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Basket Case: Limited Edition (1982) - Blu-ray Review

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Basket Case: Limited Edition (1982) - Blu-ray

Movie Review

5 beersWhat’s in the basket? Easter Eggs? Nope. Just my not-so conjoined wart of a twin! Wanna looksee?!

Basket Case, my fellow fiends and gore-gore ghouls, is the demented story of one set of twins who simply do not play by the rules of the natural order. But you already knew that and, I suspect, are here because you love this freakishly funny b-movie as much as I do. What else could we do with this loveably ghoulish first feature from the creator of Frankenhooker and Brain Damage?   There is no choice but to hug on it, warts and all, and spread its gospel accordingly.

Director Frank Henenlotter’s film operates as a horror flick, yes, but more than that this film survives through popular culture as an ode to all things grimy and sticking to the seedy sidewalks of Manhattan's 42nd Street. It is truly a diary entry from a specific time and place in American history and, because you can’t take the city out of these characters, reflects so much of New York that it is damn impossible not to appreciate.

Basket Case is a horror comedy that is different from what you may be expecting. It’s completely lit and out of its skull; however, it never lets on that it knows just how insane it actually is. The Claymation scene where a still living tumor-like twin destroys a rented room is just perfection. In fact, there’s not one single moment wasted in a gritty narrative about the anger and atrocity as one deformed twin, Belial, takes his revenge for being unwillingly separated from his normal-looking brother.

“This is why we can’t have nice things,” he seems to scream at the camera. And, boy, does he ever kill out his frustrations, too. He’s always pissed and this means that, unfortunately, he’s always killing some poor soul.

That’s right, in this twisted tale of revenge, one twin (Kevin Van Hentenryck as Duane Bradley) is by all accounts normal and the other, Belial, has to live in a basket and is only brought out to feed on the living when it is absolutely necessary. Duane, tall and curly-headed, gets all the girls but he has to whisper his intentions in order to get time away from his very angry blob of a brother. How absolutely frustrating, man! To be cock blocked by a miniature-sized Jabba the Hut!

Duane might be a tad touched in the head (and the side as the scar from the operation is quite noticeable) but he is nothing like Belial. The chicks kind of dig his weirdness, especially Terri Susan Smith as Sharon, the nurse at the local doctor’s office he goes to for help with his troubled (and troubling) twin brother.

Written and directed by the one and only Frank Henenlotter, Basket Case returns to our homes courtesy of Arrow Video and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), who present this cult classic with a brand new 4K restoration from the original 16mm negative. I don’t need to tell just how immaculately crisp the results of their work is. No question about it, this release is a must-own.

Go ahead and reach inside this Basket Case. I double dog dare you.

 

Film Details

Basket Case: Limited Edition (1982) - Blu-ray

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
Runtime: 91 mins
Director: Frank Henenlotter
Writer: Frank Henenlotter
Cast: Kevin Van Hentenryck, Terri Susan Smith, Beverly Bonner
Genre: Horror
Tagline: The tenant in room 7 is very small, very twisted and very mad.
Memorable Movie Quote: "It's better off dead. What kind of life would it have the way it is?"
Theatrical Distributor: Analysis Film Releasing Corporation
Official Site:
Release Date: April 2, 1982
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date: February 27, 2018
Synopsis: A young man carrying a big basket that contains his extremely deformed Siamese-twin brother seeks vengeance on the doctors who separated them against their will.

 

Basket Case: Limited Edition (1982) - Blu-ray

Blu-ray Reviews

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Arrow Video
Available on Blu-ray - February 27, 2018
Screen Formats: 1.33:1
Subtitles: English SDH
Audio: English: LPCM Mono
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Basket Case’s Brand new 4K restoration from the original 16mm negative by MoMA is, parden the pun, a true work of art. Colors and shadows are solid and details are the best they’ve been and absolutely the best they are ever going to be. The scenes of Claymation are perfectly melded with the practical effects. While some scenes are out of focus (blame the camera), the level of attention and the countless hours of color correction are definitely noticeable. This 1080p presentation – with an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 – has the original uncompressed Mono audio track. Everything is perfect. Basket Case has never behaved better than it does here with Arrow Video’s fine release. Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing are also included.

Supplements:

Commentary:

Fans will be happy to note that a brand new audio commentary with writer/director Frank Henenlotter and star Kevin Van Hentenryck has been included with this very special (and limited) release.

Special Features:

This limited edition release from Arrow Video is exhaustive. Fans of the movie will be pleased with the results and, probably, eagerly awaiting any news on this type of release for the rest of the films in the series. The specifics are detailed below.

Basket Case 3-1/2: An Interview with Duane Bradley – Frank Henenlotter revisits Duane Bradley decades after the events of the original Basket Case
Seeing Double: The Basket Case Twins – a brand new interview with Florence and Maryellen Schultz, the twin nurses from Basket Case
Brand new making-of featurette containing new interviews with producer Edgar Ievins, casting person/actress Ilze Balodis, associate producer/effects artist Ugis Nigals and Belial performer Kika Nigals
Blood, BASKET and Beyond – a brand new interview with actress Beverly Bonner
Belial Goes to the Drive-In – a brand new interview with film critic Joe Bob BriggsOuttakes Featurette
In Search of the Hotel Broslin – archive location featurette
Slash of the Knife (1972) – short film by Frank Henenlotter
Belial’s Dream – brand new animated short by filmmaker Robert MorganBehind-the-scenes of Belial’s Dream
Trailers, TV Spots and Radio Spots
Extensive Still Galleries
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Sara Deck
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Collector’s booklet with new writing on the film by Michael Gingold

 

Basket Case: Limited Edition (1982) - Blu-ray

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