NEW YORK CITY: Basket Case

“There’s something I’ve been dying to ask you. What’s in the basket?”
“My brother.”

Filmed guerrilla-style on the seedy streets and in the filthy gutters of Times Square, this debut trash masterpiece from Frank Henenlotter (Frankenhooker, Brain Damage) grabs you by the gonads from frame one, and never lets go. Life is no picnic for Duane: his telepathic monster of an ex-Siamese twin has a thirst for revenge, and no amount of wicker can contain his gruesome fury! Featuring a supremely demented monster puppet the likes of which you’ll never erase from your brain as long as you live, Basket Case plays like a twisted midnight vision of E.T. as it might have been directed by Herschell Gordon Lewis. Over the years, this veritable decathlon of decapitations has lost none of its shock value or visceral hilarity, still giving off the same homegrown charms that harken back to its original ad campaign, which touted “free surgical masks — to keep the blood off your face” (too bad you don’t hear stuff like that on the radio anymore.) A unique marvel of enthusiastic showmanship, and one hell of a good time.
Dir. Frank Henenlotter, 1982, 91 min.