Saturday, January 31, 2015

Basket Case 3: The Progeny

Director - Frank Henenlotter (Frankenhooker, Bad Biology)
Starring - Kevin Van Hentenryck (Basket Case, Catch of the Day), Annie Ross (The Ghosts of Motley Hall, Superman III), and Dan Biggers (Crossroads, Flash)
Release Date - 1991
Genre - Horror/Comedy
Tagline - "It's time to build a bigger basket"
Format - Bluray (Personal Collection) (Trilogy Steelbook)

Rating (out of 5):
     I hate when a film spawns an amazing sequel and then follows that up with a third film and completely ignores what was established in the previous films.  I'm not saying these films are bad I'm just saying I hate when they ignore the stories from the first two films and goes a different route to cash in on the film's name.  The most notorious film to do this is Halloween III: Season of the Witch.  Now, like I said earlier, I'm not saying these films are bad I just don't understand why they have to carry on the original film's name.  Anyway, after watching Basket Case 2 I had to watch the third and final film in the series but I was worried.  Rarely do I see a third film in a series that is actually worth a damn even though BC 2 was a great film.  However, deep down I knew Henenlotter would not let me and his fans down!
     The film picks up months after the first film (9 months to be exact).  Granny Ruth (Ross) has Duane (Hentenryck) in a padded room until he realizes he can live without being attached to Belial.  Ruth lets Duane out of the room for a special occasion.  Belial fell in love with another girl with the same deformity as him and she became with child.  However, Granny Ruth is no doctor and does not know how a girl so deformed could have a child so she is taking all the freaks south to a doctor who has dealt with something like that before.  They all pile in a bus and head that way when Granny Ruth runs into the local sheriff before making it to the doctor's home.  Once there we discover that the doctor and Granny Ruth once knocked boots and had a son with 11 arms nicknamed Little Hal.  He is a medical genius.  Eve, Belial's girlfriend, gives birth to over 10 babies and all the deformed party it up to celebrate.  However, the police arrive looking for Duane and Belial only to find a house full of freaks and a basket full of Belial's babies.  They kidnap the babies and flee thinking the doctor's home is full of Satanic cultists.  Before leaving they shoot Eve thinking she is Belial which sends him into a frenzy.  Granny Ruth lets Belial loose on the police station where he kills everyone including the sheriff's daughter.  The sheriff arrives to find everyone butchered and holds the babies ransom forcing Belial to meet him face to face but Belial is no fool.  Little Hal builds an exo-skeleton machine for Belial to drive for his encounter with the pissed off sheriff.
     I love a good trilogy.  Every horror fan enjoys a good movie night and most movie marathons involve films with several sequels but most of the time the marathon starts out on a great note and ends on a terrible one.  Not many films in a series of trilogy is worth a damn after the first or second film and only continue as a way to make money on the film's name.  However, The Basket Case trilogy is solid all the way through and ends on a a great note with another amazing film.  The acting in this film is great by the entire cast once again.    Kevin Van Hentenryck gives another fun performance and his character slips even further into insanity. By this point he has perfected the character of Duane and it shows.  The remainder of the cast is fucking amazing and Annie Ross is a show stealer just like she was in Basket Case 2.  Her role is so large that the viewer has a hard time remembering that she is not the main focus of the film.  She definitely lets her presence known.  The story for this one is a little more of the same from part two but they toned the comedy down and gave us a little more horror.  The story follows what was established in the previous film but we do get some unexpected scenes of horror that the first film lacked.  Finally, the film has the same great practical effects that we saw in the second film with all the creatures but now we got some great on screens kills that the second film lacked.  Overall, Basket Case 3 is a great follow up to Basket Case 2 that brings the Basket Case trilogy back into the horror genre.  I can not recommend this one enough.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Basket Case 2

Director - Frank Henenlotter (Basket Case, Frankenhooker)
Starring - Kevin Van Hentenryck (Basket Case, Catch of the Day), Annie Ross (Superman III, Witchery), and Beverly Bonner (Frankenhooker, Bad Biology)
Release Date - 1990
Genre - Horror/Comedy
Tagline - "We were cut apart...and NOW...We're together again!"
Format - Bluray (Personal Collection) (Trilogy Steelbook)

