Keyhole Peeker

“In another film, in another time, there’s something of merit in the concept. Maybe a tale of human empathy or a perverted abortion saga. Not for Basket Case. It’s a dire slasher flick, sicking the floppy mutant against the doctors who separated him from his brother. How this beastie – named Belial – actually kills anyone isn’t particularly clear. There’s blood squirting on the walls and screaming, but Belial doesn’t even have legs, and his stubby arms inexplicably overpower victims. Or, it’s a puppet held in place by the “victim.” The staging is utterly obvious, but endearing in a gung-ho, get-it-done style of showmanship.”

Read our full review of Arrow’s Basket Case Blu-ray for more

Video

From a 16mm source, Arrow’s encode does marvelous work in keeping the image’s integrity. What resolution is available in the source pokes through, although the film format limits those possibilities. Compared to the Blu-ray, gains are minimal and expected.

The real winning element is the Dolby Vision pass, intensely pushing brightness to highlight neon signs and other New York lighted landmarks. It’s a bold, aggressive take, enhancing brightness against the dense black levels.

Also rich in color, that can cause some issues with the grain structure. When Duane first climbs the hotel stairs, the orange-ish paint creates a splotchy mess on the walls, likely unavoidable. The clean print pushes excellent, rich primaries including the striking flesh tones. Basket Case looks unexpectedly vivid.

Basket Case 4K UHD screen shot

Audio

Serviceable PCM mono is restricted by the source. Inside the hallways of the hotel, dialog is strained and tin can-ish. It’s overly dry and faded, at times difficult to hear without the aid of subtitles. Shooting live in New York has its downfalls.

There’s little in the way of music, but this also suffers from low budget and degradation. Hisses and pops were cleaned at least, but there’s little to restore.

Extras

Packed with bonuses, this elite selection of features even employs some creativity, and everything is on the UHD. Two commentaries show up, the first an older comm with cast & crew members, the second a new one with director Frank Henenlotter and star Keven Van Hentenryck.

The first separate extra is Basket Case 3-1/2, an eight-minute short film catching up with the lead character. It’s goofy fun. Me and the Bradley Boys brings in Van Hentenryck for an interview, running 16-minutes. A (very) odd interview with the “director” defies written explanation, but prepare for something unusual when you select this three-minute piece. Tracking down the twin sisters who have a short bit part, Arrow’s team interviews this duo for nine minutes.

Blood Basket and Beyond finds Beverly Bonner for to discuss her role for six minutes. In The Latvian Connection, members of the team from Latvia speak on their parts, a beefy piece running 27-minutes. Joe Bob Briggs shows up to discuss the film for six minutes in another featurette. Taking a peek into the premiere of this new restoration, Basket Case and MoMA runs 37-minutes with dubious audio quality unfortunately. A look at the entire Basket Case trilogy runs for 78-minutes, a holdover from a previous home video release if no less entertaining. Take a trip through the locations with the director via In the Search of the Hotel Breslin, filmed back in 2001.

Think it’s done? Nah. The Frission of Fission is an excellent essay, 23-minutes worth, detailing Basket Case and a history of freakish cinema. Outtakes come next, followed by Henenlotter’s short film Slash of the Knife, with a commentary if you choose. There’s a short animated offering (also with commentary) called Belial’s Dream. Galleries finish off this outstanding bonus package.

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.

Basket Case
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras
3

Movie

Depraved, bizarre, and utter cinematic sleaze, Basket Case is premium horror slop.

Sending
User Review
4 (1 vote)

The following six screen shots serve as samples for our subscription-exclusive set of 42 full resolution uncompressed 4K screen shots grabbed directly from the UHD:


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