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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Slasher > Monster > Basket Case 2 (1990) + 3: The Progeny (1991/Synapse Films Blu-rays)

Basket Case 2 (1990) + 3: The Progeny (1991/Synapse Films Blu-rays)

Picture: B Sound: B Extras: C+/C- Film: C+/C

Basket Case 2

Not all films have to be cinematic masterpieces, some of them are meant to be plain silly and fun. Playing upon themes that date back to the era of Todd Browning's Freaks (1932), Director Frank Henelotter returns for the sequel, 1990's Basket Case 2 featuring a cast of colorful and odd-looking characters, brings back some key players from the first film and some new faces including Kevin Van Hentenryck, Annie Ross, Kathryn Meisle, Heather Rattray and Jason Evers.

Separated during a bizarre experiment from his odd-looking identical twin, Duane Bradley (Hentenryck) barely survives from a tragic fall out of a window and wakes up in a hospital. His strange Aunt, Granny Ruth (Ross), is secretly a host to a bizarre family of freaks and takes in Duane's twin, Belial, and they end up in hiding from a tabloid reporter that seeks to expose them. Love begins to blossom between the Belial and another freak that lives in a basket that results in a bizarre love scene that has to be seen to be believed. This film isn't concerned with taking risks and pushing the boundaries of exploitation to almost the heights of a Troma film.

Vastly improving upon its original VHS and DVD releases, Synapse has restored the film in stunning 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and a lossless DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Stereo track that brings the film up to modern standards, looking as good as it possibly can. If you're a fan of the series, then you'll definitely want to check this disc out.

Special Features include:

The Man in the Moon Mask

Beyond the Wicker - Behind-the-Scenes Featurette from Special Effects Makeup Artist, Gabe Bartalos

Reversible Cover art with newly commissioned front piece by Joel Robinson

Aside from many cheesy effects moments (many of the freaks features are obviously latex masks with goofy teeth) and some so-so acting, Basket Case 2 has some heart at its core that makes up for the ridiculousness of its plot. If you're in the mood for something fun, gory, and cheesy then you will want to give this a spin.

Basket Case 3: The Progeny

While not quite as strong as the first or second films, the 1991 third installment of the Basket Case series, Basket Case 3: The Progeny reunites us with Director Frank Henenlotter, who picks up again where the first film ended, this time using the angle of a freakish childbirth to spice up the series. I'm sure the producers of Bride of Chucky gave this film a gander before writing the script! The film stars returning cast members and a few new faces in Kevin Van Hentenryck, Gill Roper, Denise Coop and Annie Ross.

They're going to need a bigger basket when Belial ends up getting separated from Duane (Hentenryck) yet again and finds himself a host to a bizarre family of deformed freaks. Playing, no doubt, off the success of Gremlins, Critters and even the It's Alive trilogy, this entry features wild newborns that threaten local humans and will stop at nothing until their thirst for human flesh is subsided!

Presented, much like its predecessor, in a 1080p high definition restoration from the original film elements, the film is presented in 1.78:1 widescreen and a clear-sounding, lossless, English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono track that brings the film to life on disc like never before.

Special Features include only a Theatrical Trailer and new artwork from Joel Robinson.

While not quite as strong as the first two films, there's still a lot to love about this third silly installment of the series, seen here like never before and vastly improves upon previous DVD release we reviewed a while ago. It's too bad all three films couldn't be released in a box set, but perhaps that is in our future. In the meantime, here's the link to our coverage of the original Basket Case nicely restored on Blu-ray...


- James Lockhart



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