DVD Review – Basket Case 3: The Progeny (1991)

Basket Case 3: The Progeny, 1991.

Directed by Frank Henenlotter.
Starring Kevin Van Hentenryck, Annie Ross, Gil Roper, Dan Biggers, Jim O’Doherty and Tina Louise Hilbert.


Duane recovers from his delusional breakdown to find his freakish basket-bound brother Belial will soon become a father. But not everything is joyous as the once tight knit brothers no longer seem to trust each other.

The final part of the Basket Case trilogy sees Duane coming to terms with his breakdown and actions against Belial and Susan at the end of the previous movie. But there is a further twist to the tale as Belial’s lover Eve is pregnant and is ready to give birth – causing Duane to delve further into his own madness.

While Basket Case 2 moved the property into the comedy circle ever so slightly, Basket Case 3: The Progeny firmly states its place within genre with an almost parody sense of style. Gone are any hints of the horror movie that became a video tape cult hit and what is left is a very bizarre, poorly paced and not quite well put together final chapter.
The first thing really of note for Basket Case 3: The Progeny is just how non-violent it is. While there are some gruesome moments, it feels a lot more toned down than the previous two entries. According to director Henenlotter, this was down to the studio wanting to a less gory film which led to the director removing 11 pages from the film’s script. The other thing of note is that the acting has gotten a lot worse to almost embarrassing levels of scenery chewing. The very short musical number during the middle of the movie was a particular moment of poor acting on the part of Annie Ross whose lip syncing would put Milli Vanilli to shame.
But aside from these minor grumbles, the film as a whole just isn’t very good. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not the worst film I’ve ever seen, but it’s certainly the worst of the trilogy. The story isn’t engaging, the characters aren’t as interesting and it often hits emotional points that were tread upon in the last movie. Even the birth of Belial’s children seems fairly anti-climatic and not used to its full potential. The comedy doesn’t always work and because there are no scares and little gore, the laughs are all the film has to fall back on. Basket Case 3: The Progeny isn’t exactly a slog to sit through and to complete the trilogy it’s worth a watch, but when compared to the two films that came before it, it’s really lame and pretty pants.

The Basket Case Trilogy is certainly worth a purchase for those who like their schlock horror movies or 80s horror enthusiasts. Newcomers to the genre won’t find much to take away, but it’s a fun and enjoyable ride filled with bizarre characters, gruesome death scenes and a couple of laughs along the way.

Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ / Movie: ★ ★

Luke Owen is a freelance copywriter working for Europe’s biggest golf holiday provider as their web content executive.

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