Written & Directed by Frank Henenlotter
Distributed by Arrow Video / MVD Entertainment Group
I always love getting the chance to check out an old classic horror film that I have never seen. Such was the case when I recently watched the 1982 classic BASKET CASE. I have always heard of this film, but somehow have managed to have never seen it until now.
For those unfamiliar with the film, here is the plot synopsis courtest of MVD Entertainment website:
THE TENANT IN ROOM 7 IS VERY SMALL, VERY TWISTED, AND VERY MAD.
The feature debut of director Frank Henenlotter (Brain Damage, Frankenhooker), 1982's Basket Case is perhaps his most revered - a riotous and blood-spattered midnight movie experience, now immortalized in a lavish new 4K restoration by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).
Duane Bradley is a pretty ordinary guy. His formerly conjoined twin Belial, on the other hand, is a deformed, fleshy lump whom he carries around in a wicker basket. Arriving in the Big Apple and taking up a room at the seedy Hotel Broslin, the pair set about hunting down and butchering the surgeons responsible for their separation. But tensions flare up when Duane starts spending time with a pretty blonde secretary, and Belial's homicidal tendencies reach bloody new extremes.
Filmed on a shoestring budget against the backdrop of 1980s New York (where the movie would become a staple of the infamous 42nd Street grindhouse circuit), Basket Case has clawed its way from its humble origins to become one of the most celebrated cult movies of all time.
First off, I'll start by saying that this movie was just a lot of fun! It is not a movie to be taken seriously by any means. It is a campy, gory, and pretty cheesy movie....and I loved every minute of it! The creature in the basket was very well done. He is extremely creepy looking and makes some of these most hideous and disturbing screams/sounds I have ever heard!
The gore effects were also very well done and, of course, all practical effects since this was made back in the early 80's. I know I say it often, but practical effects are so much better when it comes to blood and gore. The CG effects nowadays just doesn't look nearly as realistic as the practical effects do.
If you are a fan of campy cinema, you will love this film! It reminded me of something from Troma films or Full Moon films back in the day. As always, Arrow has packed this release with tons of amazing special features. I really enjoyed "In Search of the Hotel Broslin", a short doc where director Henenlotter goes around to find original filming locations from the movie. Definitely check this one out if you get the chance!
BASKET CASE is available now on Arrow Blu-ray and contains the following special features:
• Brand new 4K restoration from the original 16mm negative by MoMA
• High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
• Original Uncompressed Mono Audio
• Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
• Brand new audio commentary with writer/director Frank Henenlotter and star Kevin Van Hentenryck
• 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 Briggs
• Outtakes Featurette
• In Search of the Hotel Broslin - archive location featurette
• Slash of the Knife (1972) - short film by Frank Henenlotter
• Belial's Dream (2017, 5 mins) - brand new Basket Case-inspired animated short by filmmaker Robert Morgan
• Behind-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 DeckFIRST PRESSING ONLY: Collector's booklet with new writing on the film by Michael Gingold
CLICK HERE to watch the trailer
CLICK HERE to purchase the Blu-ray