Blu-ray Review: David Lynch Box Set / Cert: 18 / Director: David Lynch / Screenplay: Various / Starring: Kyle MacLachlan, Jack Nance, Nicolas Cage, Dennis Hopper, Laura Dern, Bill Pullman / Release Date: Out Now
The long awaited remastered versions of six of David Lynch’s most famous films have finally hit DVD and Blu-ray. The films themselves should need no introduction, but what about the extra features and package? Are they worth the double dip for the Lynch enthusiast?
The box set itself is a bespoke fold out affair, not just the individual releases packaged together. A set of poster cards is included, which is a nice touch, but certainly not essential.
On the discs we have:
Eraserhead – Apparently a newly remastered version overseen by the man himself, although this could just be a HD transfer of the version sold in 2001 on Lynch's website.
The special features here are Lynch (One) an 82min documentary previously available separately, which follows him over a two year period, delving into some of his creative interests, and while making Inland Empire. This is a great look at what makes Lynch tick and, of course, highlights his idiosyncratic traits. The disc is topped off with four short films; Six Men Getting Sick (1966), The Alphabet (1968), and two separate versions of The Amputee (1974). These have previously been released (along with other shorts featured on other discs) on the long deleted 2008 DVD, The Short Films of David Lynch. Despite the great extras, the biggest disappointment is the decision not to port over the wonderful Eraserhead Stories from the Lynch approved DVD. This 85 min featurette of Lynch talking about the film is fantastic and it is such a missed opportunity not to include it. The DVD menu which features a deleted scene involving Henry (Jack Nance), a piece of wire and a dead cat is sorely missed. Shame on you Universal!
Dune – Lynch's much maligned adaptation of Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel, and certainly plays better now than it did back in 1984. This disc has been previously released (as has Blue Velvet), and as such they don't carry the generic menu seen on the other discs. What you do get, however are some film specific special features so obviously missing from the other films. Here we have: Destination Dune - a 6 min contemporary featurette, Impressions of Dune - a 40min retrospective with much of the talent involved, although Lynch himself is noticeable by his absence. An interview with Golda Offenheim, production co-ordinator is an uncut version of the interview used in the retrospective.
Blue Velvet – Another previously released disc, and as such has a wealth of great special features, namely: A 45min interview with Dennis Hopper, A 70 min documentary, Mysteries of Love, three outtakes, Siskel & Ebert “At the Movies” the contemporary review from the famed US film critics, four vignettes and the usual trailers and TV spots. A great collection.
Wild At Heart – One of my favourite films of all time, presented in a truly wonderful transfer. The special features are Dumbland, all eight episodes of Lynch's absurd animated comedy, previously available on its own DVD, and two short films: The Grandmother and Lumiere and Company which runs just under a minute. Like Eraserhead, this version suffers from not having the DVD features ported over. No animated menus, and worse still, no featurettes. The special edition DVD was full of insight from all involved with the brilliant Love, Death, Elvis & Oz documentary. It would have been nice to have that here.
Twin Peaks Fire Walk With Me however, does not even merit a trailer. Zilch. Lovely transfer of the film though.
Lost Highway - Again, the special features are made up of short and experimental films previously released on Lynch's website, and in the DVD collection, Dynamic: 01.
While it is a great collection, it is a missed opportunity to release the definitive versions of the films. I'm just hoping it's not just a cynical way of making the fans buy the films yet again, later in some super-dooper special edition versions. Each of the films are also available separately too.
A lovely set, but could do better. Maybe wait for the price reduction.