While visiting New York City, my gracious host, Marty, invited me to a Cult meetup event viewing of Basket Case.
The movie starts off with young, fresh-faced Duane (Kevin Van Hentenryck) entering a Times Square hotel seeking a room, toting a wad of cash and a wicker basket. The curious on-lookers ask the obvious question—what’s in the basket. He answers in a friendly manner: “Clothes.” Duane makes his way up the stairs to room 7. We soon learn that the basket contains a hungry tenant prone to violent and murderous fits of jealousy and rage.
(Spoiler Alert: Read at Your Own Risk!)
Turns out the small beast in the basket is Duane’s once conjoined twin, Belial. They two are in NYC to execute their revenge on the doctors that separated them years previous (at the request of their father). Duane has cared for Belial since the surgery (saving him from the garbage heap), but he can’t control his brother’s killing sprees. When Duane sneaks away on a date, Belial erupts into a murderous rage.
This is an excellent movie to watch with a group. It makes for fun viewing with plenty of peanut-gallery ready moments including the busybody neighbors at the hotel, gritty NYC as the backdrop, the prostitute with the heart of gold and ‘80s era horror. What more could you ask for in a cult classic? Just see it (and if you like it, you have the option of continued watching with two sequels: Basket Case 2 and Basket Case 3: The Progeny).
Writer/Director: Frank Henenlotter
Run time: 90 minutes