Monday, October 17, 2016

BASKET CASE 2 AND BASKET CASE 3 (Synapse Films Blu-ray) - Coming Out of the Basket Times TWO


The original Basket Case will make you jump all the way into a New York City dumpster, close the lid and making you either act like Belial or pray for morning.  You know the old story... guy's brother lives in a basket that he carries around with him after being separated from him surgically. Of course the little fella in the basket is pissed, has a bad temper and likes to splatter people across the wall (with freshly tossed Crayola red goodness of course). Belial was a creepy looking creature of a separated twin brother. The effects used to make him move, speak and kill are offputting and memorable. That's the original movie of course. The first sequel is kind of an 80's mess of a thing. Strange part is, I love the mess.

The follow up to Frank Henenlotter's classic body Horror splat picture is a study in 80's practical effects, overuse of makeup and creative creature design that may revival the original Star Wars in terms of ingenuity. I can appreciate all that. I can also forgive so many of the story flaws that force me to watch the movie as a near music video for the visual aesthetic alone rather than a cohesive work of Horror. Hey, you can't love em all, right? Fans of the original or fans of Henenlotter will love Basket Case 2, forgive all its short comings and appreciate the mad effects geniuses that made the 80's great. If you want to be scared, this ain't the movie for you. If you're out to have a bit of fun and gross out the norms... do it!

Note for the Doc: the end sex scene sold me on this movie. You can ignore the rest of the movie if you need to, if you find it boring, if you simply cannot get into... hit up the ending and turn on some Marvin Gaye. It's not quite the Shunting sequence from Society, but it's up there with one of the great Horror sex scenes of all time. Call this one  "Belial in Love" for a subtitle.

Synapse has never let me down. Their Blu-rays are impeccable with a transfer that honors the release. The quality is superb, strong black levels and good color saturation for a vibrant, gory picture. It's a clean release without dirt or scratching. The new cover artwork by Joel Robinson is inspired. I love that guy. It's fitting for the movie, fun and an excellent, modern interpretation embodying what makes body Horror juicy good fun. Definitely check out the making of featurette that focuses in on the special effects creation. That's why you love Henenlotter movies beyond the bizarre anti-heroes and perverse fetishistic conveyance of sexual anything.

Order your copy now:

From Synapse:

Duane Bradley and his surgically-separated twin brother Belial return in this frightfully gory follow-up to Frank Henenlotter’s original monster movie classic, BASKET CASE. After surviving a fall from a hospital window, the two brothers become media targets. Duane’s aunt, Granny Ruth (played by world-famous Jazz singer Annie Ross), whisks the duo away to a secluded mansion, where other freaks-in-hiding live out their days away from public scrutiny. When a snooping tabloid reporter finds the location of the mutants, Duane and his new family must stand together to keep their freedom a secret. And, in all the chaos, Belial might actually find true love!

Synapse Films is proud to present BASKET CASE 2 in a beautiful high-definition transfer from the original 35mm camera negative.


THE MAN IN THE MOON MASK – Interview with “Half Moon” actor, David Emge
BEYOND THE WICKER – Behind-the-Scenes Featurette from Special Effects Makeup Artist, Gabe Bartalos
Reversible Cover art with newly commissioned front piece by Joel Robinson


And Synapse brings the Body Horror again with a Blu-ray release of the second followup to the classic Frank Henenlotter picture, Basket Case, Basket Case 3: The Progeny. I suppose this sequel was inevitable given the way the second one ended. You know what happens when the insane, monsterific, basketed twin brother doesn't put a rain jacket on the big guy! We end up with little creatures that are clearly meant to bend the line between creature feature Body Horror and comedy in true 80's fashion. Does it work?

It's not secret that the story line from Basket Case 2 didn't exactly light me up. It's was tolerable, but I find that that movie is simply wonderful for the creature and special effects creation. It's a visually pleasing movie. Basket Case 3 continues that same sentiment. The story line is far fetched in a non scary and non-threatening manner but serves nicely as a vehicle for the artists of 80's physical effect Horror to do their best work. I appreciate their efforts. I tolerate the narrative. I laugh at times and even allow myself to empathize with new monster parents.

Truth be told it's a forced story that takes what was a fun Horror picture in the original and bends it to near Troma proportions. This trilogy builds from a near traditional original movie to a gonzo sequel to an over-gonzo third installment.  If you like part 2, you'll like part 3. If you liked the original, didn't like part 2, then you'll probably want to distant yourself from this one as well (especially if you were cold hearted enough not to enjoy the sex scene at the end of part 2).

We have another solid transfer from Synapse that looks great. The extra package is a bit light when compared to the offering in the sequel, but at least we get some awesome new cover art that's reversible from Joel Robinson.

Order your copy now:

From Synapse:


He’s back. He’s bad. And, he’s a dad! Belial, everyone’s favorite beast-in-a-basket, is back in this sensational third film in the wildly macabre BASKET CASE horror series.

After being separated again from his conjoined twin brother Duane (Kevin Van Hentenryck), Belial finds out he’s going to be a deformed daddy! Mrs. Belial (“Eve”, played by Denise Coop) delivers a litter of bouncing baby monsters, but the blessed event turns into a nightmarish ordeal when the police kidnap the little critters. They should know it’s not safe to anger Belial! Attacking the cops in a climactic, gory rampage, everyone’s favorite mutant mauler stops at nothing to get his newborns back!

Synapse Films is proud to present BASKET CASE 3: THE PROGENY in a beautiful high-definition transfer from original 35mm vault materials.


Original Theatrical Trailer
Reversible Cover art with newly commissioned front piece by Joel Robinson

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