Rating (out of 5):
     Sequels often catch shit by the general public but horror sequels often catch more shit by horror fans because of their devotion.  They immediately shit talk sequels and remakes the second they hear about them without listening to the details.  This can clearly be seen by the backlash exploding on social media with the recent announcements of the all female cast for the new Ghostbusters reboot.  I always give films a chance even sequels and remakes.  Hell, I kinda dig em.  If they suck I still have the originals to fall back on so what do we have to lose?  Recently, I watched the classic film Basket Case. The film should be required viewing for all horror fans.  However, as much as I like the film I never knew that the flick had a sequel but the second I found out I had to order it.  After watching the first film I had to follow it up with the sequel which really surprised me!
     The film begins moments after the events of the first film.  There is a city wide man-hunt for Duane and Belial after those three doctors are murdered.  Duane is taken to the hospital for his injuries sustained from Belial.  However, he is not there long before an old woman, Granny Ruth, arrives and takes both Duane and Belial back to her home.  Granny Ruth actually runs a sanctuary for the deformed where her home is home to several deformed humans.  She tries to take Belial and Duane in but Duane is reluctant.  Now that his brother has finished his task he feels no connection with him and wants to leave this world behind and start over.  He meets a young lady who works for Granny Ruth that appears to be normal and he falls for her.  She starts to have feelings for him and eventually the two hook up.  After making love she tells Duane that she has been pregnant for 6 years and the baby refuses to leave.  It now lives inside her like a chestbuster.  Duane panics and accidentally kills her.  The other deformed people try to hunt Duane down but Duane has a moment of clarity and realizes that he will never be truly happy until him and his brother are conjoined again.  He knocks Belial out and stitches him on to his side before Granny Ruth and her deformities find them.
     Sequels are exciting to me because they continue a story that we know and love so I will never understand why people bitch and moan when a sequel or remake is announced.  If they suck then just ignore them but if they rule we will have something new and amazing to watch.  Basket Case 2 is a sequel I was not expecting but was very grateful for.  The first Basket Case was very straight forward and tried to be a serious horror movie in tone but did have some unintentional humor.  However, Basket Case 2 is not as dark as the first film and goes the comedy route which really works well for the film and gives the fans of the first film something different to look forward to.  The acting in this film is even better than the first film which was not bad by any means.  Kevin Van Hentenryck is very convincing at portraying a man that is unstable.  His role is so convincing and he is so dedicated to the role that he is almost hard to watch and tries the viewers patience.  The rest of the cast is great to watch and Annie Ross is amazing in her role.  Her character is so bold and perfect that you forget she is not he main character.  The story for this one a funny take on the first film with more freaks and humor but less horror.  I am completely fine with that because this film does what most campy creature features of the time tried to do and failed which is give the viewer a fun creature feature with plenty of monsters that does not suck.  The story is able to pull the viewer in and hold their attention.  Finally, the film does not have any real on screen kills but is home to some great practical effects.  We don't get a lot of blood and gore but fuck do we get some amazing monsters and creatures.  Well, technically they are not monsters but they look fucking fantastic.  They have to be seen to be believed.  Overall, Basket Case 2 a great sequel that lives up to the hype of the first films.  It does go a different route and can easily be argued that it is not a horror film but the fact still remains that the film is good.  I highly recommend this one!

Basket Case

Director - Frank Henenlotter (Frankenhooker)
Starring - Kevin Van Tenetenryck (Catch of the Day), Terri Susan Smith, and Beverly Bonner (Bad Biology)
Release Date - 1982
Genre - Horror
Tagline - "The tenant in room 7 is very small, very twisted and very mad"
Format - BluRay (Basket Case Trilogy Steelbook)

