Thursday, November 8, 2012

Basket Case 3: The Progeny

The now totally crazy Duane, his mutant brother Belial, and the rest of their gang of freaks take a road trip to a small town, where they run afoul of the overzealous local law enforcement, who are intent on wiping them out. The twist this time is that Belial's girlfriend has given birth to a whole litter of mini-Belials, just as ugly and murderous as their old man.

Frank Henenlotter is a contemporary of folks like Stuart Gordon, Sam Raimi and Dan O'Bannon, who made some ridiculously violent and disgusting horror/comedies that delighted in trying to go as far over-the-top as possible. The difference is, Henelotter never really made a classic. Frankenhooker, Brain Damage and the Basket Case films are all fun in their own ways, but none really add up to much more than an amusing but forgettable experience. I think the problem is most likely that his films aren't very funny; despite the demented imagination and the gruesome/silly special effects on display, Henenlotter tends to rely on corny jokes and deliberately bad performances that make the whole enterprise feel a little dopey and tossed off.

Still, if you like this crap (and I do), Basket Case 3 will deliver. It's got mutant birth, baby Belials, a cadre of goofy freaks, horribly facial mutilation and decapitation, and for the finale Belial dons some sort of low budget, man-sized mecha suit to fight the evil sheriff. You won't laugh much but you will smile a lot.

Rating: B-

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