Basket Case 1982


I know I should have had this up yesterday, but just like in sports there is an occasional rain delay, in Horror there is an occasional Heavy Metal delay. Last night was that most epic delay, with the Sword and Kyuss rocking Stubbs like it had never been rocked before. Also @TheSword retweeted me—yeah!!

On to the movie….

I want to start the month with a special dedication to a film critic hero of mine: Joe Bob Briggs.

I know some may not be familiar, but Joe Bob was like an oasis for me growing up. His drive-thru movie syndicated column was my first exposure to film criticism in B-movies and horror flicks and he helped me feel sane. There wasn’t anything wrong with me because I loved this stuff and even thought it could be funny or smart. Suddenly my late night pre-teen TV watching of crap movies on peripheral channels in D/FW made sense. And he was, and still is, freaking hilarious.

One of the first reviews I recall reading from Joe Bob concerned the movie Basket Case. It’s about a man named Duane who was cruelly separated from his conjoined twin, Belial, in a ‘back-alley’ operation. By the way, Duane and Belial topped the lists of popular names in this era, for the obvious reasons. Anyway, the mutant, stunted twin was callously tossed in the trash. But the boys remained connected mentally and upon reuniting, strengthened their emotional bonds and sought revenge on those who split them. Also, little brother lives in a basket. No one seems to question it being carried around constantly. This reminds me of life, I often feel like the only person going why are you doing that? Or, do you own a mirror?

Ok, whatever.

Joe Bob used to tally boobs, dismemberments, deaths and Fus! As in revenge fu, baseball bat fu, basket fu and yes good ole kung fu! These are useful metrics for rating horror movies and while I didn’t keep strict track here, Basket Case has them all. The nerd in me senses a spreadsheet coming on.

Basket case is laugh out loud gory fun. And from a film craft point of view, there are some great shots. I even get startled on occasion. I love how Belial jumps out of his basket and scurries across the floor (well, it’s implied mostly, not the greatest effects or biggest budget here, but it’s implied well!) Plus, the characters in the seedy motel they stay at are precious. Badly acted, they represent a side of life rarely portrayed anymore. Ordinary people with great mugs and real struggles. Its pre-Guiliani New York and it rocks.

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