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Basket Case 3: The Progeny (1991) -


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by Bone Jawnson

This past weekend, I tied up the Basket Case trilogy this past weekend by watching "Basket Case 3: The Progeny." After viewing the original "Basket Case," I became a big fan of Frank Henenlotter's passion for low-budget horror comedy filmmaking. There were more "freaks," some more effects, and the birth of Belial's offspring, although a bit less blood, which I believe, was attributed to the producer's input. Even though I could not find clear budget information for this third installment, I imagine it was close to the first sequel's budget of $2.5 million dollars.

Once again, Annie Ross's performance stuck out as genuine and sincere. As I learned in "Basket Case 2," her character, Granny Ruth, created a safe haven of sorts, for many freaks’ that were cast out of society and their homes. She included them in her home, took care of them, and ensured that they were motivated to express their personalities. In particular, two scenes of Ross's are memorable and moving. At one point in the movie, Belial's partner, Eve, goes into labor with their offspring. In an effort to ensure that Eve receives the best possible care, she loads up her school bus with all the freaks and takes off to a trusted relative. After loading the bus, she checks on each individual and ensures that they have what they need and are comfortable.

The next point in the film that was particularly encouraging was when the bus's radio was not functional, so nobody could listen to the music. In the absence of radio, Granny Ruth leads the misfit crew in the rendition of the 1959 hit, "Personality," as sung by Lloyd Price. Personally, I found the singalong to be a sweet touch. It showed that Granny Ruth wanted the "freaks" to be able to feel like themselves and comfortable in their own skin. She cared for them a great deal and wanted them to focus on the positive qualities of their lives.

After this installation of the Basket Case franchise came to a close, Frank Henenlotter was a bit disappointed with the final result and ended up taking an almost two-decade break from making films. Although this film was a little disjointed with Belial's presence seeming secondary, I found the overall theme of "yep, we're freaks and we're here to stay" awesome for a horror movie franchise. If you have not seen this trilogy, I recommend it. If you have seen it, try re-watching it through a lens of diversity, as there are some pretty cool inclusive themes.

Basket Case 3: The Progeny Trailer

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