"Basketcase (1981/Blu-ray/Image Ent./Something Weird Video)" Review

Review: Back in 1981 a brave young director by the name of Frank Henenlotter set out to make a  film about 2 brothers who were separated at a young age that decided to teach the people who separated them a lesson they would never forget and what came to theaters in April of 1982 was Basket Case! Which to myself is one of the most touching coming of age tales that has ever been put on to film ...oh wait we're talking about Basket Case not Stand By Me!

Well in ways I guess you do get a coming of age tale in this film but it goes down a way more demented path. This film surrounds itself mainly with 2 brothers Duane Bradley and his small deformed brother Belial who are on a mission in New York City to get revenge on those who were involved in their separation when they were children. Duane and Belial take up a room in a very crappy hotel where everyone seems to be nosey or just plain odd. After Duane starts getting close to a female he meets at a doctors office Belial starts to get very mad and jealous of Duane and from there things go into a spiral that leads to a very shocking ending!
To myself this is one of the cooler films of it's time and has stuck with me for many years ever since I got my first viewing of it on a very crappy VHS copy. As most of you already know this film also spawned 2 sequels which I really liked alot as well even though most seem to hate them, hopefully I will touch on those other 2 one day. A good thing about Basket Case is that you don't have to take it so seriously like you would with alot of other exploitation or horror films, it has it's more serious moments when the 2 brothers get their revenge as well as flashbacks of them when they were younger and being separated by a team of 3 low brow doctors.
Then you get the lighter side when you see the interaction of the hotel keeper with the patrons on the hotel as well as a scene when Belial goes crazy and starts tearing their room apart in very cool stop motion animation. The main attraction of this film for me has always been Belial because he just looks beautifully grotesque and I love the sounds he makes when he gets mad as well as when he kills someone. From what I have gathered they used Belial puppets as well as a glove that looked like Belials hand which was used by Henenlotter mainly during the killing scenes. Also really liked the character Duane, he just has this friendly but kinda creepy way of acting that made me laugh a few times especially when he is in a bar with a woman from the hotel and he is describing his brother and laughing hysterically. On a little side note you can also see him do a cameo in the Henenlotter's film Brain Damage (1988)!
To me I was quite surprised like you may be also about this film being brought to the blu-ray format because the type of film it is you'd never expect it, but of course films like Basket Case are making it to this format by great companies like Synapse Films, Blue Underground, Severin Films, Image Entertainment ect. Now I was quite skeptical on how Basket Case would look and after popping it in the player I was blown away by how great the film looks! As described in the new intro by Frank Henenlotter, he wanted to make the film look like it's original 16mm release print which does make it an aspect ratio of 1.33:1. All the grain is still intact and is very well cleaned up and really looks the best it probably will ever and is a big step up from the older 20th anniversary edition. You also get all the special features from that edition as well!

Picture: 5/5 Audio:4/5 Special Features: 5/5 Movie:4.5/5

-Daniel "Damnation" Lee

Director: Frank Henenlotter
Genre: Exploitation/Horror/Creature Feature
Blu-Ray Release Year: 2011
Theatrical Release Year: 1982
Time Length: 91 mins.
Company:Image Entertainment/ Something Weird Video
Website: www.image-entertainment.com