Basket Case 3: The Progeny Movie Review
Directed by Frank Henenlotter
Written by Frank Henenlotter and Robert Martin
1992, 90 minutes, Rated R
DVD released on October 9th, 2012
Kevin Van Hentenryck as Duane Bradley
Annie Ross as Granny Ruth
Gil Roper as Sheriff
Dan Biggers as Uncle Hal
Jim O'Doherty as Little Hal
The majority of us have moviegoers have been spoiled over the years. From sound design to enhanced computer graphics, cinema has been molding and changing rapidly to give us the perfect illusion that what we're experiencing in front of our eyes is plausible and real. Just think back twenty years to the '90s when CGI wasn't as prevalent as it is today in horror. Special effects took a more simplistic approach when trying to convince audiences that what we see is, in fact, actually happening. Many times we can be fooled and captivated by what is presented to us. Other times they fall short of glory and look completely ridiculous. But, in a very rare instance, the odd and bizarre are what filmmakers are attempting to achieve. Such an occurrence has happened with Basket Case 3: The Progeny.
I'll be completely honest, when I was offered to review this flick from the '90s, I hadn't seen either of the others in the series, so I had to go back and do a bit of homework. Checking out the first two films (Basket Case, Basket Case 2) was a nice little trip back in time, to when laughing and having fun with horror was just as acceptable as screaming bloody murder. Fast forward to the third installment, The Progeny still has Duane and his twin deformed brother Belial in all of their campy awesomeness. This time around, they're traveling to a house with a band of other freaks, in anticipation of the birth of Belial's offspring. The usual ridiculousness ensues, starting with a sing-along bus ride to Uncle Hal's house, followed by a disturbing freak-on-freak sex (seriously, wtf?) and a scene in the police station that is the perfect blend of laughs and gore.
Special effects in Basket Case 3 were done amazingly. Things get pretty weird pretty fast and credit has to be given to the special effects designers of all the freaks in the film. Because it's before the days where a computer was able to handle craziness like that, raw effects add an enormous amount nostalgia that fans of '80s/'90s horror are sure to appreciate. While the two films are not in any way comparable, it brings my mind back to John Carpenter's The Thing, where effects were done without computer manipulation and still hold their own today. The characters, dialogue and gore all add to the campfest that is Basket Case 3.
After watching this, I also found myself addressing an interesting issue with the current generation of horror: where did that "campiness" go? I was fortunate to grow up with films like Child's Play and the Trilogy of Terror (parts 1 & 2). Sure, there are modern classics done by the genres top directors (Scream immediately comes to mind), but much of what we see today are super realistic movies that are always trying to blur the lines between fantasy and reality. When did it become not okay to laugh and cringe at a horror movie that actually got the attention it deserves? I suppose, like anything else that happens to be making money at a given time, such pieces of cinema become more exploited while some fan favorite sub-genres fall by the wayside. While I'm waiting to see how the next twenty years of horror will unfold, please take the time to check out Basket Case 3 (and the others in the series) to have some great laughs, cringe a little and enjoy the way movies were before we were slowly being taken over by Skynet.
Video, Audio and Special Features:
Video, audio and special features will not be graded as this was a screener.