Digi-Schlock: THE IMAGE (Synapse Blu-Ray)

A survey of Synapse’s best DVD’s would have to include their 2002 edition of The Image.  Their initial treatment of this erotic classic from Radley Metzger is something of a fan favorite thanks to its strong transfer and generous audio options.  Nine years later, Synapse has returned to this title for a blu-ray edition… and the results are stunning.

A new HD transfer has been created for this blu-ray version (like the prior DVD, it is sourced from the negative) and the results dazzle the eye.  There’s a really nice cinematic detail to this anamorphic transfer and the color reproduction is equally impressive (look out for those eye-popping reds!).  There is a brief flaw in one scene but that is due to a flaw in the original negative and thus not a reflection on the excellent work presented here.

The audio is just as impressive.  The mono track and effects-and-audio tracks from the previous DVD are included here but the real draw is a brand-new 5.1 stereo remix that gets an uncompressed presentation on this disc.  It does wonders with the film’s carefully-chosen music library score, adding a real depth and punch to the presentation of the score in the film’s erotic setpieces.  It’s also worth noting that English subtitles are included on the disc.

Finally, there are a few text-based extras to round the package out.  The first is a director’s filmography on the disc itself.  The second and more impressive of the two is a new set of liner notes from Mondo Digital scribe Nathaniel Thompson.  It’s a concise but highly informative piece that delivers plenty of trivia while establishing a context for The Image‘s place in erotic film history.

In short, this blu-ray edition of The Image is a winner for the daring cult-film enthusiast and worth the upgrade for owners of the previous disc..  The transfer is as bold as the film itself and this blu-ray will likely age as gracefully as its DVD counterpart.

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