Thursday, October 7, 2010
Basket Case 3: The Progeny (1992) Guest Review
Basket Case 3: The Progeny (1992) Dir. by Frank Henenlotter
Basket Case 3: The Progeny (Frank Henenlotter) is an interesting mish-mash of horror and slapstick comedy. It was released one year after Basket Case 2 and nine (!) years after the first film in the series. The overarching plot focuses on Duane Bradley and his malformed, telepathic twin named Belial.
The original Basket Case sets up background of how Duane and Belial were surgically separated. Duane carries his brother around in a wicker basket and whenever Belial gets out, he attacks and brutally murders anyone who gets in the way (specifically the doctors who separated him and his brother).
In the second movie, Duane's aunt Granny Ruth is introduced as their care-taker. Her living situation proves to be most accommodating to other creatures and deformed "freaks" much like Belial. There's not too much of a plot in the second film, and the characters are too goofy for my tastes, but it provides a necessary transition into the third (and far better) entry. (Spoiler) In short, the conclusion to Basket Case 2 shows Duane sewing Belial back onto his torso following a freak accident at a dinner party.
Fast-forward to Basket Case 3, which, again, picks up where 2 leaves off. After an unsuccessful attempt at re-attaching his twin brother, Duane is reprimanded. Many months later, Granny Ruth takes Duane, Belial and the other freaks on a bus trip. What is the main purpose of this trip? Granny Ruth's ex-husband, who is also a doctor, is enlisted to help deliver Belial's offspring. Yes, Belial is going to be a father as his lover, named Eve - who is also a misshapen fleshy blob, is pregnant. Sound ridiculous? It is.
What occurs from here on is an exercise in gore and absurdity. There's a rather bizarre sing-along number on the bus lead by Granny Ruth and all of the freaks. A wild goose chase occurs when the police discover the freaks' whereabouts. All of this culminates in a standoff too outlandish to put into words.
Frank Henenlotter makes wonderful low budget, exploitation films. Between the brain-eating parasite in Brain Damage and the super-crack in Frankenhooker, there's no subject too taboo for this director. While Basket Case 3 may not be one of his best, it is odd enough to warrant a mild recommendation on my part.
3 1/2 out of 5 stars
By James Munson