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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Monster > Creature > Comedy > Murder > Mystery > Noir > Killer > Psychological Thriller > Gangster > Basket Case (1982/MVD Visual/Arrow remastered Blu-ray)/Danger Signal (1945/Warner Archive DVD)/Don't Bother To Knock (1952/Fox/Twilight Time Limited Edition Blu-ray)/Ichi The Killer (2001/remastered W

Basket Case (1982/MVD Visual/Arrow remastered Blu-ray)/Danger Signal (1945/Warner Archive DVD)/Don't Bother To Knock (1952/Fox/Twilight Time Limited Edition Blu-ray)/Ichi The Killer (2001/remastered Well Go Blu-ray)/My Cousin Rachel (1952/Fox/Twilight Time Limited Edition Blu-ray)

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

PLEASE NOTE: The Don't Bother To Knock and My Cousin Rachel Blu-rays are now only available from our friends at Twilight Time, are limited to only 3,000 copies and can be ordered while supplies last, while the Danger Signal DVD is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive series. All can be ordered from the links below.

Up next are a selection of back catalog thriller releases, with the three older films being black and white 35mm Hollywood productions and the two newer releases full color 16mm cult films...


From the Director of Brain Damage and Frankenhooker, Frank Henenlotter, comes the cult classic Basket Case (1982), which finds its way on Blu-ray looking better than its previous release from Image a few years ago and packed with a lot of new extras. The first part of a trilogy (see below on Parts 2 and 3), the film has been restored in 4K by MoMa and is weirder than ever!

Basket Case stars Kevin Van Hentenryck, Terri Susan Smith, Beverly Bonner, Robert Vogel, Diana Browne, and Lloyd Pace.

A product of 1980s New York and 42nd Street, Basket Case is a low budget film that likely didn't expect to spawn two sequels and the cult status that it has today. Silly yet charming, the film centers around Duane Bradley who has a formerly conjoined twin named Belial that he keeps in a locked basket. The two brothers end up going to New York in an attempt to seek revenge on the surgeons responsible for their odd situation... but instead Duane gets sidetracked by sudden romance... but will she be able to survive the flesh hungry Belial? Cause every time Duane gets close to her... the creature brother lashes out and kills!

Presented in 1080p high definition from a new 4K remaster on Blu-ray with a full frame 1.37:1 widescreen aspect ratio and a new uncompressed English LPCM 2.0 mono track, the super low budget film looks better than it ever has before. Originally shot on 16mm (blown up to 35mm for theatrical release), this is an impressive upgrade.

This is by no means a masterpiece of filmmaking and is certainly dated in many regards. Often imitated by indie filmmakers, Basket Case has bad stop motion animation, over the top acting, and yet surprisingly halfway decent gore. This is a great popcorn munching film to watch with a group of friends that aren't too uptight or picky about their B-movies.

Special Features exclusive to this edition include...

Brand new audio commentary with writer/director Frank Henenlotter and star Kevin Van Hentenryck

Basket Case 3-1/2: An Interview with Duane Bradley - Frank Henenlotter revisits Duane Bradley decades after the events of the original Basket Case

Seeing Double: The Basket Case Twins - a brand new interview with Florence and Maryellen Schultz, the twin nurses from Basket Case

Brand new making-of featurette containing new interviews with producer Edgar Ievins, casting person/actress Ilze Balodis, associate producer/effects artist Ugis Nigals and Belial performer Kika Nigals

Blood, BASKET and Beyond - a brand new interview with actress Beverly Bonner

Belial Goes to the Drive-In - a brand new interview with film critic Joe Bob Briggs

Outtakes Featurette

In Search of the Hotel Broslin - archive location featurette

Slash of the Knife (1972) - short film by Frank Henenlotter

Belial's Dream (2017, 5 mins) - a brand new Basket Case-inspired animated short by filmmaker Robert Morgan

Behind-the-scenes of Belial's Dream

Trailers, TV Spots and Radio Spots

Extensive Still Galleries

Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Sara Deck

FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Collector's booklet with new writing on the film by Michael Gingold

For more on the sequels, try this link...


And for more on the older Blu-ray edition try this link...


Robert Florey is a decent journeyman director and he could do interesting work like Danger Signal (1945) with the very likable Faye Emerson (who could have been a big star) as a stenographer who gets seduced by a new border (Zachary Scott) who turns out to be a murder of women for their wealth, but also just to get by. Everything seems fine and she does not suspect a thing, until she discovers he's secretly dating her younger sister. Shocked, can she stop him before her sister is emotionally hurt or will they both be killed?

Some of this is really well done, is not a total; Film Noir, but is in that area and has some interesting, suspenseful moments. Unfortunately, it also has some predictability, camp and too much melodrama to be a full Noir, so its 78 minutes are not as rich as they could have been, but I still think it is worth a good look and Emerson more than holds her own. Rosemary DeCamp, Dick Erdman, Mona Freeman, Bruce Bennett and John Ridgely make for a really decent supporting cast.

The 1.33 X 1 black & white film is well shot and is consistent, but sadly, this print is not in the best of shape and neither is the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono sound, so the film needs and deserves a thorough restoration. Emerson still shines through it.

A theatrical trailer is the only extra.

