'Basket Case' [Blu-ray]
(Kevin Van Hentenryck, Terri Susan Smith, Beverly Bonner, Diana Browne, Robert Vogel, et al / Blu ray / NR / (1982) 2011 / IMAGE Entertainment)
Overview: 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.
Blu ray Verdict: In truth, the first five minutes of 'Basket Case' will determine whether or not the film is for you. You'll either be laughing uncontrollably, or be terribly annoyed. And while neither act is what the director was aiming for, Basket Case's jokiness, bad dialogue, daffy characters, and bizarre violence makes it a cult classic among low-budget horror films. It is one of the rare trashy films that is so poorly constructed it provides above-average entertainment.
Duane Bradley (Kevin Van Hentenryck) hides a horrifying secret - in a locked wicker basket that he constantly keeps at his side. Checking into a seedy hotel in Times Square, he plots a series of visits to various doctor's offices scattered around the city. As he visits each one, he unlocks the basket to allow a terrifyingly grotesque creature to scurry out, searching for addresses, paperwork, and brutally bloody revenge.
The mystery monstrosity in Duane's basket is no secret at all (given away by theatrical posters, DVD cover art and more) and is the remains of his Siamese twin brother Belial. A twisted lump of scar tissue, cartilage, and deformed flesh, Belial was removed by merciful doctors at the behest of their father, who hoped for a normal life for Duane. Not realizing that Belial could survive the torturous operation, and that Duane abhorred the separation, the duo remained conspiratorially in cohorts, growing up to plot revenge against the doctors involved. Communicating through telepathy and eager for blood, Belial is unleashed upon a city not ready for the horrors of this Basket Case.
Basket Case is one of the pioneers of exploitation horror, complete with nudity, bloodshed, hilariously absurd dialogue, and silly creature effects. Low budget and not afraid to show it, the film tops its competitors of the day with memorable characters, an eerie story and the outlandish rubbery head of Belial. No character is normal in the film - everyone reeks of abnormalities, from eccentric behaviors and nonsensical dialogue, to extravagantly unpredictable actions.
And so, believe me, Basket Case doesn't disappoint. And based on the fact that it inspired two sequels, director Frank Henenlotter's unique horror film is most certainly a cult classic. This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
New full-frame HD transfer preserving the original 16mm camera ratio
New video introduction by Frank Henenlotter
Rare Outtakes and Behind-the-Scenes Footage
Two Theatrical Trailers plus TV Spot
2001 Video Short: In Search of the Hotel Broslin
Two Rare 'Basket Case' Radio Spots
Gallery of 'Basket Case' Exploitation Art and Behind-the-Scenes Photos