Basket Case (1982)

Frank Henenlotter is an instrumental figure in grindhouse and exploitation film lore. In addition to rescuing many low-budget sexploitation and exploitation films from being destroyed, he made three Basket Case movies, Brain Damage and Basket Case. This is one of the few movies that upsets Becca so much that she refuses to watch it.

Duane Bradley arrives in the grimiest and scummiest New York City with a locked wire basket that contains his formerly conjoined twin, Belial. They were separated against their will and Belial has always resented it, pushing his brother to get revenge on the doctor who cut them apart.

Our hero — well, such as it is — falls in love with a nurse named Sharon, but Belial tries to rape her, can’t perform and kills her instead. Is it any more frightening if I tell you that Belial is basically a rubber glove on Henelotter’s hand? Duane attacks his brother and they fall out of the apartment to their death.

Don’t worry — the brothers survived to make it to the sequel, as well as another film after that where Belial got a powered exo-skeleton. The brothers also show up in the subway in Henenlotter’s Brain Damage.

Critic Rex Reed’s was quoted on the poster for this movie, saying “This is the sickest movie ever made!” He had heard how gross the film was and sought it out. As he left the theater, someone asked him what he thought. He didn’t realize that that person was Henenlotter and as a result, he was furious that he was being used to promote this movie.

The bar scenes were shot in The Hellfire Club, an S&M bar in Manhattan. The crew had to hide all the sex toys and swing, but left behind the buzz saw that killed the boys’ father as a gift. That very same crew was so offended by Sharon’s death scene that they all walked out rather than continue filming it.

You can watch this on Shudder with and without commentary by Joe Bob Briggs.

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