Review: ‘Basket Case 2’

Belated sequel to the 1982 cult horror film, Basket Case 2 is a hilarious genre spoof. Here Frank Henenlotter's paying homage to Tod Browning's 1932 classic Freaks.

Belated sequel to the 1982 cult horror film, Basket Case 2 is a hilarious genre spoof. Here Frank Henenlotter’s paying homage to Tod Browning’s 1932 classic Freaks.

Annie Ross as Granny Ruth is a crusader for the rights of ‘unique individuals’ (i.e. freaks) and welcomes the Siamese twin brothers Kevin and Belial into her home in Staten Island. Weird menagerie of youngsters, mostly crazy variations on the Elephant Man by makeup whiz Gabe Bartalos, are treated very sympathetically at first, but as in Browning’s film their potential for scaring the audience also is exploited.

Pic climaxes with Belial’s ultraviolent attacks on foes of freaks, namely tabloid reporter Kathryn Meisle, her shutterbug assistant Matt Mitler and cop Ted Sorel. En route is one of the oddest scenes in recent horror pics, Belial making love to Eve, a similarly grotesque Siamese twin.

Casting coup is Annie Ross, the legendary jazz singer, who is a lot of fun as the demented granny who goads her freakish charges to fight back.

Basket Case 2

Production

Shapiro-Glickenhaus. Director Frank Henenlotter; Producer Edgar Ievens; Screenplay Frank Henenlotter; Camera Robert M. Baldwin; Editor Kevin Tent; Music Joe Renzetti; Art Director Michael Moran

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1990. Running time: 89 MIN.

With

Kevin Van Hentenryck Annie Ross Kathryn Meisle Heather Rattray Matt Mitler Ted Sorel

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