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Basket Case
Directed by Frank Henenlotter
Produced by Edgar Levins
Written by Frank Henenlotter
Starring Kevin Van Hentenryck
Terri Susan Smith
Beverly Bonner
Music by Gus Russo
Distributed by Analysis Film Releasing Corporation
Release date(s) April, 1982[1]
Running time 91 min.
Language English
Budget $35,000
Followed by Basket Case 2

Basket Case (aka House of Freaks) is an American comedy horror film, written and directed by Frank Henenlotter, that was released in 1982. It has two sequels, Basket Case 2 (1990) and Basket Case 3: The Progeny (1991) by the same director. It is notable for its low budget and over-the-top violence. The film gained an audience in the 1980s due to the advent of home video.



Naïve Duane Bradley (Hennenlotter regular Kevin Van Hentenryck) arrives in New York City carrying a basket containing his monstrous parasitic twin, Belial, who is so inhumanly malformed that the few people who know of his existence doubt he can even be considered a human. After their mother died giving birth to them, the conjoined twins' father loathed the sight of them and referred to them simply as "the child and the monster". Embittered by the death of his beloved wife, he turns to three doctors who are his last hope of separating the twins so that Duane can have a normal life and Belial will hopefully die. Surviving the operation, the twosome track down and murder the three doctors responsible for separating them. Upon separating Duane meets a girl named Casey (Beverly Bonner), a hooker who lives in the Hotel Brossin. He meets a girl he likes Sharon (Terri Susan Smith) who she likes back. One instant Duane and Sharon begin to make out until Belial breaks it up causing Sharon to leave. That night Duane has a nightmare that Belial will eventually rape or hurt Sharon as he does. When Duane arrives at her apartment she's dead thanks to Belial. An angry Duane picks Belial up and runs furiously on the streets of New York and makes it back. As everyone hears his screams and anger they come to his hotel room. There he threatens his brother Belial. An angry Belial grabs Duane's testicles and then lets go. He then grabs on top of Duane and both fall out the window. Hanging from the hotel railing they look at each other then fall. From there everyone comes and looks in sadness and fear and now knows what all the chaos has been for the past three days.


Actor Role
Kevin Van Hentenryck Duane Bradley
Terri Susan Smith Sharon
Beverly Bonner Casey
Robert Vogel Hotel manager
Diana Browne Dr. Judith Kutter
Lloyd Pace Dr. Harold Needleman
Bill Freeman Dr. Julius Lifflander
Joe Clarke Brian 'Mickey' O'Donovan
Ruth Neuman Aunt
Richard Pierce Duane's Father
Sean McCabe Young Duane
Dorothy Strongin Josephine
Ilze Balodis Social Worker
Kerry Buff Detective
Tom Robinson Thief in Theater[2]

Special effects

The special effects for Belial consist largely of a puppet in some scenes and stop motion in others. When Belial's hand is seen attacking his victims, it is really a glove worn by Henenlotter. The full size Belial puppet is also seen in the scenes where Belial is seen with an actor or where his eyes glow red. The famous Belial rampage sequence used stop motion animation. [3]


The film is available on DVD, published by Something Weird Video.


Basket Case received fair reviews earning 75% at Rotten Tomatoes.


  1. ^ Basket Case (1982) - Release dates
  2. ^ Basket Case (1982) - Full cast and crew
  3. ^ This info is provided in the segment "In Search of Hotel Broslin" in the special features of the Basket Case DVD

External links



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