Fright Fest Review #17: Basket Case (1982)

The original Wicker Man
The original Wicker Man

Subgenre:  Exploitation

Summary:  A young man and his deformed conjoined twin seek revenge on the doctors who separated them.

Review:  Basket Case is the tale of a small-town kid and his vestigial twin seeing the big city for the first time.  I know, I know, total cliché.  But Basket Case manages to transcend its rather mundane premise to deliver a wholly enjoyable B-movie.

Duane is a pleasant (if strange) twenty-year-old who arrives in Manhattan with a vacant stare on his face and a misshapen freak in his basket.  After checking into a fleabag hotel, Duane and his brother Belial get to work tracking down the doctors responsible for their untimely separation.  But tension mounts when Duane starts spending time with sexy nurse Sharon, which raises the ire of his brother.

To be honest, Basket Case is not a good movie.  The editing is jerky, the acting is terrible, the dialogue is horrendous, and the effects are laughable.  But the one area in which Basket Case succeeds, and the one that matters most, is entertainment value.  Whether I was watching actors pretend to be attacked by a rubber puppet, Duane’s one-sided conversations with a closed basket, or Belial feeling up a sleeping woman, I was never less than captivated during my viewing.

The Verdict:  Tasteless, incompetent, and tons of fun, Basket Case is the killer-vestigial twin movie we deserve.  I give it seven Siamese psychopaths out of ten.

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