.

I always thought that the creature inside the basket was some kind of Sloth-like mutant. A kind of short, maybe dwarf like abomination that for one reason or another lived inside a basket....and ate people. It's not like the actual look of the thing inside the basket has to exactly match what is shown to us but still---false advertising!

Actually, you know what he looks like? Mrs. Doubtfire's mask when she's (he's) not wearing it..!

I really had no clue though that Basket Case was about separated siamese twins. Actually, I had no clue about anything happening in Basket Case at all. Funny? Bloody? Ridiculous? All of the above---and all this time I thought it was just about some monster stuck in a basket.

As I said up there, Basket Case follows Dwayne and his deformed brother that lives in a basket. When he was younger, the Dwayne was separated from his Siamese twin, who was a giant ball of flesh and a head with teeth. Now the two seek vengeance against the doctor's that separated them and left the abnormality to die. But can Dwayne control his brother's need to rip apart anything that comes between them?

Perhaps the most surprising aspect of Basket Case is that it is horribly done-- and I mean that as a compliment believe it or not. The acting is hilariously bad, as are the wigs--

and the claymation sequences involving the head blob are pee your pants outrageous. I tweeted during watching the film that I couldn't decide if Basket Case was being serious or not, to which every one replied definitely NOT. Personally however, I can't help but feel like some of it had to be serious. They had to have thought they were making a truly scary film right? Maybe just a little? The thing about Basket Case is that I think the movie is funnier if you pretend that they were being serious.

Alright, alright I know they weren't being serious. But I just want to pretend that they were ok? OK?!

If I had to pick a part about Basket Case that I loved, it would be very, very difficult. This is because almost all of it was priceless entertainment. The kind of entertainment that only a badly placed wig, and a dream about running naked through the streets of New York can supply. Where do I begin? How about, I cannot for the life of me figure out how that abnormal blob of a person (?) moved around. When he was amputated you can very clearly see he has no legs.

How does this work...!? This to me is the best part---that the bad twin can just slide around like he has wheels attached. It makes absolutely no sense but it's not supposed to! That's the beauty of Basket Case, everything is ridiculous and we like it that way.

Take for instance the final scene where the blob somehow maybe rapes a woman. Was that what he was doing? Touching some boobies and maybe getting frisky? We don't know! All we know is that there is a lot of blood by her vagina. Does the blob head have a penis? Doubt it. Seriously, what was going on??

I mean there is a plethora of questions going on that don't matter in the slightest but are too hilarious to ignore. My favorite is trying to figure out why the blob head (did he have a real name? I forget...) suddenly got a case of the Zoltar's.

You know...a random case of red glowing eyes?

It was so strange. Is he the devil? Does he need eye drops? Do his eyes glow before he is about to kill. God, I have so many questions! So many!

Now, aside from all this hilarity, I do have to say that the blood and gore in Basket Case is kind of exceptional.

Well, hilarious---but still bloody and fun. I especially loved the Veterinarian's death scene. Although I still can't figure out how having her shoved in a drawer of scalpels turns out such precise results but oh well.

Basket Case isn't a movie to get uppity about. Sure it's awful but it's one of those special awful movies that is secretly good. Good because it's hilarious and because much to my disappointment, it does not take itself very seriously. Don't expect to be wowed by Basket Case. It looks terrible, it's poorly acted and the writing is laugh out loud horrible. The first time you see what the "monster" really looks like you will choke on your apple juice and spit it at your cat. Not that I would know or anything...

Yes, Basket Case you are a bad, bad film but you stole my heart. You remind me yet again that New York was once a very scary place to be and that yes it is possible to have a head with hands growing out of your side.

You give me hope that one day I will get drunk with a prostitute and she will bring me home and not try to rape me.

You keep my faith invested in the power of spur of the moment surgery performed in someone's dining room. And of course, you remind me that it's okay to lock my sibling in a basket, and carry it around with me every where I go.

Bless you.


Anonymous said...

This movie looks absolutely insane. I for one frequently enjoy locking my siblings in a basket.

combustion07 said...

One of the best.

mwilliams1220 said...

case of the Zoltar's-Great stuff! What great reading to have with my morning coffee.

Basket Case is a movie I enjoyed way more the second time I watched it (about 20 years after the first time). I feel it is definitely a required viewing for any fan of horror or cult movies.

You might also want to check out Frank Henenlotter's other films. Bad Biology is available via Netflix streaming (we live in such a magnificent age!).

I wrote about it on my blog, WIWLN. There is also a link to a great Mondo Movie podcast about Frank H. that was very interesting to listen to.


Count me in as a fan of this film as well. Maybe it is because I grew up in generally the same neck of the woods as Belial and Dwayne but I think this film really captures my worldview.

Somehow this film is gross, funny and heartfelt and iof you haven't seen it you should.

(And I always thought Terri Susan Smith aka 'Sharon' was kind of hot... wig an all!)

(Also apparently she had to wear the wig because she had a mohawk...)

Hhhhh said...

Have you seen Henenlotter's other movies? I think the acting probably was pretty bad in Basket Case, but people tend to say that about all of his movies, sometimes unfairly I think. It's more that he just always writes his main character's dialogue really strangely.

Pretty much all of his movies have a main character whose dialogue is mostly soliloquy. It makes all of his characters look a little bit insane... which they usually are, so it works out. Even Bad Biology was like that.