Thursday, October 20, 2011

Phil's Horror Watch, Day 18: Phil watches BASKET CASE (1982)-October 18, 2011

Phil's Horror Watch continues with Day Eighteen! So for this evening's cinematic fright, I thought it would be fun to stroll down memory lane and visit the old grindhouse theaters that populated New York's 42nd Street. There, you could see some of the most outrageous films ever made! Take for example tonight's film. I guarantee that you have never seen a film like BASKET CASE before, nor could you ever forget it!

Theatrical Movie Poster (1982)
According to Something Weird Video, the film goes something like this: "Carrying a mysterious wicker basket around with him, Duane Bradley (Kevin Van Hentenryck) arrives in Manhattan and checks into a sleazy Times Square hotel. What’s in the basket, you ask? Why, Duane’s hideously misshapen Siamese twin brother, Belial, of course! Originally born attached to Duane’s side, the little monster was surgically removed by some quack doctors and rudely left for dead in a plastic garbage bag. But Belial survived, and Duane has hit the Big Apple with his beastly bro to wreak havoc on the surgeons who separated them. Things get complicated, however when Duane gets romantically sidetracked by the sexy, wig-wearing receptionist of one of the doomed doctors, and his jealous telepathic sibling reacts...well, poorly."

Now doesn't that sound like a fun film to watch in a 42nd street grindhouse theater? Well guess what? It DID play at a 42nd street grindhouse theater! Budgeted at only $35,000, the film was released by Analysis Film Releasing Corporation in April of 1982, but it gained a cult following once it was released onto home video by the mid 80's. The special effects for Belial consist largely of a puppet in some scenes and stop motion in others, which only added to the magic and the allure of the film.

The film was written and directed by Frank Henenlotter, and it was his film debut. Henenlotter would go on to direct other classics such as BRAIN DAMAGE, FRANKENHOOKER, and two sequels: BASKET CASE 2 and BASKET CASE 3: THE PROGENY. His latest film, a documentary called HERSCHELL GORDON LEWIS: THE GODFATHER OF GORE, was just released on DVD by the good folks at Something Weird Video.

BASKET CASE is a bonafide cult classic and still one helluva fun ride to watch! Take from me folks. Horror, B-movies, and exploitation films are my main passions in life, and I can assure you that this film is just awesome to watch!

BASKET CASE was just released on Blu-Ray by Something Weird Video this past September and is still available on special edition DVD. To purchase a copy, visit their website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

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