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Image / 91 Minutes / 1983 / Unrated / Street Date: September 27, 2011
I had never seen Basket Case. All I knew was that it was a monster that lived in a basket that probably killed people. It’s a well-known horror movie from the 80s that turns out to be just about what you’d expect. What surprised me was how cheaply made it is. Cheesy puppets and some mismatched stop-motion animation were to be expected – even the super low budget production value, but the blocking and camerawork is very amateurish.
After an opening scene where a random man is killed in his house, we meet Duane, a twenty-something boy who carries around a basket and checks into a cheap motel in NYC. We soon learn that Belial, the name given to the titular character is Duane’s conjoined twin that has since been removed and now lives mostly in the basket. Belial does come out to kill various people and we learn that he is taking revenge on the people who separated the two brothers.
Subsequent murder scenes show more and more of the titular character in true horror movie form. This is what the film does well. The director did know how to keep some suspense going. The movie also doesn’t skimp on the blood and gore; instead it seems to rather delight in it. While the production is questionable and the effects are low budget in the end we’re given a somewhat successful 80s horror film. It’s not going to replace The Evil Dead on my shelf, but I can understand the film having a fan base.