Tuesday, 15 March 2016

basket case 3

basket case 3 opens with the last ten minutes of the second movie and then just gets crazier from there. so belial's girlfriend, eve, is now pregnant and because no one really understands her anatomy granny ruth decides to take her family on a road trip to see uncle hal, a small town doctor who specialises in abnormal patients. however, not long after they arrive at hal's place eve is murdered and belial, granny ruth and duane find themselves at war with an entire town.

while the first film often felt more like a straight horror film than a horror-comedy, the second film was most certainly more of a comedy, although it still had a strong narrative and an emotional heart. the third and final film of the series is so much more comedy than horror that it plays like an old-fashioned farce at times. many of the laughs come from henenlotter pushing things that one step further, like in the moment when belial takes down an entire police station with each death being more extreme than the last. the scene in which eve gives birth is one of the more comedic moments too, aided by the bizarre, over-excited commentary from uncle hal's son, little hal.

however, what the comedy and insanity detract from is any real story. sure, there is a story here, but it doesn't feel as genuine or heartfelt as those of the previous two films. duane, previously our emotional entry point to the story as the character most easy to identify with, is here reduced to a kind of caricature of an insane person. what we're left with is a series of scenes and set-pieces that may as well be standalone sketches.

that said, there are moments of pure genius in basket case 3, like the scene in which granny ruth bursts into a musical number on the bus, or the moment you realise all the cops randomly have names beginning with 'b'. there is also a compelling chaos and energy to every scene, with these incredibly designed 'creatures' just wandering in and out of the background of scenes as if doctor hal's mansion is situated in mos eisley rather than middle america.

of the three films. basket case 3 is the least consistent and at times feels like an unnecessary coda to the second film. that said, there are some incredible and memorable moments and i did have to keep reminding myself that it's amazing that this film was even produced because it is truly insane.

second sight released the basket case trilogy on blu-ray on 14 march 2016.

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