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Basket Case 2 – Synapse Films (BluRay) 
Written by: on July 18th, 2016

Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1990
Director: Frank Henenlotter
Writer: Frank Henenlotter
Cast: Kevin Van Hentenryck, Judy Grafe, Annie Ross, Heather Rattray, Jason Evers, Ted Sorel

BluRay released: August 9th, 2016
Approximate running time: 90 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Rating: R
Sound: DTS-HD Stereo English
Subtitles: English SDH
BluRay Release: Synapse Films
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $19.95

Synopsis: After living eight years in seclusion the notorious Bradley brothers Duane and Belial reemerge after a near fatal accident. The duo is taken in by a woman named Granny Ruth who is running a half way house for society’s most provocative freaks. Duane and Belial just want to lead normal lives out of the prying public’s view and if they are not careful a nosy reporter may expose there whereabouts to the authorities.

The early 1990’s where a busy time for director Frank Henenlotter who after completing the film Brain Damage in 1988 would direct Frankenhooker & Basket Case 2 both in 1990 and Basket Case 3: The Progeny in 1991. Then nothing as Frank Henenlotter all but vanished from the world of cinema that is until recently with his return to the director’s chair in 2007 for the film Bad Biology.

Basket Case 2 differs most from its predecessor Basket Case in its level of blood and guts which has been toned down for this sequel. Frank Henenlotter’s direction is filled with many great moments which feature stylish and inventive compositions all which help enhance the films look over all. I have seen everyone one of Frank Henenlotter’s films and Basket Case 2 like the rest of them all from the opening moments are clearly all distinguished by his unique style as a filmmaker.

Story wise the characters and motivations are all thought out and clearly defined making the story always enjoyable and never dull. The films main attraction of course is its ensemble of deformed characters which is highlighted by the most bizarre of them all Belial who also just happens to live in wicker baskets when he is not killing. Sure some of the deformed people and their make up is not as conniving looking as it could have been but then its flawed look lends to the films appeal.

The acting is stronger then I expected it to be and this greatly helps the film since it is dialog driven at times. The best example of this when actress Annie Ross who plays Granny Ruth gathers the freaks together a one last battle from the outside world who once again are trying to infringe on their sanctuary. Actress Annie Ross doesn’t miss a beat as she steals every scene she is in with her maniac performance. Ultimately while different then its predecessor Basket Case 2 stills manages to retain the essence of the first films making a worthy and recommended sequel to watch.

The BluRay:

Basket Case 2 comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. For this release a brand new Hi Def transfer was created form the film’s original 35mm camera negative and the end result is another solid transfer from Synapse films. And when compared to previous home video releases this new transfers improves upon them in every way. With image clarity and black levels being two areas that show the biggest amount of improvement.

This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD stereo mix in English and removable English SDH subtitles have been included with this release. The audio is in great shape, dialog always comes through clearly and everything sounds balanced. Also when it comes to the more ambient aspects of the soundtrack they are well represented and this audio mix sounds robust when it needs too.

Extras for this release include, reversible cover art, an interview with actor David Emge titled Man in the Moon Mask (6 minutes 17 seconds) and special effects themed featurette titled Beyond the Wicker with special makeup effects artist Gabriel Bartalos (22 minutes 34 seconds).

Topics discussed in the interview with David Emge include, how he got cast in the role of Half Moon for Basket Case 2, trying to act while in costume and how his character was a none speaking role, how even off screen the freaks hung out together, working with Gabriel Bartalos and director Frank Henenlotter.

Topics discussed in the featurette include, the special effects, background information about Basket Case 2 and how it was shot back to back with Frankenhooker and Frank Henenlotter explains what he was trying to achieve wit Basket Case 2.

Overall Synapse Films gives Basket Case 2 its best audio / video presentation to date and at a more than affordable price.

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