« Saving Mr. Wu | Main | Sweet Bean »

August 03, 2016

Basket Case 2


Frank Henenlotter - 1990
Synapse Films BD Regions ABC

For those who may not have them in their collection, or are interested in the upgrade, Basket Case 2 and Basket Case 3 are now available in blu-ray editions. I wrote about Basket Case 3 at the time of the DVD release.

For those not familiar with the trilogy, the films are about two brothers, originally conjoined twins. The physically normal Duane looks after the extremely deformed Belial. The homicidal Belial is essentially a head on body resembling a short tree stump, with two muscular arms and claws. Belial is kept inside a wicker basket, hence the title.

Filmed about eight years following the original film, Basket Case 2 takes up where the first film left off. Duane and Belial have fallen from the window of their seedy Times Square room. Where they are seemingly left for dead in the first film, it turns out the two survive after being taken to a hospital. The two escape and in a case of fortuitous timing, are rescued by Granny Ruth, a family friend, who has a house full of misshaped freaks.

Jumping from a budget of $35,000 to about $2.5 million allowed Henenlotter to make a slicker film with a more professional cast. The blu-ray probably makes Basket Case 2 look far better than it did during its theatrical run. Much of the budget went to the foam rubber masks worn by the freaks, as well as some gloriously gory special effects. I think Caryn James pretty much summed things up for the New York Times when she wrote, "As cheap horror spoofs go, this one isn't all bad."

Posted by Peter Nellhaus at August 3, 2016 06:19 AM