Monday, August 8, 2016

BASKET CASE 3: THE PROGENY (1991) (Blu-ray Review)


Label: Synapse Films

Region: Region-FREE
Rating: Unrated
Duration: 90 Minutes
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 2.0 Stereo
Aspect Ratio: 1080p HD 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 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 proper padded room following the events of the second film. Sprung from the loony bin by the endearing Granny Ruth (Annie Ross) the twins along with 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 who wish them harm.

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 the realm of demented comedy and for the most part it works. Thanks to the mad genius of special effects make-up artist Gabriel Bartalos we get tons of low-budget freaks onscreen, not unlie what I imagine a campy version of Clive Barker's Nightbreed (1990) would have been like. There are loads of memorable rubber faced creations on display like Mackerel Head and Moon Face, this one is a cheapie but a goodie. If you're a fan of gore it is here onscreen but it is offset by Henelotter's particular brand of twisted humor, if you're familiar with Frankenhooker (1990) you will find yourself in familiar territory with this one.  

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, and gobs of bloody gore-infused comedy. 

Audio/Video: Basket Case 3: The Progeny arrives on Blu-ray with an HD upgrade framed in the original widescreen (1.78:1) aspect ratio looking spiffy and vibrant. Colors are strong and black levels are nicely shaded with some good clarity and a surprising amount of fine detail. Overall this is a nice improvement over their DVD from a few years back. The English DTS-HD MA 2.0 Stereo audio track is well balanced with clear dialogue, score and effects. As with the DVD the only extra on the disc is a 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 and that is a missed opportunity/ . 

Basket Case 3 is a weird and quirky entry in the cult-series that features a great cast of rubber-faced freaks with all the camp infused violence that we've come to expect from Frank Henenlotter. If you're a fan of the movie this new HD presentation from Synapse Films is worth the upgrade.