Exclusive: Frank Henenlotter Talks Basket Case Blu-ray; Possible Basket Case 4?
Writer/director Frank Henenlotter’s Basket Case has hit Blu-ray shelves for the first time. Amazing, huh? Released in 1982, the flick celebrates all the cheesiness and sleaze that we love about the horror genre and is undoubtedly one of the most unique low-budget horror films to ever be created.
Recently Dread Central caught up with cinematic madman Henenlotter to talk about the Basket Case Blu-Ray release from Image Entertainment and Something Weird Video and why this is the first time the writer/director has ever been happy with the release of the flick as well as his potential plans for (fans, steady yourselves) Basket Case 4.
Check out our interview with Henenlotter below, and make sure to pick up Basket Case in all its high-def splendor now!
Dread Central: Congrats on bringing Basket Case to Blu-ray, Frank! Can you talk about how this all came about a little bit?
Frank Henenlotter: “Thank you, and I absolutely can! I was at a meeting at Image Entertainment a while back, and I mentioned to them the idea of doing a Basket Case Blu-ray. Everyone in the room looked at me like I was nuts. Then I told them I found the original 16mm prints, and suddenly they realized what we could do with this release- give fans a good-looking Basket Case release that looks the way I always wanted it to.”
DC: Wait... Basket Case was lost?
Henenlotter: “It’s slightly embarrassing to admit this, but yes, we had thought for a very long time that we had lost the original prints. We had looked for them everywhere and just could not find them. It’s pretty ironic since I’m involved with Something Weird Video and we specialize in finding rare movies, but for years we could just not find Basket Case.”
“Then one day my brother called me to tell me he found a box in my mother’s attic that had the reels for Brain Damage in it. So I went there to get the box, and lo and behold, the original reels for Basket Case were in there, too. I was ecstatic- I had given up at that point on ever finding those reels.”
DC: With 16mm being what it is, why was it important to you to use those prints for this high-def release? The formats don’t really seem to naturally go together usually.
Henenlotter: “Oh, I know! But the reason we wanted to use the 16mm prints for the Blu-ray is because I was never happy with the way Basket Case looked, either in cinemas back when it was first released or on any of the DVD releases either. I always intended for the movie to be bright and colorful, but it never looked that way in any of the prints they struck because when you blow 16mm up like that, you lose so much. This is the very first time Basket Case really looks the way I had always wanted it to, and I couldn’t be happier with how the Blu-ray turned out.”
“The theatrical prints were always sloppy looking, and I know back then the distributor couldn’t afford to strike new prints so I was never happy with that version at all. See, I’m not a huge fan of night shoots because I always feel like those shots are just too dim and dark, and originally I had those scenes tinted with a blue to liven the feel up a bit. But when they made the prints, that tint and a whole lot of other things we did never made it over so I feel like the fans of Basket Case have been missing out on my real version of the movie over the years so hopefully they’ll love what we’ve done here.”
“I never in a million years imagined a movie like Basket Case would be presented in high-definition considering the kind of movie it is. And I’ll be honest; Basket Case was one of my first movies, and I had no idea what I was doing a lot of the time- I just made it to have some fun really so I’m definitely appreciative of all the kindnesses the fans have extended towards me and my films over the years. If you would have told me in 1982 that I’d be sitting here talking about this movie almost 30 years later, I would have laughed in your face.”
DC: So I’m sure you probably get asked this a lot, but have you ever considered making another Basket Case? Has anyone approached you about a remake?
Henenlotter: “Honestly, I have been approached for a Basket Case remake, but the price has just never been right. I love that movie, but I’d love to see what someone else could do now, sure. I just need to make sure it goes to the right person, though, and for the right price because you’re talking about 30 years of my life right there.”
“And I actually do have an idea for a Basket Case 4, but I have no idea how fans will respond to it. It could be one of the best ideas I’ve ever had and it could be one of the worst ideas, too. It’s so ridiculous that it’s probably worth doing, at least for me. I don’t want to say too much, but it’s definitely not the way you usually do prequels or sequels so I have no idea how the Basket Case fans will feel about it. Fans always say they want something different, but I think in their hearts what they want is really the same stuff but presented differently, and I’m not sure what category Basket Case 4 will fall into if I go ahead and make it. If I do decide to move forward, I’d definitely love to start filming it next year, though. But we’ll see- I could be completely off my rocker on this one.”
Look for Basket Case (review here) on Blu-ray now! Dread Central would like to thank the always wonderful Frank Henenlotter for taking the time to chat with us.
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