Basket Case

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All of our families have secrets. Like a child with an illness or disorder. For some reason, one member is embarrassed of it, and doesn’t even want them in their sights. I find that pretty low, and lousy ya know? If my son ever had an illness or deformity I wouldn’t shun him away, I’d embrace him like the family he is to me, not like the dad did in the 1982 release of Frank Henenlotter’s “Basket Case.”


Written by Frank Henelotter, the Dialogue was very well written in my opinion. It was very good at matching the type of character, and what you’d expect them to sound like. Duane sounded like a “good boy” very polite and mannerish. Paced VERY well, which is something I didn’t think it’d considering how little known it is.


The acting was VERY good in this. Kevin Van Hentenryck was outstanding in his performance as Duane Bradley, the brother keeper of his twin Belial. Terri Susan Smith played a great supporting character as Duane’s love interest. Kevin had quite the job of playing a role that gets very emotional, and talking to a puppet brother, which the sold very convincingly. I am a bit disappointed that Mr. Hentenrtck didn’t get more offers to act than he did. I thought he was an exceptional actor, and found out he wash he was in “Rapturious,” which was good to see him in more recent work, hope to see more of that in the time to come.


The plot was very appealing to me. I loved the feel of this, the unknown that is within the basket, and what the hell it is keeps you glued to the film. I liked the comedic aspects in it too. Like the manager of the hotel, his whole attitude brought a great ratio between laughter and cringe throughout the feature. This film explored a lot about the brother bondage that is developed throughout a lifetime, and how that can both help and hurt the individuals. Even though this film probably won’t gain the cult status of the likes of “The Evil Dead”, it still should be given a WHOLE lot for than it is given.


Composed by Gus Russ, who also composed “Brain Damage”, the music in the film really set the mood well. It had a great echoing sound which really was unique, not as unique as the “Halloween” theme, but still a memorable one in my books.


Overall this is an instant cult classic to me, and I think everyone should see this, and it should be an edition in everyone’s DVD collection. This was a definitive exploitation film, and one of Frank Henelotter’s best pieces of work. You should def. buy this film, and check out Franks other works like “Basket Case 2,” Basket Case 3,” “Brain Damage”, “Frankenhooker”, and “Bad Biology.”


4/5 Reels
Golden Squid Rating
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Basket Case (20th Anniversary Special Edition)



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