Basket Case is an ultra-cheap monster film created by neophyte filmmaker Frank Henenlotter with a tongue-in-cheek approach.

Basket Case is an ultra-cheap monster film created by neophyte filmmaker Frank Henenlotter with a tongue-in-cheek approach.

Picture concerns a young man Duane (Kevin Van Hentenryck) from Glens Falls in upstate New York, who comes to the Big Apple and checks into a seedy 42nd St. hotel carrying a large wicker basket. A lengthy mid-film flashback reveals he is bent on revenge, carried out by his Siamese twin monstrous brother Belial (residing in the basket), killing off the three doctors who separated them surgically at age 10.

Acting styles vary (creating intentional camp humor), but the leads are fine: Van Hentenryck creating great sympathy as a neurotic youngster and girlfriend Terri Susan Smith (as a doctor’s receptionist) emerging in a blonde wig as an ingratiating performer. Robert Vogel in the stock role of a harried hotel manager gets some big laughs by forcefully playing it straight.

Tech credits are a drawback, particularly the variable sound recording, grainy blowup from 16mm and shrill musical score.

Basket Case

Production

Ievens-Henenlotter. Director Frank Henenlotter; Producer Edgar Ievens; Screenplay Frank Henenlotter; Camera Bruce Torbet; Editor Frank Henenlotter; Music Gus Russo

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1982. Running time: 90 MIN.

With

Kevin Van Hentenryck Terri Susan Smith Beverly Bonner Robert Vogel Diana Browne Lloyd Pace
Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more