I have a lot of trouble accessing certain classic "B-Movie" flicks, especially ones within the horror genre. Maybe this is because I'm stubborn and need a narrative to call a film good, or maybe this is because I sincerely don't like the films. I don't know, and I never will. But I do know that funny, well-crafted B-movies can be made, and the newest entry to the "B-movies that I enjoyed" list, which is a decidedly non-existent list, is "Basket Case".
"Basket Case" is trashy fun. It's an ultra-violent exploitation B-movie that lacks a good amount of writing in the way of characters, emotions, or plotting in general; but that's far from the point of the film. It's intentionally cheesy, and it knows how much it sucks (or at least how much it would suck if we compared it to horror films that DON'T aim for self-parody). It was bloody, it was violent, and at the same time, it was a lot of fun.
Duane (Kevin Van Hentenryck) is a strange and mellow man who walks around city streets with a basket case. It's all locked up, and he prevents other people from seeing what it contains. In due time, it is revealed that inside the basket is a monstrous being, which also happens to be Duane's conjoined twin brother, who he was, quite literally, separated from a while ago. However, even though the two are now physically separate, Duane is a loving brother.
Duane's mutant kid brother eats meat and kills people when he gets mad. And that's all there really is to the guy (thing). I guess that's the point, therefore I'll dismiss it. Most of the action takes place in a hotel where Duane and his kin are hiding out; with Duane finding himself a love interest and his brother finding pleasure in murder whilst he's out.
People like B-movies because they are stuffed with cheese, and nothing but cheese. I admire that in some context, and resent it in others. There are B-movies that embrace their intentionally unoriginality and silliness, and this is one of them. "Basket Case" is far from perfect, for both its genre and its sub-genre, but it's more than I asked for, and I watched it at the right time, and in the right mood.
Most of the kills are somewhat imaginative in their cheesiness, which is a good thing. Most of them are intended as stand-outs, and that is what they are. I am told by various sources that "Basket Case" is very low-budget horror, which doesn't surprise me, and at the same time, impresses me. The film satisfies when it comes to gory kills, and the effects for the creature that lurks inside the basket are at least decent. The film has all the ingredients that would make a solid B-movie, and I found a lot to like here. "Basket Case" is nothing more than a "fun movie", but that's just about all it needs to be at this rate.
I would recommend "Basket Case" to fans of "the genre", as well as those who know how to spot fun in the way of craft. This is an impressive and entertaining picture that satisfies in its short but appropriate run-time, keeps the blood flowing, and never holds up because it never needs to. It is fast-paced, completely enjoyable, and has pleasures of its own. So it's not completely unoriginal and lame; even if that's the basic aim. But sometimes, films deserve recognition for knowing how absurd they are. "Basket Case" deserves some recognition and some respect; both in equal amounts, and both for the same exact reasons.