Written by: Michael Den Boer on November 3rd, 2007
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
DVD released: October 30th, 2007
Approximate running time: 90 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo English
DVD Release: Synapse Films
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
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.
Transfer wise Basket Case 2 is another impressive job done from Synapse films with its solid black levels, accentuated colors and razor sharp clarity in every frame.
The stereo audio mix sounds spacious and robust. There ate no audio defects or problems with distortion.
The two extras included on this release “”Behind the Wicker” and “The Man in the Moon Mask” give a glimpse into the making of this film and there is even behind the scene footage from Frankenhooker.
Overall Baskect Case 2 is another winner from Synapse Films one of the most consistent and diverse companies currently releasing obscure c ult movies on DVD.