Basket Case 2 (1990) starring Kevin Van Hentenryck, Annie Ross, Heather Rattray, Beverly Bonner directed by Frank Henenlotter Movie Review

Basket Case 2 (1990)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Annie Ross in Basket Case 2 (1990)

It's No Picnic

Having survived the fall from their apartment window Duane (Kevin Van Hentenryck) and his mutant twin brother Belial end up in hospital under heavy guard for a series of murders. But after escaping they find a home with Granny Ruth (Annie Ross) who along with her daughter Susan (Heather Rattray) provide shelter and protection for the freaks of the world. Soon things are settling down with Belial finding himself at home whilst Duane and Susan grow close, giving him the hope of normality which he craves. But Marcie (Kathryn Meisle), a journalist, is snooping around and could threaten Duane's hopes of happiness whilst Granny Ruth has an ulterior motive for her kindness to the freaks she cares for.

A good idea gone wrong is what I call "Basket Case 2" a sequel which was never needed. I say never needed because when in 1982 Frank Henenlotter gave us "Basket Case" he did so on a small budget and the smallness of budget, the dodgy acting and rough editing as well as the simplistic look of Belial made the movie entertaining. But you couldn't do that with a sequel especially one which came 8 years later and so those rough edges have gone and the attention switches to the story which makes "Basket Case 2" just another horror movie. It is a real shame especially when it comes to Belial as the tackiness of the melted latex creature of the original movie was more enjoyable than the Belial 2.0 we get this time around which is more detailed and moveable.

Now in fairness the storyline which Frank Henenlotter has created with Granny Ruth being the protector of freaks, dishing out punishment to those who would use and abuse them is quite amusing. The addition of a prying reporter whilst routine provides the story continuation as it brings the conflict for Duane as he longs for a normal life but still remains tied to his separated twin. But whilst the story is a much needed improvement on the original it ends up corny because it doesn't have that cheap look anymore. In a way if "Basket Case 2" had come out in 1984 and was done on the same limited budget of the first movie it might have impressed more.

What this all boils down to is that "Basket 2" in one way is an improvement as it has a much better story but at the same time the visual improvements unfortunately let it down because it was the cheapness of the original movie which was part of its charm.