THE PLOT THUS FAR
A young man carrying a big basket that contains his deformed Siamese-twin brother seeks vengeance on the doctors who separated them against their will.
WHAT WE THOUGHT
Frank Hennenlotter’s “Basket Case” highlights the problem with horror films of today. Back in the eighties, films would be made with an idea and no budget, and the result would nearly always see the release of an inventive and interesting horror film. Basket Case is no exception to this, as despite hokey effects, a rather silly story and some very suspect acting; Basket Case is a trash classic all the way, and it’s a film that’s guaranteed to delight fans of horror. The story capitalises on the fact that many people (including yours truly) find the subject of deformity uncomfortable, and the subject of living with it even more so.
One does have to overlook a few shortcomings necessitated by the bare-bones budget, most notably some very primitive claymation effects that looked amateurish at the time and appear plain silly now when viewed through eyes jaded by the era of computer animation. But since the film never takes itself too seriously, this unintentionally humorous shortfall only adds to the fun.
Despite some clunky moments, the creature in the film is quite well-realized considering what the film-makers had to work with. Due to the fantastical nature of the plot, we end up having to concede that it’s entirely possible that the monster described in the story would look like a latex puppet. Clever film editing and framing allows Henenlotter to bring Belial to life during the most crucial moments, and since the splatter elements are so plentiful, chances are you’ll be more interested in marveling at the gouts of blood and puddles of entrails then looking for the puppeteers hidden off-screen.
The Blu-Ray comes with a full HD transfer remastered from the original negative. You also get a new introduction from the director, plus a classic commentary that breaks down this no-budget production. There’s a ton of outtakes, vintage radio/TV spots and related trappings. Also, the brief mini-documentary from the DVD has been ported over to this release too. The audio track is a little lossy, but that’s to be expected. The 1080p transfer is pretty sharp, but it shows off the flaws in the original production. In the end, I’d recommend a purchase for all serious horror fans.
RELEASE DATE: 09/27/2011