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January 12, 2013

Movie Review: Basket Case III - The Progeny

Anyone who is a fan of truly bizarre cinema more than likely has checked out a film directed by Frank Henonlotter. Synapse Films has been one company to really put forth some fine releases of his films. Frankenhooker has seen a Blu-ray edition, Brain Damage was put out several years ago with all kinds of cool extras and Basket Case II made it's debut not long ago on DVD. It was only a matter of time that they got their hands on Henonlotter's second sequel and remastered it. Now all three films are available in the United States which should make admirers of wild story of Belial, Duane and all their gruesome hi-jinx cheer.

For those not versed in Basket Case lore, Duane Bradley (Kevin Van Hentenryck, Basket Case II and III)  is on the move through the grimy underbelly of New York City. Along with his mysterious basket case and a stack of cash, Bradley has everything he needs to live day to day in the Hotel Broslin. All the dregs living in the Hotel Broslin have their suspicions of Duane and what is exactly living in that wicker basket. It isn't long before Belial, Duane's Siamese twin brother is revealed to the audience in appropriately bloody manner. Belial's not quite as nice as Duane but he does share some common toward the medical staff that cut the brothers apart. Finding the doctor and nurse that "disfigured" these two siblings and exacting some good ol' vengeance is the goal for both. In Basket Case II the surroundings change for Belial and  Duane, but the results continue to be the same as they cause chaos in their Aunt Ruth's freak friendly mansion.

Basket Case III opens in true Hennenlotter form as Belial is shown going balls-deep inside his girlfriend who just so happens to have the same deformity. Duane decides to break free from Belial and cuts his bro off in splattery fashion - much to the horror of Aunt Ruth (or Granny Ruth). Some good does come out of this for Belial though, he's gonna be a daddy to an exceptionally fugly brood of voracious lumps.

As with Hennonlotter's previous entries, Basket Case III piles on the blood, bad taste and hilarity. The FX work by Gabe Bartalos is really where the film shines. Each freak has it's own unique "personality" thanks to Bartalos and crew. Also, die-hard Basket Case fans will be pleased to see a cameo by none other than Beverly Bonner who plays a worker in a fast-food restaurant.

The saga of Duane and Belial gets that much weirder with this enjoyable installment. It's about 20 years or so since Basket Case III was released and yet we have no more sequels. Here's hoping Basket Case 4  is just around the corner! Recommended.

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