Basket Case (1982) - A movie the director thought you'd never see -

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by Bone Jawnson

On a cold Saturday afternoon in March, I decided to dive into low-budget horror movies from the 1970s and 1980s. As a fan of the do-it-yourself process, I've always been attracted to the passion and drive of low-budget horror movie creators, like the team from TROMA. Having a hectic life, I've been hard-pressed to find the time to sit down, watch and appreciate this type of movie genre, until now.

Recently, I stumbled across a photo of the blob-with-teeth-like being, Belial, from the movie "Basket Case." I've heard the name of the movie before, but never viewed it. To start my journey, I performed a Google search which turned up an informative video on the YouTube channel, Dead Meat. What I found through that video completely sold me: low budget, blood, guts, foam latex, an eight-year-old puppeteer, and a dash of comedy.

To summarize what I discovered, the director, Frank Henenlotter, sought to make the silliest movie he could. He simply just wanted to make a movie. "Basket Case" was Frank's first directorial venture and he had little to no idea what to do. Frank bankrolled half of his personal savings toward the project and the rest of the budget came in bits and pieces over time, about a year to be exact. The film was produced in chunks, then shown to potential investors to gather more money to produce more of the film. At one point, the Belial puppet shrunk to the point that adult hands couldn't fit inside anymore so one of the crew member's eight-year-old daughter had to puppeteer the remaining scenes. 

I had a blast learning about the passion behind "Basket Case." The director wanted to make this movie because he seemed like he wanted to have fun in the process. He pressed through and made it even though he assumed that nobody would see it, but I did and I loved it. Even though this movie is a bloody low-budget slasher, I learned a lot about following your passion regardless of the hurdles that might lie in front of you. "Basket Case" is currently available on Tubi TV, which is where I viewed it. Check out the trailer below, watch the Dead Meat video, as linked above, and dive into the cinema of the weird that is "Basket Case." Stay tuned for future articles at

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