The first Basket Case movie is quite the mind bending surrealistic movie it looks to be. It's all about a young quite odd man with an even more odd siamese twin.
Duane Bradley has a brother that was torn from his side. Literally.
Belial is a little blob monster that now lives in Duane's wicker basket he carries around.
They also have a psychic bond.
Constantly throughout life, Duane has been screwed over by people around him. Many of which who want to kill his brother.
Every time something bad happens to Duane though and the emotions become more and more aggressive, the psychic bond between the brothers forces Belial to feel the same way until he snaps and kills.
It's a brilliant comedy horror, (more horror than comedy) with mystery and intrigue deeply woven into the plot which is a given with Frank Henenlotter behind the wheel. Every one of his movies have had laughs and scares within them but he manages to make them something that feels truly human and allows you to feel for the characters as bad things happen to them.
The movie is clearly about the lack of acceptance which nowadays feels as fitting as it did when the movie was released, racism and bigotry unfortunately is still a large thing in the world. This movie although showing that Belial can be quite the monster (no pun intended) also shows he has a very human side as shown with his brother and this translates well in the real world as we all have monster sides but we're also all human, we all have our weaknesses and strengths, none of us are the same as anybody else but because of how Belial looks and Duane acts, people go against them.
But of course Duane has life a little easier because he looks like a normal human being even though he believes himself to be just as ugly, if not more than Belial but all he seeks is true acceptance.
It has some great dialogue, minus the times of when Duane has to relay what Belial is thinking/mumbling about and some great acting, even if sometimes it does come across as rather awkward but I guess that's just another part of the film that makes it feel more real.
Basket Case 2 is where things get weird. Well, if the first film wasn't weird in the first place.
Duane and Belial finally find acceptance for who they are with Granny Ruth and her family of unique individuals.
Without ruining the ending of the first film, I won't get into it much but lets just say it's scraping the barrel.
There are of course problems though with fitting in and outside forces trying to open the lid on Ruth's home and her family.
It's a much more comedic film than the first with some interesting shots of Duane and Belial both starting to form relationships with the opposite sex and some of the other interactions between the "freaks" and themselves.
Talking about freaks, it reminds me a bit of the old black and white movie 'Freaks' except in this film, things are a lot more friendly between them all and the problems mainly stem from outside of the house rather than both in and out of it.
With this transfer we can unfortunately see the film has been shot on a budget, some things look rather awful but it doesn't take away from the enjoyment of the film.
What does however is the dialogue, not being as intelligent as it was in the first and the family are practically mutes, I think if they were all able to talk, things would have been much more interesting.
The acting is way over the top in this one also, removing the more human feel to it.
Maybe what the film is really about is that even when you find acceptance, there'll still be other problems and they'll be right there in your face for you to see now that you weren't worrying about what you originally were worrying about.
Or I might be wrong and it's actually about something else entirely...
Either way it's still a good film but not half as good as the first.
To be honest there's not much to say about Basket Case 3, Belial is having children, Duane is anxious about everything, and a road trip to a little town where the Sheriff and his band of men aren't exactly enjoying the news of Belial and Ruth's arrival.
It's a bad film.
A bad, bad film.
It's the most comedic of all three and more cartoony than it should be. Imagine awful old cartoons made for adults but in live action and that's pretty much what you get.
Even Henenlotter himself doesn't really like the film.
I can't blame him as there's literally nothing that works well.
All 3 films transfers are brilliant and beautiful in both sight and sound. I've already pointed out that it does make things worse in the second film but you can't blame that on Second Sight (who rerereleased them, it's already been re-released by them onto Blu-ray, now it's being released again).
Let's move on to the SPECIAL FEATURES:
WHAT'S IN THE BASKET: A feature length documentary about all three films, how they came to be, how Frank Henenlotter initially felt about making them (with some refreshing honesty that not many film makers show) and more.
GRISLY GRAHAM HUMPHRIES: A 19 minute documentary on artist Graham Humphries who created the artwork for the poster of the original Evil Dead and A Nightmare On Elm Street among other films. He also created the artwork you see at the top of this review. He has a brilliant mind and is a very humble gentleman.
IN SEARCH OF THE HOTEL BROSLIN: A funny yet annoying 15 minute tour of where the films were filmed.
OUTTAKES: 6 minutes of outtakes showing the cast and crew having a great laugh.
TRAILERS: A couple of trailers which showcase the mystery aspect of the first movie.
RADIO SPOTS: Some radios spots which were quite different from most boring movie advertisements, silly, strange and intriguing, they would have made me want to watch the movie if I heard them before I'd seen it.
There's then 3 galleries, BEHIND THE SCENES, PROMOTIONAL, PHOTO, which are simply what the titles state they are.
There's also an introduction to the films by Henenlotter in which he comes across as a modest guy who as I've already mentioned is very honest.
There's also Audio Commentary where Henenlotter and others talk about the films, how they set things up and their opinions on how the films came out.
In all the films deserve a 7/10
The only reason three points are knocked off is because of the abysmal third film.
But for this release itself, it deserves a 10/10.
It's a brilliant release with everything you would want and hope for.
The trilogy box set is to be released tomorrow in standard packaging (14th March) and you can preorder it by clicking here.