The Review at a Glance: ( max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Basket Case Productions - 1981
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Feature running time: 91 minutes
Genre: Horror, Comedy
Disc Format: BD-25
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.33:1
Audio Format: English PCM Mono
Starring: Kevin Van Hentenryck, Terri Susan Smith and Beverly Bonner
Directed by: Frank Henenlotter
Music by: Gus Russo
Written by: Frank Henenlotter
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: August 27, 2011
"The tenant in room 7 is very small, very twisted and very mad"
Carrying a mysterious wicker basket wherever he goes, Duane Bradley checks into a flea-bag hotel in New York’s Times Square. What’s in the basket, you ask? Why, it’s Duane’s hideously misshapen Siamese twin brother, Belial! Together, they’re in town to hunt down and wreak havoc on the sleazy surgeons who separated them...
With memorably gruesome scenes – such as the screaming woman with the scalpels stuck in her face – and some disturbing stop-motion animation, Frank Henenlotter’s BASKET CASE is one of the most beloved, cheerfully demented cult classics of all time.
So go ahead and open the basket... if you dare!
The 80s. VHS. Horror. Those were the days. I used to walk 30 minuets each way to go to this Mom and Pop video store that had every horror flick released, and I worked my way through just about every one. I swayed a bit more towards the slashers and vampire flicks, usually shunning horror-comedies. Being the latter, and most unintentionally I assume, I always had a soft spot for "Basket Case". It's the epitome of low-budget, shot on 16mm with a budget of 35k. The acting is abysmal, as are production values. I am surprised it came out as decent as it did, especially considering Director Frank Henenlotter's (Frankenhooker, Brain Damage) included intro revealing he just pointed and shot the camera, not even paying mind to aspect ratio.
The plot of separated Siamese twin brothers Duane and Belial Bradley, who communicate in each others heads, out for revenge on those who were involved in their separation is a game-plan for B-movie gold. Add in a sleazy hotel, gritty and grainy shots of peep shows, strip clubs and all of Times Squares old glory, and the schlocky feel is just right. Oh I forgot the best part! One of the brothers is the titular "Basket Case", a deformed blob of a face and 2 twisted arms with talons who lives in a wicker basket. This puppet blob of latex is laughingly terrible, especially looking at it now, but it did freak me out as a kid. Old school horror buffs will love revisiting this one, even just for the nostalgia of its look, annoying synth score, and location. "Basket Case" got better for me over time and for a bad movie, it certainly has some....umm, charm.
Nudity and excessive violence
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
"Basket Case" is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with a new HD transfer preserving the original 16mm print. Typically shown in a zoomed in 16:9 35mm blown up print, "Basket Case" never looked great--It was soft and too dark. Finally it can be said that it looks damn good! Who would've thought a gem would be found in a 16mm 4:3 Blu-ray release of a handmade cult flick. By no means is it as good as a modern movie on Blu-ray, but for what it is it's impressively detailed, with stable contrast and a natural color palette. There are the occasional soft shot, but it all fits with the films look. Blacks are strong as well, though crushed at times due to lighting and how it was filmed. Image Entertainment and Something Weird Video did well, as "Basket Case" has never looked better. Digging into the audio, we are treated to a serviceable, yet a bit thin and narrow uncompressed PCM mix. Things are clear for the most part, but the root of the audio design is not top notch and it shows. The low end is lacking, but its not called for and of course, there are no reach effect channels. The best I can say is at least there were no audible issue with noise in this track and it does what it needs to do.
- Audio Commentary by director Frank Henenlotter, producer Edgar Ievins and actress Beverly Bonner
- (HD) New Video Introduction by Frank Henenlotter
- Two Theatrical Trailers plus TV Spot
- (HD) 2001 Video Short: In Search of the Hotel Broslin
- Two Rare BASKET CASE Radio Spots
- (HD) Gallery of BASKET CASE Exploitation Art and Behind-the-Scene photos
No it's not the Green Day song, nor is it your mother-in-law, it's "Basket Case", the 80s low budget horror flick that manages to rise above its silly effects, low production values and bad acting. It's a fun, dumb, gory ride that was more enjoyable than I want to admit- just don't watch parts 2 or 3, they were both pretty terrible. It has never looked better and is a must for fans! I am glad to have Duane and Belial on my shelf and might let them loose every now and again.
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JVC DLA-X3 3D 1080p 3D High Definition Front Projector
Screen Innovations Solar HD 1.3 120" 2.40:1 CinemaScope Screen
Denon AVR 4311 Pre/Pro
Sunfire Theater Grand 7201 Amplifier
Sony PS3 Slim Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sunfire Cinema Ribbon Trio On-Wall (5.1)
2 Sunfire True Subwoofer EQ Solitaire 10"