Rating (out of 5):
     The horror genre really is beautiful when you sit back and look at it as a whole.  So many films have been made in this genre that are now considered classics that are getting placed on lists with films from all the other genres.  However, these so-called horror classics are beautiful masterpieces of film that steals the limelight from other horror classics that need to be seen but lacked the budgets of these more known films.  Movie fans outside of the genre has heard of what I call the "essential" horror films.  These films are The Exorcist, Amityville Horror, Carrie, the Universal monster movies, and several more.  As you can see, none of these are films with small budgets.  With that being said, there is smaller budgeted films that are required viewing for horror fans.  Films like Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Evil Dead, Night of the Living Dead, and one I like to toss in there is the 1982 Frank Henenlotter film Basket Case.  This was a film that horror fans had told me for years to check out but I never really had a desire to check it out.  That changed once I found Frankenhooker on VHS.  As soon as I seen that film I had to check out his other work and I ordered the Something Weird DVD release of Basket Case.  After watching the movie I fell in love with it and watched it several more times until the DVD stopped working.  I check it out and it had no scratches so I had it resurfaced and it still didn't work.  I headed over to and discovered that the film was the first film in a trilogy and the UK had a steelbook bluray release of the trilogy.  I had to order that bad ass mother fucker.  
     The film follows a young man named Duane (Tenetenryck) as he heads out into the New York City carrying a wicker basket.  He carries the basket with him everywhere he goes along with a huge wad of cash and a folder with blood smeared on it.  He visits a doctor in the city where he meets a young lady before visiting the doctor.  Duane knows the doctor but the doctor is not able to put a name to the face until he removes his shirt and reveals a scare running the entire length of his side.  Duane leaves and the doctor calls other doctors to tell them who just visited him.  We then learn that Duane was born a conjoined twin and his brother, Belial, was a grotesque thing that was on Duane's side and his Dad was ashamed of him.  He brought in three doctors and had Belial removed and thrown away for dead.  However, Duane and Belial shared a psychic link and Duane was able to find him.  Not long after that they killed their father and sworn vengeance on the three doctors who separated them.  As they start butchering doctors the two brothers start to bicker once Duane falls for the young lady he met at the doctor's office.  This leads to them fighting and trying kill each other.
     When people new to the genre asks me for recommendations I always throw Basket Case onto the list.  The film is truly a classic that shows you don't need a big budget to make a good movie.  It has everything the bigger budget horror flicks that are well known has with the exception of beautiful camera angles and well placed shots.  This is horror and we don't need that shit!  The acting in this film is great by the entire cast but my favorite roles are the ones by the supporting cast.  The cast is spot on so don't think I dislike the acting, but my favorite performances comes from Terri Susan Smith and Robert Vogel.  One is someone who lives in Duane's building and the other is the hotel manager.  Both steal every scene they are in and add a lot of unintentional humor.  The story for this one is one that I can honestly say I have never seen before.  Two conjoined twins get separated and seek revenge on those that did it.  The story is fun and unfolds smoothly on film.  That is one of the many reasons I recommend this one.  Finally, the film does have several gory scenes that reflect some great special effects but does lack the actual kill on screen.  To make up for it we are given a great creature an some solid stop motion animation.  Overall, Basket Case is an underrated horror classic that needs to be seen.  I can not stress that enough.  Check this out as soon as you can!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