The great Roy Ward Baker (credited as Roy Baker here) directed an early success for Marilyn Monroe in the Noirish drama Don't Bother To Knock (1952) has her getting a baby sitting job thanks to her elevator operator cousin (Elisha Cook, Jr.) in a fancy hotel (Jim Backus is the father of the couple who hire her) to watch a couple's daughter. Instead, she lands up attracting the interest of hotel guest Richard Widmark who thinks she lives there, not helped by the fact she is wearing the wife's expensive clothes and jewelry.

Unfortunately, she is not well as we discover and that sudden affair gets mixed up with her poor mental health and babysitting and more madness. Monroe gives one of her best performances here and it is amazing it is only being issued form the Fox catalog as a Twilight Time Limited Edition Blu-ray, but you won't find it in any Monroe Blu-ray sets, so you'll want to get this gem ASAP. Anne Bancroft makes her film debut here as a sexy lounge singer Widmark is interested in, plus supporting actors like Lurene Tuttle, Jeanne Cagney and Don Beddoe help make this a well realized film. Baker really delivers here.

The 1080p 1.33 X 1 black & white digital High Definition image transfer rarely shows the age of the materials used, this is far superior a transfer to all previous releases of the film and the work by Lucien Ballard, A.S.C., looks really good. The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mix shows its age more so because that is just the recording technology of the time, hut it is a clean track for its age.

Extras include the usual high quality illustrated booklet on the film including informative text and yet another excellent, underrated essay by the great film scholar Julie Kirgo, while the Blu-ray adds a great Isolated Music Score (minus Miss Bancroft's vocals on the songs) sounding a bit better than the film's own soundtrack, separate AMC Biography profiles on Monroe and Widmark and the Original Theatrical Trailer.

Japanese Horror Director Takashi Miike's most infamous film, Ichi the Killer (2001), gets a significant upgrade, remastered in this new Blu-ray edition from Well Go USA. Using The Yakuza crime formula, Miike crafts a violent and terrifying character that is in someways the sadistic Japanese equivalent to The Joker (from Batman). Presented here in its full director's cut and not for the faint of the heart, is finally a proper domestic version of the film.

Ichi the Killer stars Tadanobu Asano, Shinya Tsukamoto, Paulyn Sun, Susumu Terajima, and Shun Sugata.

Take a nose dive into the underworld of the Yakuza, and Kakihara who is a relentless killer out for revenge. Looking for the man responsible for murdering his boss, he soon comes face to face with Jiji (an ex-cop with an attitude) and Ichi the Killer... a lunatic that takes violence to a whole new level. The result is a skin stretching bloodbath as only one side will remain victorious.

Presented in its original widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and a new 4K HD transfer approved by the director himself (the film was shot on 16mm film, then transferred to video via the older pre-digital scan telecine machine, before landing up on 35mm film in a move to twist the fidelity of the image in a brief trend of the time), the difference to the previous Blu-ray is pretty significant. Paired with a Japanese: DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless track with English subtitles and a lossy Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 track (depending on your home system), complements this solid Blu-ray release.

Special Features include...

Audio Commentary with Director Takashi Miike & Manga Artist/Writer Hideo Yamamoto

Still Gallery

Original Trailer

While a little soft on extras, this is definitely an improvement over previous versions of the film on disc and is definitely worth seeking out if you're a true fan of the film.

Last but not least is Henry Koster's film of Daphne du Maurier's My Cousin Rachel (1952) with Richard Burton in his first Hollywood film as Phillip, dealing with sudden matters of death and madness, then meets the title character (Olivia de Havilland) and starts to wonder if she is a killer or if he wants her and if that's a good idea and everyone is slowly pulled into the web of strange circumstances and coincidences. The results of the film, save its bold ending, are mixed, but it is worth a look for all the talent involved and this Fox film is being released by Twilight Time as another one of their great Limited Edition Blu-rays.

Again, more melodrama than I needed and top be honest, in the promo and by intent of production, Fox did everything they could to evoke Rebecca and Gone With The Wind (there is even a character named Ashley by coincidence!) to push the film and it was a hit, if no ton the level of those two. The leads have a weird chemistry that only helps matters and the studio did go out of their way to put money into it, so it does hold up with a nice density that sells the story and atmosphere worthy of du Maurier's work. I just wish it was darker and took advantage of a few missed opportunities.

The 1080p 1.33 X 1 black & white digital High Definition image transfer can show the age of the materials used, especially since several print sources (negative or otherwise) were apparently used as there are slight, faint color changes (greenish to bluish, etc.) as one watches. Too bad some filter could not have been use to get rid of that. The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mix hows its age with its slight compression, but it is about as good as can be expected for its age.

Extras yet again include another nicely illustrated booklet on the film including informative text and yet another excellent, underrated essay by the great film scholar Julie Kirgo, while the Blu-ray adds a radio drama version of the film with de Havilland playing Rachel, an Isolated Music Score track (always in lossless DTS-MA) from Franz Waxman that sounds better than the film (Waxman and movie music fans will want the disc just for that!) and an Original Theatrical Trailer.

To order Don't Bother To Knock and My Cousin Rachel limited edition Blu-rays, buy them while supplies last at these links:




...and to order the Danger Signal Warner Archive DVD, go to this link for them and many more great web-exclusive releases at:


- Nicholas Sheffo and James Lockhart (Basket, Ichi)



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