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dwatts
05-01-2003, 06:41 PM
Well, want something weird? Want something bizarre? Want something undoubtedly unique? Want something strange?

Basket Case is a strange film unto itself. It tells the tale of Siamese twins, brothers joined at the hip. One of them is a fairly normal looking guy; the other is a mound of flesh with claws for hands. Separated against their will by doctors paid off by their parents to perform the clandestine surgery, the latter is discarded once the operation is complete. But then, late at night, the fleshy appendage is saved by his brother who takes him to New York to exact revenge on those who participated in their separation.

Why Basket Case? Well, how can you transport a mound of flesh with claws for hands? In a basket of course!

So goes the tale told by the first film – a cheapo camp movie with more humor than horror. Full of a bizarre surrealistic tone, Basket Case is an acquired taste for sure. Given the SE treatment some time ago, the original film has its fans, with lots of laughs, unintentional giggles (stop-motion work is a bit rough) and some gore.

Well, you can’t keep a good thing down – so after Basket Case came two more films, known not surprisingly as Basket Case 2 and Basket Case 3.

DVD: Synergy. Two films on one DVD (one each side). 1:33. Extras: Trailers. R0. Mono.

Damn – if you thought the first one was weird, bizarre and/or strange, trust me – you ain’t seen nothing yet. I just sat through both Basket Case 2 and Basket Case 3 – courtesy of Synergy.

Nothing about the first film prepares you for the two sequels. Firstly, the camp factor is cranked real high. These aren’t horror films, they’re comedies with some gore thrown in. Gone is the stop motion, instead we have strange puppets and what I guess were prosthetics.

However, that is not what makes these two films all the more weird. Nah, there’s more! You see, in Basket Case 2, the two twins wake in a hospital, having been nursed back to health after the accident at the end of the first film. Realizing they need to escape, they break out of the ward only to be “rescued” by Granny Ruth. Granny runs a secret home for, well, mutants.

The brothers move into this house, but sadly they are pursued by tabloid newspaper reporters, who want to expose them. This is the framework for the story. Rather than stay in hiding, the gang (although all killing is done by Belial, the one in the basket) go hunting for their prey, knocking them off one by one.

Now – that’s the basic framework. Add a little mutant sex (yes, we get to see Belial actually humping another mutant) and creatures popping out of normal women's stomachs, and you have a better idea of what to expect.

Looking like a cheaper version of Star Wars, we get to see these mutants in all their glory. Women with huge heads, men with teeth that look like spikes and even frogmen. There is simply no way I can describe what these folk are like, you just got to see it. Trust me though, they’re freaking weird.

Never forget, these two films are played almost entirely for laughs. So despite all the mutations, nothing is played for scares here. Don’t get thinking that a film full of mutants might actually be scary – it isn’t, not even for a second.

I found Basket Case 2 to be surprisingly original, funny, and entertaining. I had no expectations for it, but it actually delivered on a good time. This is a fun sequel, an instance where the writer/director took the thing in a direction I would never have guessed or anticipated.

Basket Case 3 starts with the results of all that sex. You see, Belials woman is expecting baby Belials! So all the mutants must get on a bus and go visit the only doctor they trust to do the delivery. That’s right – ROAD TRIP!!!

Expect to see mutants playing trumpets, trombones, and singing “Personality” in the back of a school bus. Expect heads being twisted around, jaws pulled off, a girl in leather underwear and a bullwhip, and more. Expect nothing horrifying, since once again this is all done with tongue planted firmly in cheek.

The climax to Basket Case 3 really says it all. In a homage to Aliens, Belial gets his very own robot body armor, with a claw for one hand, and a buzz saw in the other. He has a showdown with the local cop (who kidnaps Belials 12 babies) that ends in a rather predicable, but still strange way (I thought about ticks, to be honest).

You know what – I just sat and watched these two back to back, and I still cannot believe what I just saw. Who the hell made these freaky films? What was the intended audience? Just what drugs were they smoking when they came up with the idea, wrote the script, got financing, acted it out, edited the thing and released it? God bless America, because only in the US could something this out there have matured into a three film treat! I guarantee, you’ve seen nothing like these, and never will again.

Oh the DVD’s you ask? Well, I’m still in shock. I paid next to nothing for this (and when I got home I threw it on the sideboard and didn’t even THINK about watching it until today, on a whim). Yet despite all the bad things, cheap price, double pack, full screen, mono – the damn transfers are just fine, actually quite good! Having seen the SE of the original film, I’d say these were of the same quality. Hard to believe, but everything about the transfer was great and the sound was good too!

I have no idea how to review such a film – I honestly don’t. Think of the bar scenes in Star Trek and/or Star Wars, with all the strange monsters, and you have an idea of what most of these two flicks look like. Then, of course, Belial will jump out of his basket, go kick some ass, and come back, bloodstained, but kinda friendly.

The bottom line is, am I glad I own it? And I can hardly believe it myself – but hell yes! Having all three Basket Case films rocks. As bizarre as these are, they somehow work as a series too. I can’t explain it, you’ll just have to see for yourself.

One tip to Belial though, I think granny was right when she was giving advice about making friends and said, “Maybe pulling off their faces is not the best way to go about it”. He might want to think about it – once he gets out of that body armor.

Zodiac-Mindwarp
05-01-2003, 09:46 PM
A wonderful review Dwatts!

I love these movies, although I have not watched them for several years. After this review reminding me how good they are, I will have to be on the lookout for these in the future.

mcchrist
05-01-2003, 10:28 PM
Great review! I need that disc, bad!

Suicide
05-02-2003, 03:05 AM
Where'd you get this? I saw it mentioned somewhere before, but I can't remember where.

Zodiac-Mindwarp
05-02-2003, 04:16 AM
Originally posted by Suicide
Where'd you get this? I saw it mentioned somewhere before, but I can't remember where.

That is a great question.

I looked at several American DVD websites this afternoon, and sadly I could not find this double feature listed anywhere.

dwatts
05-02-2003, 10:24 AM
Sorry guys - I do a lot of travelling, and cannot always remember where I got things from :(

However! This looks like something I picked up in the UK:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00005NX0P/qid=1051863701/sr=1-4/ref=sr_1_2_4/202-5658134-2540619

This is definately it. Now - it says, "Not yet available: you may still order this title. We will dispatch it to you when it is released by the studio. " Which is absolutely BS. My copy is not a review copy, nor is it a bootleg. And it is definately not new (I must have owned this for a few months at least).

I think amazon are just out-of-date on the info.

Deaddevilman
05-02-2003, 10:37 AM
You can find it at http://www.pokerindustries.com/
It's a little pricey.

Deaddevilman
05-02-2003, 10:40 AM
dwatts, do you know anthing about a UK magazine called Uncut and if so, is it worth getting? Thanks.

dwatts
05-02-2003, 10:58 AM
I've seen it around, but have not read it - sorry.

This is it - right?

http://www.uncut.net/

Deaddevilman
05-02-2003, 11:03 AM
Thanks. Different magazine. This is it

Zodiac-Mindwarp
05-02-2003, 05:16 PM
Thanks much for the info Dwatts and Deaddevilman. :)

Wez4555
05-08-2003, 06:12 PM
whats the cheapest place to get import dvds?