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Blu-ray review: Eraserhead

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Aside from Orson Welles and Jean Rollin, no filmmaker cut such a strong visual image right out of the gate like David Lynch. Almost 40 years later, The Criterion Collection’s Blu-ray release of Eraserhead, Lynch’s feature debut, shows just how lasting and timeless Lynch’s vision has proven to be.

Eraserhead is an almost inscrutable and darkly comic tale of domestic madness that befalls factory worker Henry (John Nance, Twin Peaks) when he learns that girlfriend Mary (Charlotte Stewart, Little House on the Prairie) has given birth to a premature, mewling monster of a child that slowly seems to destroy everything in Henry’s life.

Criterion’s release gives the film the vaunted respect it deserves by allowing Lynch the majority of control. The accompanying booklet jettisons any critical analysis of the film in lieu of excerpts from interviews with Lynch, and it ports over all of the extras from his self-released Eraserhead DVD in 2000 and the short films that were available in a similar fashion that same year. On the whole, the set aims to reflect an artist in his nascent days who needed little time to develop his genius. Mission accomplished.

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