Blu-Ray Review: Eraserhead

There aren’t many film directors who are truly one of a kind. David Lynch sits firmly in this camp. Whilst you often hear something described as ‘Lynchian’, it almost always isn’t. Heck, how many people in the film industry have got their own adjective? Whilst Twin Peaks remains his opus, every film he’s made in special, and utterly baffling, in its own way. It all started back in 1977, with the release of his film school project and first feature Eraserhead.

Spenser (Jack Nance) arrives home to be told by The Beautiful Girl Across the Hall (Judith Roberts) that he’s been invited by his girlfriend, Mary X (Charlotte Stewart), to her parents’ house for tea. After dinner, he discovers that she’s given birth to something that might be classed as his baby. The pair move into his flat, but the child’s incessant crying drives Mary X away. Leaving Spenser on his own to bring up the unhappy creature.

Whilst it took years to fund and film and met with a rather lukewarm reaction upon release, Eraserhead has become an iconic part of modern American cinema. Lynch created a strange and unfathomable tale which garnered a cult following through midnight screenings and announced the arrival of a daring new filmmaking visionary. Those black and white images stay with you; ingrained deeply in your soul. Eraserhead mixes wild experimentation, body horror and surrealist undertones to produce a truly unique and audacious creation.

Special edition features:

  • New 4K digital restoration, supervised by director David Lynch, with uncompressed stereo soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • “Eraserhead” Stories, a 2001 documentary by Lynch on the making of the film
  • New 2K digital restorations of six short films by Lynch: Six Men Getting Sick (1967), The Alphabet (1968), The Grandmother (1970), The Amputee, Version 1 and Version 2 (1974), and Premonitions Following an Evil Deed (1995), all with video introductions by Lynch
  • New documentary featuring interviews with actors Charlotte Stewart and Judith Roberts, assistant to the director Catherine Coulson, and cinematographer Frederick Elmes
  • Archival interviews with Lynch and members of the cast and crew
  • Trailer
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an interview with Lynch from filmmaker and writer Chris Rodley’s 1997 book Lynch on Lynch

Eraserhead is released on Blu-ray as part of the Criterion Collection on 19 October.

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