Basket Case 2, 1990.
Directed by Frank Henenlotter.
Starring Kevin Van Hentenryck, Judy Grafe, Annie Ross, Heather Rattray, Beverly Bonner, Chad Brown and Leonard Jackson.
Duane and his basket-bound mutant brother are taken in by a secret home for wayward freaks with journalists hot on their tail.
Picking up directly after the climax of the first movie, Basket Case 2 sees the surviving Duane (now with much less 80s hair) and Belial being taken in by the caring Granny Ruth and Susan, two people who have taken in many “freaks” in their mansion which serves as their safe haven. However several reporters want to exploit the now semi-famous Bradley Brothers, which leads to Duane, Susan, Granny Ruth, Belial and the rest of the freaks to rise up and fight.
Much like how Sleepaway Camp 2 was a complete change of tone and style to its predecessor, Basket Case 2 takes the franchise down the comedy circuit to make a film that is visually more impressive, but not quite as good as the original. But unlike Sleepaway Camp 2, Basket Case 2 has retained its original star Kevin Van Henenryck, as well as director Frank Henenlotter, which does at least make the film feel like a direct sequel and not just a cash in.
The effects and puppetry work on Belial is much improved and the make-up and prosthetic work on the rest of the freaks is really impressive and incredibly creative. The gore factor remains and is even ramped up to 11 in some cases, but it often feels like Henenlotter wasn’t being allowed to make the film he wanted which makes Basket Case 2 feel slightly unbalanced.
Basket Case 2 is by no means a bad sequel. In some ways it’s a better movie than the first, but I do feel as though the original movie had more going for it in terms of story and character as opposed to just being a freak side show make-up project. The relationship between Duane and Susan is very sweet (and leads to one of the best moments of the film) and Duane’s internal issues with accepting the freak world are played well, but the light hearted tone of the movie is often off-putting. If you liked the first one, you’ll probably enjoy the silliness of this one. But die-hard horror fans may not take kindly to the almost slapstick style tone.
Flickering Myth Rating - Film: ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★
Luke Owen is a freelance copywriter working for Europe’s biggest golf holiday provider as their web content executive.