Basket Case

Year: 1981

Director: Frank Henenlotter

Written by: Frank Henenlotter

Threat: Mutants

Weapon of Choice: Claws

IMDb page: IMDb link

      Basket Case

Other movies in this series:
Basket Case 2
Basket Case 3: The Progeny

Rish Outfield's reviews
A twisted, perverse, but oddly-appealing horror film. A poor guy with really big hair moves into a New York apartment building (in a part of town only Travis Bickle would drive around in) carrying a basket. Inside the basket is his horribly deformed, recently-separated siamese twin. Mayhem ensues. Everyone is sleazy in this flick, and I couldn't help but feel a little sleazy myself afterward. It was made on no budget and it shows. Still, there were some cute moments, boys and girls. Cute in an opposite-of-cute sort of way, of course. The back of the video case quoted Rex Reed as saying, "Basket Case is the sickest movie I've ever seen!" and it's used as a compliment. That should tell you what to expect. And yes, it was sick. But fun, for the most part. The ending was disappointing--I thought it was going one place and they took me in a completely less-satisfying, less rewarding direction. The disturbing climactic rape scene left good taste miles behind, and helped detour the film from one I'd watch again to one I was glad to put back on the shelf.
Best Scare: One of the myriad times the sick little puppet-guy popped out.
I'd Recommend It To: Select, indiscriminate horror fans--especially those who are attracted by the aforementioned Rex Reed quote.

The tyranist's thoughts
Terrible. It just was. And how that poor girl died! Well, if you are very into low budget, gross-out kind of flicks, this one may be the one for you. It largely takes place in a very seedy hotel and involves the most terrible kind of twins. I am having a very hard time reviewing this movie simply because I found it so lacking in charm. I wouldn't say it was disturbing like Maniac, but instead more like having someone show you their third grade clay model that is supposed to be human and really appears to be some kind of deformed lemur. I would say that you should just stay away from this one, but I know people who say you absolutely shouldn't miss it. Just think about how that poor girl died.
Okay, I know that those last few sentences are really just going to make some of you want to see it even more. What can I do to dissuade you. This movie is cheap. This movie is poorly acted. There are scenes that make absolutely no sense. There is maybe one character that it is even possible to empathize with. This movie lacks many of the more basic niceties. Niceties aren't something a lot of people think about when they are considering a horror film, but I believe that they are still necessary to enjoy any film. Little things like not taking your audience for granted. Attempting to convince the audience that there is a plot. Actually making the characters' pasts make sense. Without little things like this a film is only so much celluloid.

Total Skulls: 22

Sequel setup
Rips off earlier film
Horror film showing on TV/in theater in movie
Future celebrity appears
Former celebrity appears
Bad title skull
Bad premise
Bad acting skull
Bad dialogue skull
Bad execution skull
MTV Editing
OTS skull
Girl unnecessarily gets naked
Wanton sex
Death associated with sex skull
Unfulfilled promise of nudity
Characters forget about threat
Secluded location
Power is cut skull
Phone lines are cut skull
Someone investigates a strange noise skull
Someone runs up stairs instead of going out front door
Camera is the killer skull
Victims cower in front of a window/door
Victim locks self in with killer skull
Victim running from killer inexplicably falls
Toilet stall scene
Shower scene
Car stalls or won't start
Cat jumps out
Fake scare
Laughable scare skull
Stupid discovery of corpse skull
Dream sequence skull
No one believes only witness
Crazy, drunk, old man knows the truth
Music detracts from scene
Death in first five minutes skull
What the hell? skullskull
x years ago . . . skull
Dark and stormy night
Killer doesn't stay dead
Killer wears a mask
Killer is in closet
Killer is in car with victim
Villain is more sympathetic than heroes
Unscary villain/monster
Blood fountain skull
Blood hits camera
Poor death effect skullskull
Excessive gore skull
No one dies at all
Virgin survives
Geek/Nerd survives
Little kid lamely survives
Dog/Pet miraculously survives
Unresolved subplots
"It was all a dream" ending
Unbelievably happy ending
Unbelievably crappy ending