Director - Mike C. Hartman (Blood Orgy at Beaver Lake)
Starring - Mike C. Hartman. Patrick L. Dear (Wrong House), and Jack Hartman (Blood Orgy at Beaver Lake)
Release Date - 2014
Genre - Horror/Sci-Fi/Comedy
Tagline - "They crashed on Earth to crash your party"
Format - DVD (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):
     I miss the monster movies from the 80s and early 90s.  They were cheesy, over-the-top, and fun as hell to watch but most films have shunned away from that in recent years with most monster movies taking the more serious route.  I'm fine with that but sometimes I want cheese with my monster movie with films like Critters, Step-Monster, Munchies, and so many more.  In the summer of 2013 I attended Fright Night Film Fest and found a film called Blood Orgy at Beaver Lake.  How in the hell do you pass up a movie with that title?  The film was made by Silver Bullet Pictures so I checked them out recently and learned that they had made a monster movie they were just about to release titled Chubbies.  I reached out to director Mike C. Hartman and he was nice enough to send me a review copy.  
     The film begins with a court hearing on the planet Snerd where a group of small creatures known as chubbies is being sentenced for breaking the planets laws against having sex.  The lawyer defending them is then accused of being a sympathizer and is sentenced with them.  While en route to a prison planet they escape and find themselves on Earth.  The chubbies are sexual creatures that impregnate the living and turn them into brainless zombies until they incubate and hatch.  On Earth they find a couple engaged in a little knob slobbing action and impregnate them both.  Nearby, a group of bowling alley prepare to have a party after closing and their asshole boss leaves for the night.  However, they are unaware that that chubbies are about to break in and fuck everything.  
      Way too many modern indie filmmakers take themselves too seriously.  They try to make brutal films that push the boundaries and are known for being gruesome.  Sometimes these films succeed at being great films but most of the time they forget that sometimes the viewer does not want to be showered with gore.  They just want to watch something silly and fun.  Chubbies got that right and gave the viewer a silly little monster movie in the same line as Critters and Ghoulies.  The acting in this film is on the same level as a Troma film and I fucking love it.  All the characters are quirky and that makes the film so much fun.  The story for this one is one we have seen before.  In fact, the film is very similar to Critters with the small space creatures coming to Earth and the bounty hunters follow to capture them.  However, unlike Critters, this film is funny all the way through and giving the viewer an amazing and cheesy creature feature.  Though it is a story we have seen before it is one we have never seen with this much humor so that makes it really fun.  Finally, the film has several on screen kills that are fun and entertaining.  We are also given great practical effects along with really intentional cheap effects that gives this film a cheesy look.  Overall, Chubbies is a fun creature feature that takes us back to a time when the monsters ruled the screen.  The film has a great sci-fi opening that turns into a fun and chaotic film.  Check it out because you will not be disappointed.  

Blood for the Muse

Director - Terry M. West (Flesh for the Beast)
Starring - Josh Robinson (Bite Me!), Tina Krause (Hunters), and Tammy Parks (The Erotic Ghost)
Release Date - 2001
Genre - Horror
Format - Streaming (Online Screener)

Rating (out of 5):
     When I was in high school me and a friend listened to the fine tunes of Buckethead...a lot.  This was around the time he did the small stint in Guns N' Roses but we mostly listened to his solo work along with some of the Primus tunes and the Cornbugs.  Sometime during my sophomore year in high school we discovered that Buckethead did the soundtrack for the movie Flesh for the Beast.  We were several hours from the nearest mall so we relied heavily on our local video store to get the movies we wanted to see.  Sadly, they did not have that particular film and the owner said he doubted he would ever order it.  Bummed, we turned to the internet where we set up an account and we found the film for a damn good price.  We threw in a few bids and won it.  Soon after the seller messaged us and congratulated us on winning before telling us that we really needed to check out the director's first film, Blood for the Muse.  We watched FftB and really liked it but for some reason we never looked for a copy of BftM.  That changed last week when director Terry M. West sent me an email that he was making the film available for one weak to stream.  I jumped at the chance to check it out and I thank you Terry for letting me check it out!
     The film follows a video store clerk who is obsessed with an Indiana Jones knock off that involves a beautiful muse.  The muse desires blood so he has been picking local women, prostitutes, and escorts and inviting them back to his place where he kills them while reciting a an ancient verse that he created.  He know this will never raise the muse and she is only a character in a film but he does it anyway.  One day he meets an older man killing someone and learns that the muse is indeed real but his blood offerings are not actually sacrifices.  A sacrifice in this case would be giving up something they really care about or love for the bigger picture.  He thinks about this for days when he meets a young woman that just recently moved and shares the love for the same movie he does.  The two hit if off and they start going out.  However, he soon realizes that his love for her will be the ultimate sacrifice for the muse.  Will he give the blood of his love to the muse?
     Almost all filmmakers have that style that shapes and defines them and their career.  I have seen so many films in my short life and was able to tell who made the film just from watching a few scenes.  However, some directors switch it up from time to time to give their fans something different and to prevent from becoming a stale director.  Now, I have seen Flesh for the Beast several hundreds of times during high school and college and I have seen trailers for West's other films so I could tell what kind of style was his.  However, after watching Blood for the Muse I realized that West is a very versatile filmmaker.  He can make a real sexy horror film where women have a hard time wearing clothes while facing real danger or he can make films like BftM which is fucking awesome.  The acting in this film is spectacular.  The entire cast was perfect for their roles.  In fact, most was so well cast that they look as if they were made for their roles.  The film would have not been as good as it was if someone else was in the roles.  The story for this one was inspired by the indie comic of the same name.  The story is not that unique but it does stand out from the crowd with the way it was filmed.   The story is a bit of a mash up of other stories with some evil bastard trying to raise an evil demon, or muse, by killing and sacrifices beautiful women.  However, it was done in a nontraditional horror manner making it very fun.  The film really does feel like American Psycho meets Clerks.   The story is also able to pull the viewer in and not let go but it does get a little slow at times.  Finally, the film does not have that many impressive kills nor does it have amazing practical effects to go with it.  The point of this film is to not shower the viewer with blood and guts but to give them a great story that flows well and entertains.  Overall, Blood for the Muse is an indie classic that needs to be added to any collection.  This film is essential viewing for any real horror fan and a modern classic.  Check it out!

