I don’t usually review multiple movies in the same post unless they are in a set, however this time I’m going to make an exception. BASKET CASE 2 and BASKET CASE 3: THE PROGENY are not being re-released in a set, but they do go hand-in-hand and are experienced best if watched back to back. Thus, I’m going to break the norm and review them together.
Director Frank Henenlotter is responsible for a couple of my favorite films from the 80s and 90s, particularly BRAIN DAMAGE and FRANKENHOOKER. These films are strange, darkly comedic, and gory, and I love ‘em. But for a long while, they were the only Henenlotter films I was familiar with. So when I first heard Synapse and CAV were releasing the second and third entries in the BASKET CASE trilogy on Blu-ray, I jumped at the chance to watch them. I had seen a previous DVD release of the third film, but I wanted to check them all out in HD, not to mention see what I missed in part 2.
I was not disappointed, either.
Both films are wildly entertaining, and the HD updates do them a world of justice. I highly recommend them to any horror fan who enjoys zany, gory fun.
If you are not familiar with BASKET CASE 2 or BASKET CASE 3: THE PROGENY, here are their plot synopses courtesy of Synapse Films & CAV Distribution:
Basket Case 2
Duane Bradley and his surgically-separated twin brother Belial return in this frightfully gory follow-up to Frank Henenlotter’s original monster movie classic, BASKET CASE. After surviving a fall from a hospital window, the two brothers become media targets. Duane’s aunt, Granny Ruth (played by world-famous Jazz singer Annie Ross), whisks the duo away to a secluded mansion, where other freaks-in-hiding live out their days away from public scrutiny. When a snooping tabloid reporter finds the location of the mutants, Duane and his new family must stand together to keep their freedom a secret. And, in all the chaos, Belial might actually find true love! Synapse Films is proud to present BASKET CASE 2 in a beautiful high-definition transfer from the original 35mm camera negative.
Basket Case 3: The Progeny
WELCOME TO THE FAMILY! He’s back. He’s bad. And, he’s a dad! Belial, everyone’s favorite beast-in-a-basket, is back in this sensational third film in the wildly macabre BASKET CASE horror series.
After being separated again from his conjoined twin brother Duane (Kevin Van Hentenryck), Belial finds out he’s going to be a deformed daddy! Mrs. Belial (“Eve”, played by Denise Coop) delivers a litter of bouncing baby monsters, but the blessed event turns into a nightmarish ordeal when the police kidnap the little critters. They should know it’s not safe to anger Belial! Attacking the cops in a climactic, gory rampage, everyone’s favorite mutant mauler stops at nothing to get his newborns back! Synapse Films is proud to present BASKET CASE 3: THE PROGENY in a beautiful high-definition transfer from original 35mm vault materials.
I’m very surprised the infamous Charles Band from Full Moon Features was not involved with the making of these films. The concept and even the execution of the films seem right up his alley.
BASKET CASE 2 and BASKET CASE 3: THE PROGENY are both shot well and look good onscreen. The HD transfers for both are excellent; the picture quality is top notch and the colors really burst. Additionally, the sound quality is great as well.
The acting in both films is decent, although let’s face it: you’re not going to watch either film for stellar theatrical performances. No, the main focal point here are the hideous deformities shown on the Blu-ray covers. Much like a carnival sideshow, these beasties will give you plenty of reasons to stare.
The special effects are very good, and I particularly like how realistic the creatures are for the most part. Granted, it’s sometimes obvious they are puppets, but the effects crew still does a great job of blending them in to the scene and making them look alive.
Of the two films, I would have to say BASKET CASE 2 is my favorite. The third film is almost too campy for me, whereas part two comes across as more serious. Well, as serious as a film like this can be, of course.
BASKET CASE 2 and BASKET CASE 3: THE PROGENY are both big wins for me, and again, I recommend them to anybody looking for a weirdly entertaining time. Each film is available now, so make a note.