Basket Case 3: The Progeny (Blu-ray Review)

Basket-Case-3He’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 BASKET CASE horror series.  1982’s BASKET CASE introduced horror fans to Duane Bradley and his twin brother Belial, and a new horror classic was born.  They also introduced the world to Frank Henenlotter, the uniquely crazed talent who would later give us BRAIN DAMAGE and FRANKENHOOKER.  In 1990 and ‘91, Henenlotter and star Kevin Van Hentenryck returned for two even more demented sequels, both coming to Blu-ray from Synapse Films this August (The ninth to be more specific)!  See below for more details and pre-order links!  Duane Bradley and his surgically-separated twin brother Belial return one last time to be the second sequel to Frank Henenlotter’s original monster movie classic, BASKET CASE. Synapse Films is proud to present BASKET CASE 3: The Progeny in a beautiful high-definition transfer from the original 35mm camera negative.

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After being separated again from his conjoined twin brother Duane, Belial finds out he’s going to be a deformed daddy! Mrs. Belial 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!

Following right after the second Basket Case, we delve into a third adventure with Duane and Belial.  And this one just goes over the edge a little too far.  In tandem with the second film, it feels like just more of the same and you definitely would want to avoid a back-to-back like I did.  Unlike the drastic departure from the first one, this one is right in line with the second one.  Yes, its not EXACTLY a copy, it has its own story.  But, the overall feel, tone and characters don’t change much up from part 2.

Some new creatures are introduced and they all sorta just blend in with what we saw last time and didn’t stick out to me too much.  However, that’s not to say the work done on them isn’t impressive.  Its good, but when held up with part 2, its very static.  The big blob guy is pretty cool, but feels right at home with all the other freaks.  There are tributes and homages, but its not just a streamlined one as done previously.  There are moments of surprise and laughs, but not enough to keep the film running or consistent.

Basket Case 3: The Progeny is sort of an overwelcomed stay kinda film like Sleepaway Camp 3 (Though unlike Basket Case 3, I like Sleepaway Camp 3).  Starts out like “Yay, a little more of this” but tires quickly and you’re wanting it to sorta end as quickly as it tired.  It has stuff to love from the second one, its just all starting to become stale now.  It even tries to continue to further itself off the rails, but you’ll find yourself not caring too much.  If you’ve gone on and seen the second film and whether you liked it or not, you should probably just finish this whole basket up and watch the 3rd one just to watch it.

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Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Clarity/Detail:  For this one, Synapse Film made the new high definition transfer from the original 35mm negative.  This one looks very, equal and on par with the second film.  They were shot pretty much back to back and it shows here.  Its a clean, crisp, sharp looking picture that is ripe with detail and colors.  The texture of all the creatures is visible down to every grisly wrinkle, scuff or bloody mark.  Fans will be over the moon(head) for this.

Depth:  Depth is very good.  Movement is smooth and cinematic.  There is good spacing in scenes like the prison and such.  Very solid dimensional work for a film that probably shouldn’t sport it.

Black Levels:  Blacks are plenty deep and look great.  Shadows and darkly lit scenes still care pretty much all their details intact.  Once again, I’ll say, a very impressive image.

Color Reproduction:  Colors once again are strong like on the second one.  Daytime scenes look very very lovely and full of color.

Flesh Tones:  Skin tones are natural and consistent throughout the feature’s runtime.  Facial details like blood stains, wrinkles, stubble and make-up all come through pretty clear from medium and close-up distances.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean

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Audio Format(s): English 2.0 Stereo DTS-HD MA

Subtitles: N/A

Dynamics:  Basket Case 3: The Progeny features a booming presentation and a quite wow’ing 2.0 stereo track.  Sounds are layered, thrown back and forth and perfectly aced in the mix.  Action sequences provide quite a jolt and are quite powerful which is surprising.  This one seems to be set to a slightly higher volume that the second film, but still manages to top that one in terms of performance quality.

Low Frequency Extension:  N/A

Surround Sound Presentation:  N/A

Dialogue Reproduction:  Dialogues is crisp, loud and clear.  Every piece of diction or breath is accounted for in this mix.

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Basket Case 3: The Progeny comes with a reversible cover featuring the original poster artwork.

Theatrical Trailer (HD, 1:52)

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While Basket Case 3: The Progeny may not be in my basket of goodness, this Blu-ray is very well done in terms of transfer.  Yes, there are no supplementals (I feel they’d be oddly similar to the second films Behind-the-Scenes featurette anyway), but the transfer is as good as they come.  Audio and video are both outstanding here.  If you like the film that’s all that truly matters in the end.  Its Synapse Films, you’re getting a top notch release even if there are no extras.



Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com) on the Creative Zombie Studios Network. At Why So Blu he is a Writer/Reviewer. Brandon is a lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash. You can also find older essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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