Frank Henenlotter’s 1982 cult classic film Basket Case holds a special place in my heart. Basket Case was one of the many doozies that my mother brought home from the video store during those glory days of VHS. I can vividly remember our living room being filled with hysterical laughter which quickly turned to disgusted groans and then back to laughter as my parents and I digested this odd film about a pair of brothers (sort of) and their first trip to New York City.
Having always sort of flown under the radar among mainstream horror fans, I was surprised, and intrigued, to learn that the Museum of Modern Art helped to restore Basket Case from it’s original 16mm film and scan it to 4K for this Arrow release. That, although interesting, left me a bit worried. What would a “fixed” version of Basket Case look like? Would it lose that gritty feeling? How would early 80’s New York City look with a 4k restoration? The answer is simple: it looks incredible.
Not only does this restoration not ruin the “magic of VHS” or that griminess of 80’s Times Square, it enhances it. The extreme improvements to the picture and sound do not at all damper the campiness and bizarre wonder of seeing the stop-motion animation Belial in action.
Arrow did not skimp on the packaging and special features of this gorgeous release either. Feast your eyes on some shots of the packaging below the list of special features and then go get yourself a copy before they’re gone!
- Brand new 4K restoration from the original 16mm negative by MoMA
- High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
- Original Uncompressed Mono Audio
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
- 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) – 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
Stay gory my friends.