Film Reviews:

Basket Case 3

(Frank Henenlotter, US, 1992)

Granny Ruth is a kind-hearted, old lady who cares for a number of unusually deformed humans. Separated Sianese twins - the Bradley brothers Belial and Duane - join Granny and her 'family' on a trip to the deep South. The reason: Belial's equally deformed wife is pregnant and they've got to get her to the family doctor! But when they arrive, the local sheriff and his deputies interfere and war breaks out between them and the mutants.

Considering the original Basket Case was garbage, this second sequel is a fair old romp. The flimsy storyline appears to have been made up as filming when along! Some moments are clearly improvised and reflections of the film crew in windows etcetera give the film a distinctly rough appearance. But is is very funny in places. Much entertainment coming from Gabe Bartalos and David Kindlon's make up effects and creature designs. Director Frank Henenlotter knows his audience isn't going to be scared by mounds of quivering latex, and so he uses the rubber creations to great humourous effect.

Flashbacks to the Times Square freak twins' earlier adventures pad out the 90 minute running time, but Basket Case 3 does have some memorable moments of its own. The exoskeleton battle from Aliens is recreated in the final showdown between the mutated Belial and the town sherriff. However, the highlight of the film is when Belial's wife gives birth to twelve (yes that's 12) mutant babies! Shots of her gyrating belly splitting under the strain and her waters breaking and flooding the school bus are hilarious rather than horrific, in part due to Henenlotter's camp approach and in part due to the rubbery (but inventive) effects work. Fans of Henenlotter will love Basket Case 3, others (myself included) might just be surprised how much fun it really is.

Rob Dyer