Holy shit I made it! I can’t believe I did this whole horror movie marathon thing for the second time and actually saw it through until the end once more! For those of you out there who are considering one of these marathons, let me just say that they start out fun and exciting and then by the end you’re less “Alrighty! What am I going to review today?” and more “Fuuuuuuuuck I still need to review something today. AaaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAA!” So just keep that in mind.
I wanted to wrap things up with Basket Case 2 as it’s my first donation (Thanks Joe!) and I quite enjoyed the first movie when I watched it last week. I knew nothing about the sequel but the front of the DVD made it seem like shit was about to way crazier.
Holy lord does shit ever get way crazier.
Basket Case 2 kicks off in a way I always appreciate, starting immediately after the end of the first movie. After escaping from a hospital, Duane (played by the same actor but looking considerably order since this sequel was made 8 years after the original) and Belial are taken into the care of his aunt’s friend (his aunt being the only person who ever loved him and his brother) and her daughter. It turns out though that they are housing a whole residence full of freaks like Belial. There’s a guy with almost no body and a huge head, a woman with a giant neck, a frog looking guy, another dude with what appear to be tentacles hanging out of his face, and all sorts of other madness. You can see some of them in the pictures here. From this point on, I don’t think I want to give too much away but people are killed, gore is had, and Belial gets to have sex with another mound of flesh that happens to be female. Welcome to Basket Case 2 everyone!
There was a huge jump in budget from the first movie to this one and you can immediately see this when you get your first look at Belial. The puppet just looks better, it’s as simple as that. He looks a little different from the first movie in terms of shape, but it’s clearly a much better piece overall. The make-up on all of the freaks who live in this house is across the board phenomenal. Each one is completely unique looking and the amount of creativity on display with these characters is nothing short of astounding. You immediately want to know the back story on each and every one of them, that’s how impressive the work being done here is.
The tone here is definitely a lot goofier than the first movie. You catch on to that as soon as the giant head and little body creature starts to sing beautiful opera music. If that doesn’t do it for you, how about a therapy session where Belial is told completely dead pan that “maybe eating peoples’ faces isn’t the answer”? Actually there are a couple of good lines about eating faces. The humour isn’t always successful, but a lot of it sticks and it’s because the movie at no point winks to the audience to let us know that they’re fully aware how goofy all of this is. It takes this completely ridiculous premise and plays it with a totally straight face, and it makes such a huge difference. I think I used almost that exact sentence in my review of the first movie but it still applies damn it!
That’s not to say there isn’t still a good chunk of horror going on here. There are some suspenseful scenes and some creepy imagery, such as when a photographer uses his camera to light up a dark attic, each time the flash showing the creatures advancing on him more and more. This one is also way, WAY, more disgusting than the original Basket Case. The final 10 minutes contains some of the ickiest imagery I have seen in a while and in a way was the perfect finale to close out the October horror marathon. Two puppets have sex (this is like a decade before Team America, and it’s also fuuuuuuuckiiiiiiing gross), a lady gets his head twisted into a swirly ice cream cone shape, a guy sews things to himself, and a disgusting looking alien thing starts poking its way out of a girls’ abdomen. This all happens in rapid succession and it’s amazing and disgusting and unlike anything I’ve made ever seen before.
The one thing I do miss from the first Basket Case is the New York location. That was a huge highlight of the movie for me and was used so effectively. On the flip side, this one primarily takes place inside of a large house with very few exterior scenes. There’s some good set work, especially early on when a local freak show exhibit is visited, but I do miss the gritty look and feel of the first movie. That movie also had a little more heart to its story, whereas this one focuses heavier on how much insane shit it can whip at the screen, though the amount whipped is certainly admirable.
While I would probably give the first movie a slightly higher grade, the sequel is certainly not a disappointment. It takes the story in a completely unexpected direction and is absolutely loaded with creativity. Although I haven’t heard terrific things about it, I am definitely going to be checking out the third movie in the series. Basket Caseand Basket Case 2 would make an amazing double bill and I highly recommend setting that evening up immediately.
And with that we close out another marathon! I still have a list of movies I didn’t get to and 11 months is just enough time for me to forget how much of a time sink this really is so I imagine I’ll be right back here next year ready to go again! I also have something new planned that will kick off tomorrow so we’ll see how that goes!