Eraserhead (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-Ray]
Director: David Lynch
Cast: Jack Nance, Charlotte Stewart
Release Date: Now Available on Criterion Collection Blu-Ray & DVD
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 9/10
Disc Rating: 10/10
Henry Spencer tries to survive his industrial environment, his angry girlfriend, and the unbearable screams of his newly born mutant child.
‘Eraserhead’ marks the feature length writing and directorial debut of David Lynch and over the years has found a lot of attention with a huge cult following and has also become a Midnight movie favorite. Filmed over a period of five years if I’m not mistaken, due to problems with financing and other debacles but kept moving along one way or another, likely in large part to Lynch’s continued determination to bring his vision to life. The resulting effect is one of the most unique and off beat films you’ll find. The unique imagery as well as auditory elements is breathtaking, bewildering and engrossing. This phenomenal film is also complimented hugely by an absolutely outstanding performance by Jack Nance (credited here as John Nance) who portrays the lead role of Henry.
Fans of ‘Eraserhead’ and filmmaker David Lynch will without question want to make certain to pick up a copy of The Criterion Collection Blu-Ray release of ‘Eraserhead’ as soon as they are able to do so because they are definitely going to want this one in their collection. Not only does ‘Eraserhead’ look and sound better than you could have ever imagined here courtesy of The Criterion treatment, it is also so absolutely loaded with bonus content including a number of short films by David Lynch and so much more (detailed information regarding the bonus content can be found in the special features section of the technical specification coverage segment below) that it’s almost bursting at the seams from all of the goodies included.
The Criterion Collection Blu-Ray release of ‘Eraserhead’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation representing the film’s original 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio. The following is a quote from inside the releases’ included booklet regarding the video transfer for those who would like some more details:
Supervised by director David Lynch, this new digital transfer was created in 4K resolution on a Lasergraphics Director Film scanner from the original camera negative. Thousands of instances of dirt, debris, scratches, splices, jitter, and shrinkage were manually removed using MTI’s DRS and Pixel Farm’s PFClean, while Digital Vision’s Phoenix was used for small dirt, grain, noise management, and flicker.
The video presentation on the Blu-Ray looks absolutely outstanding, to the point where it’s almost unbelievable how fantastic this film looks here. The black and white colors are seamless and almost glow from the screen, almost allowing a whole new level of detail to be observed on the film and I believe fans will be absolutely thrilled with this new high definition video presentation supervised and approved by David Lynch himself.
The Criterion Collection Blu-Ray release includes a Lossless Linear PCM stereo soundtrack. As with the video details above, the following is a quote from inside the releases’ included booklet regarding the audio transfer for those who would like some more details:
The stereo soundtrack was created by David Lynch and sound editor Alan R. Splet in 1994 from the original 1976 monaural mix stems. Additional digital restoration was performed in 2014, using Pro Tools HD, to manually remove any sounds not intended to be a part of the original soundtrack.
The audio quality is fantastic as well, right up there with the video presentation. The eerie music and the loud banging and whooshing noises, not to mention the static and flickering lights throughout all sound beautiful; the dialogue, down to every last sound effect and note of the score sound discrete and as perfect as I imagine we will ever hear this film sound. This lossless LPCM soundtrack definitely gets top marks along with the video presentation.
It comes as no surprise that The Criterion Collection Blu-Ray release of ‘Eraserhead’ is absolutely LOADED with a truly amazing quantity of fantastic bonus content. Included on the release are a number of archival promotional materials, categorized by their initial release over the years, beginning with 1977 up to 2014. These chronological supplements include: the feature length documentary by David Lynch about making the film ‘Eraserhead Stories’ from 2001; a short teaser/trailer from 1977; a number of archival featurette’s featuring David Lynch, Jack Nance and others that both take a look behind the scenes during filming at locations, as well as a number that see them returning to these filming locations at a later time; plus a number more as well, including some new interviews from 2014 featuring Director’s Assistant Catherine Coulson, Cinematographer Frederick Elmes, as well as Actors Charlotte Stewart and Judith Anna Roberts.
In addition to the already impressive collection of archival supplemental material, also included is a TV Calibration that provides instructions from David Finch himself on how to properly calibrate your TV for optimal viewing; a 60+ page collectible booklet featuring interviews with Lynch, behind the scenes photos and more. On top of all of that, probably one of the most notable inclusions of the bonus material, The Criterion Collection Blu-Ray release of ‘Eraserhead’ includes a number of short films from David Lynch spanning from 1967 to 1995; the short films include: ‘Six Men Getting Sick’; ‘The Alphabet’; ‘The Grandmother’; ‘The Amputee’ (versions one and two) and ‘Premonitions Following an Evil Deed’. As you can clearly see, this Criterion release of ‘Eraserhead’ is beyond loaded with bonus material that should keep fans busy for quite some time following their repeat viewings of the film itself in truly stunning quality.
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They additionally will suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.