Basket Case is a 1982 horror film by Frank Henenlotter. It was followed by two sequels, Basket Case 2 in 1990 and Basket Case 3: The Progeny, in 1991.
Young Duane is a nice young man from the country who has arrived to New York, carrying with him a big picnic basket. It actually contains his deformed separated Siamese twin brother, Belial, and they both want to get revenge on doctors who forcibly separated them as children, trying to kill Belial.
The first movie has examples of:
- Abusive Parents: Mr. Bradley. While he did claim to love Duane, he refused to accept Belial as his son, even going so far as to name him after a demon. He hid his sons away for many years until he arranged for a group of back-alley doctors to separate them against their will, hoping that Belial would finally die. It didn't work.
- Always Identical Twins: Averted to hell.
- Asshole Victim: The back alley doctors who separated the two, the twins' father, one of Duane's neighbors who tries to rob his hotel room, and a guy in a movie theater who tries to steal Belial's basket.
- Ax-Crazy: Belial, who is angry enough with his forced separation from his brother and being left to die in a trash bag to go around killing the doctors responsible for the surgery.
- Back-Alley Doctor: Lifflander, Needleman, and Kutter, all of whom are responsible for separating the Bradley brothers.
- Big Eater: Belial sure can polish off a lot of burger patties.
- Conjoined Twins: Duane and Belial, until they were separated.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Dr. Kutter is mauled, then stabbed in the face with a bunch of scalpels and left to bleed to death.
- Death by Childbirth: Mrs. Bradley died giving birth to her sons.
- Disproportionate Retribution: While his brutal murder of the doctors responsible for his separation from Duane might qualify, Belial's rape and murder of Sharon as revenge for Duane getting ... a little too close to her definitely is this.
- The Family That Slays Together: Sort of. Belial does most of the slaying; Duane just brings him to his intended victims.
- Fanservice: Sharon gets a extended topless scene in the first film, which becomes Fan Disservice when Belial rapes and kills her.
- Male Frontal Nudity: Duane dreams to be roaming the streets of New York totally naked.
- Meaningful Name: Belial is the name of a demon.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast:
- When you're called Belial — the name of a demon— it is obvious you're not going to be much of a party man.
- There's also — to a lesser extent — doctors Needleman and Kutter.
- Rape as Drama: Belial rapes and kills Sharon.
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Belial's raping of Sharon makes Duane tell he's had enough of him.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Belial's eyes glow red when he is having evil thoughts.
- Twin Telepathy: When they were still joined, Duane and Belial were able to talk to each other with their minds. After their separation, only Belial is able to do this.
Basket Case 2 has examples of:
- Beast Man: Two of Granny Ruth's freaks, Mouse Face and Frog Boy, have deformities that make them closely resemble their namesakes. Frog boy even has greenish skin.
- Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: This exchange between Duane and the reporter who threatened Belial along with his fellow freaks.Duane Bradley: He figured you could ask him a few questions, get to know him a little bit. Then he could rip your face off. No big deal.
- Face–Heel Turn: Although Duane originally just wanted to get revenge on the doctors who forcibly separated him from Belial, he is obviously shocked from the latter raping Sharon and tries to get rid of him. From this sequel onward, he turns cold-blooded and has no qualms for letting people die for trivial reasons.
- Homage: The film seems to homage the original Freaks film and the horror comic Beautiful Freak.
- Longest Pregnancy Ever: In her words, Susan is pregnant (and not showing at all), and has been for the last six years.
- Sliding Scale of Comedy and Horror: The first film is dark and gritty. This and and the next sequel is sillier and introduce some humor (although dark).
- Stock Footage: Nearly all of the operation scene from part 1 is in this part. Also the ending of the last movie is the start of this one.
- Special Effects Evolution: Belial was originally a clay puppet mixed with stop motion. Here, he's been upgraded to an articulate animatronic.
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Granny Ruth and the other freaks.
- Two-Part Trilogy: This and the next films are more similar in tone and share more cast with each other than they do with the first film.
- Villain Protagonist: Duane and Belial become this by this film.
The Progeny has examples of:
- Added Alliterative Appeal: Sheriff Griffin's instructions to Officers Bailey and Baxter once they return to the police station with Belial's children.Sheriff Griffin: You boys have been through a lot tonight. Bailey, you book the Bradley boy. Baxter, take the bassinet of baby Belials in back and get Brody to come by. Where's Brennan and Banner?
- Babies Ever After: Basis of the film, as Belial's lady love gives birth to their offspring.
- Glass Cannon: Belial's kind is incredibly powerful, but can be killed as simply as being sat on.
- Grounded Forever: After the Sheriff catches his daughter Opal putting on a dominatrix outfit and routine for Duane:Sheriff: Cause you are grounded little miss! You are grounded for the next ten years! And no more car, and no more allowance, and you can forget about that pony I promised you!
- Fanservice: Opal puts on a dominatrix outfit.
- Mini-Mecha: Belial gets one, allowing him to battle the Sheriff.
- Mook Horror Show: Belial killing the Sheriff's deputies.
- Move Along, Nothing to See Here: The placard on the traveling freaks' refurbished school bus reads "No One You Know".