Monday, January 26, 2015


Director - John Miller (Make Them Die Sleazy)
Starring - Krystal Pixie Adams (Naughty Dirty Nasty), Bob Glazier (Amerikan Holokaust), and Jules Sceiro (Rat Catching)
Release Date - 2015
Genre - Crime/Horror
Format - Streaming (Online Screener)

Rating (out of 5):
     My love for movies is not contained in just one genre.  Sure, horror is and always will be my favorite genre but I do enjoy films from other genres as well.  However, I sometimes want to push genres aside and watch something raunchy and sleazy with a story that is not too complex and beautiful women who feel more comfortable nude than wearing clothes.  When I'm in the mood for such a film I have many avenues to venture down.  I can find me a good exploitation flick from the 70s and 80s or I can pop in an erotic horror flick.  Or I can do like most people do now and grab a Sleaze Box film.  Recently, the Sleaze Box reached out to me to check out their newest film $kumbagz.  Within the last three weeks I have watched and reviewed just as many Sleaze Box films so I agreed to check it out.  After watching Naughty Dirty Nasty I could only imagine what sins and perversions I was about to feast my eyes on.  
     The film follows a young and beautiful young woman who works at a fast food restaurant and lives with her parents.  However, one day she is fired because she wouldn't blow her boss while shoving a cucumber up his ass.  She starts walking home and is picked up by a really nice man and he talks her into going back to his place.  Once there he forces her into prostitution.  It is through him that she meets a pimp and drug pusher (portrayed by director John Miller) and he takes her away from her man and turns her into a more high class piece of pussy.  Things start to look up for the young lady until a local gang hears about him moving in on their turf.  They beat her pimp and gang rape her but it is far from over.  The two refuse to sit there and not do nothing so they grab some guns and head out to kill them all.  They succeed but the pimp pays a high price.
      When I sit down to watch a film from the Sleaze Box I know that I can throw sanity out the window.  Most of their films are nightmare inducing and most take place in scenes that are very dream-like.  They always have Dario Argento-esque lighting and always pushes the limits of the perverse and disgusting.  $kumbagz did not disappoint at all and has everything that Sleaze Box is known more.  The acting in this film is solid and is more traditional than the previous Sleaze Box films that I have checked out in the past.  Most of the scenes unfold like a normal film which is something that the Sleaze Box is not known for.  However, by having the film flowing like this we get to see how much talent this cast has which is really surprising.  The entire cast is perfect.  The story for this one is a little more complex when compared to past releases which is another aspect that really surprised me.  The story feels more like a crime drama but filled to the top with sleaze and beautiful women.  If this is a new direction John and Chris are going with their films then I fully support it!  Finally, the film does have a few on screen kills.  Though they are nothing new or amazing they are still fun and make the film enjoyable.  The special effects are not that great but the kills were filmed in a way that it did not take away from them.  Overall, $kumbagz is an erotic and degrading film that is hard to look away from.  Fans of raunchy films will really enjoy this one.  Check it out!