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Basket Case 3: The Progeny

A touching portrait of brotherly love ...

Rod Lott October 23rd, 2012

If not for the third act’s all-out murder sequence and one character’s inclination toward S&M, 1992’s Basket Case 3: The Progeny could be something beloved by children. Until then, Frank Henenlotter’s trilogy capper plays like a fairly innocuous, broad comedy.


After all, its cast fills a school bus marked “NO ONE YOU KNOW,” on which one goofy-looking rider reads Camus, and they all burst into a musical number — the ’50s pop hit “Personality,” to be exact. Did I mention almost all those aboard are literal freaks of nature?

OK, so it’s pretty damned demented, too. But let's be honest: Isn’t Yo Gabba Gabba?

A tale of really weird science, Basket Case 3 immediately follows the events of 1990’s Basket Case 2, with good guy Duane (Kevin Van Hentenryck) now literally and figuratively separated from his conjoined twin — the monstrous, killer beast known as Belial, whom Duane used to keep in a basket (hence the title). Belial has knocked up a female version of himself, and gives birth to not one, but a dozen of chips off the ol’ blob. Screams the guy capturing it all on video camera, “They’re strung together like patio lights!”

The movie is not up with Henenlotter’s best — for that, see the 1982 original Basket Case or, better yet, 1990’s Frankenhooker — but the guy has made only a precious few films, all of which are worth owning for any true fan. This new Synapse Films DVD release certainly qualifies, despite being unleashed with nary an extra beyond a trailer. —Rod Lott

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