Friday, October 26, 2012

DVD Review: BASKET CASE 3: THE PROGENY (1992)


BASKET CASE 3: THE PROGENY (1992)
Label: Synapse Films
Region: All Regions 
Rating: Unrated
Duration: 90 Mins.
Audio: English Dolby Digital English 2.0 Stereo
Aspect Ratio: Anamorphic Widescreen (1.78:1) 
Cast: Kevin Van Hentenryck, Gil Roper, Denise Coop, Annie Ross
Director: Frank Henenlotter

Synopsis
: He’s back. He’s bad. And he’s a dad! Belial, everyone’s favorite beast-in-a-basket, is back in this sensational third film in the wildly macabre horror series. After being separated again from his conjoined twin brother Duane (Kevin Van Hentenryck), Belial finds out he’s going to be a deformed daddy! Mrs. Belial (“Eve”, played by Denise Coop) delivers a litter of bouncing baby monsters, but the blessed event turns into a nightmarish ordeal when the police kidnap the little critters. They should know it’s not safe to anger Belial! Attacking the cops in a climactic, gory rampage, everyone’s favorite mutant mauler stops at nothing to get his newborns back!

The Film: The Time Square Freak Twins, Duane and Belial Bradley, are back in this third and weird final entry in Frank Henelotter's cult trilogy. We find that demented Duane has been placed in a padded room following the events of the second film. Sprung from the loony bin by the endearing Granny Ruth the twins, and Granny's band of "unique individuals", board a bus and drive south to the home of Uncle Hal where Belial's pregnant girlfriend Eve can safely give birth to their offspring away from the prying eyes of the normies.

Basket Case 3 is a campy freak-fest of fun that tosses out the more straight-up horror element of the first film and dives head-first into demented comedy and for the most part it really works. Courtesy of special effects make-up artist Gabriel Bartalos we get tons of low-budget freaks onscreen, it's like a campy version of Clive Barker's Nightbreed (1990) with loads of memorable rubber faced creations like Mackerel Head and Moon Face, it's a cheapie but a goodie. If you're here for the gore it's onscreen but is offset by Henelotter's particular brand of camp, if you're familiar with Frankenhooker (1990) you will find yourself in familiar territory. 


Highlights include a nutty, over-the-top birthing scene, the freaks assaulting the the local jail in an effort to free Duane and an unexpected Aliens (1986) homage with Belial in a mechanical exoskeleton suit, it's fun stuff with no shortage of bloody gore-infused comedy. The bad, there's some groan inducing line delivery, but it's pitch perfect for a b-movie schlockfest like this. 

DVD: Synapse Films presents Basket Case 3: The Progeny in anamorphic widescreen (1.78:1) and it looks pretty good for a wacky b-movie shot on the cheap. The print the transfer is sourced from looks great with strong colors and black levels, not the most finely detailed image but not too shabby for a standard definition presentation. The English language Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo audio track is well balanced with clear dialogue, score and effects. The only special feature on the disc is a theatrical trailer for the film, unfortunately there is no commentary track from Frank Henenlotter which would have been outstanding, the man is always an entertaining listen.

Verdict: Basket Case 3 is definitely an acquired taste, a weird and quirky entry in the series that features a great cast of ribber-faced freaks with a bizarre mixture of nuttiness and camp infused violence.  (2.5 Outta 5)

 

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