Monday, August 30, 2010

Bad Biology, Or: Oh, Screw it, Let's Talk about a GOOD Movie

Sigh. I was SO disappointed in this.

I love Henenlotter and I was really pumped to hear that he ended his fifteen year hiatus with a new film.

Frankenhooker. Brain Damage. The Basket Case films. I love them all. In fact, I love them all so much that when I started to write about Bad Biology, I ended up writing more about Basket Case. 

So I said Eff It. Let's talk about Basket Case!!!!!

In fact, the original Basket Case must have been the first 'so bad it's good' film that really affected me. I'm sure I saw bad films before that, but there was something so unique and endearing about Basket Case (even though it must feature some of the worst acting this side of Showgirls.......and I say that with all kinds of affection) that it wormed its way into little black heart and it's stayed there. 

Right away we make with the red stuff:

                                    I'm gonna git ya with mah big clay hand.....

Basket Case is the story of Duane, a young man who wanders into New York City carrying a mysterious wicker basket that he talks to:

 and feeds:

Duane, as we'll soon find out, is in town to look up a few doctors. They have neat names like Kutter and Needleman.

He wastes no time going to see Dr Needleman, where he meets a receptionist with a real talent for imitating mice caught in typewriters:

                                                     Nope. Not kidding.

I especially love when she gets all over Duane's case for not visiting Radio City Music Hall or the Statue of Liberty in the approximately 12 hours he's been in town:

But getting shit from total strangers must float Duane's boat, because he ends up going out with her.

Duane gets in to see Dr Needleman, and whips out this little puppy:

Later, Duane and his basket pay the doctor another visit:

And we finally get to see what's in the basket:

Next day, Duane and his crabby receptionist hit the town:

          Just when you thought she had the worst hairstyle in the movie....

Which doesn't sit well with Basket Boy, who goes on a rampage:

And then goes to pout in his favorite spot, where Duane has a heart-to-heart with him:

Duane goes out later to drown his sorrows, where he runs into a woman who lives in the hotel, and proceeds to do the worst impersonation of a drunk person ever:

In his drunkenness, Duane spills the beans to his buddy, telling her that his deformed brother, Belial, lives in the basket - and not only that, they used to be Siamese twins.  Then Duane passes out so he can have a nifty flashback showing us what happened to he and Belial:

Turns out his mother died in childbirth, and his father always hated them and set up a little impromptu operating room to seperate the two:

Complete with neato sound effects that sound like cutting through styrofoam:

I love how they just toss him in a garbage bag and set him outside.  Like, 'Oh, that deformed Siamese twin you just cut off my son?  Just throw him outside, I'll put him on the curb tomorrow"

But it doesn't take long before Dad gets his:

But it turns out that Duane and Belial's aunt always had a soft spot for the little monster, and helps hide Belial from the world:

                    Yeah, I'd totally rock the monster to sleep at night.

Eventually, Duane wakes up from his drunken slumber and he and Belial head out to find Dr Kutter:

Who has not only the balls to call Duane a freak but to also be the worst actress in the movie.

Good acting, Bad acting, doesn't matter, if you're wearing a white coat in this movie, you're goin' down:

After Belial pushes her face into a drawer full of scalpels (which is how everyone keeps them, right?)

                                                     All kinds of awesome.

Duane and Belial return to their room after a hard day of killing only to find his receptionist girlfriend show up - which leads to hanky panky.....which does NOT sit well with Belial in the basket:

So Duane does the only logical thing. He wraps his girlfriend up in a BLANKET, opens the door, tosses her out into the HALLWAY, where she promptly bounces off the wall and hits the floor.


Of course she does the only logical thing and gets out of there ASAP:


Well, apparently a concussion isn't enough revenge for Belial, since he sneaks out later:

                                               Stop motion madness.

And gets a little business on of his own-  Which ends all kinds of badly:

Duane finds out and goes ape shit, then Belial goes on and goes ape shit right back at him:

Then, alas:

Like you thought a movie about a guy with a mutated detached Siamese twin killing machine was going to end happy.

Oh, don't feel too bad. They come back to life in Basket Case 2 and 3.

The DVD also has all kinds of neato extras, including commentaries and a tour of the locations featuring Frank Henelenlotter.

I also have to mention that I met Kevin VanHentenryck (Duane) and he was the sweetest thing. He's now an artist - look him up sometime.

Briefly, regarding Bad Biology.  When we had this:

less than 20 minutes in, my hopes were high.  I was all, Yay! Freak Babies!

Then it was downhill from there.
It's about a hyper sexual girl and a hyper sexual guy and guess what, they have a lot of sex. And talk about sex and think about sex and do sex a lot. But they're both such freaks that the people who have sex with them end up dead quite often.  And inbetween all the sexin', well, it's just.....kind of .....

It was one of those movies that I ended up checking my email during and looking around for things to dust. Yeah.

But hey, we always have Belial and Duane, right?  And maybe now that Henenlotter is back making films, he'll try another....and I'd probably give that one another shot before I totally give up.  Because hey, I'm nothing if not optimistic.

Till next time, Dearhearts.....
Mother Firefly


John said...

I love Frank Henenlotter in general and Basket Case in particular too, but I couldn't disagree more about Bad Biology.

That CGI baby was the low-point of the movie for me, I recoiled a little at the sudden sight of a CGI creature in a Henenlotter movie.

Maybe this one was a little too dull for you because he used twice as many of his crazy, monotone monologue-er main characters to tell the story here.

I don't like it nearly as much as something like Frankenhooker, but I didn't really expect to. I was just glad that Henenlotter seems to have kept his strange little trademark quirks after all these years and I can't wait to see what else he comes up with.

Lazarus Lupin said...

There were things I did like about the film. I liked the idea of hyper sexuality not as something to arrouse but as something horrible. It's sort of the dark side of viagra. Or as they say in magik with a "K," "Never call up what you can't put down."

Shame it doesn't create sympathetic characters. Horrible that it just wastes time. And the end does the impossible by both blowing and sucking at the same time.

Lazarus Lupin
art and review

Mother Firefly said...

I really, really tried to like this movie. I went in with high hopes based on the review on and I was looking forward to it. But by the end, for whatever reason, I just didn't care any more.

But, hey, it's still cool to see Henenlotter back to making films and I hope he stays in the game.

Jinx said...

Hi, Mother F. Just wanted to let you know I passed the Zombie Rabbit award on to you for being wonderful. Hope that's cool with you. You can pick it up over at my blog.

Mother Firefly said...

Wow! Thanks! You're too good to me. I'm beyond flattered. I'll be there directly to pick it up!
Mother Firefly