White Of The Eye was one of those indie titles of the ‘80s that passed through a few sets of hands and some­how man­aged to miss DVD alto­geth­er in the U.S. It got an over­due revival in the U.K. when Arrow Video did a nice spe­cial edi­tion for it — and that same trans­fer has now made it stateside thanks to the folks at Scream Factory. They have released the film as a blu-ray/DVD com­bo set that com­bi­nes this trans­fer and sev­er­al extras from the Arrow set while adding a few new extras of its own.

WhiteOTE-bluThe 2K trans­fer used here does well by a chal­leng­ing-to-trans­fer film, which uti­lizes a lot of fil­ters to soft­en the image and a bleach-bypass process in its flash­backs to drain the col­or of those moments. The result has a prop­er “cel­lu­loid” tex­ture to its visu­als but still boasts an impres­sive lev­el of col­or and detail. As usu­al, Scream Factory offers 5.1 and 2.0 loss­less stereo options to accom­pa­ny the trans­fer. The 5.1 was used for this review and it adds some spa­cious­ness to the mix, par­tic­u­lar­ly in its use of music.

Extras begin with a com­men­tary track by Donald Cammell’s biog­ra­pher, Sam Umland. It’s an ambi­tious, tight­ly script­ed sort of com­men­tary that cov­ers a vari­ety of top­ics while offer­ing per­ti­nent infor­ma­tion or obser­va­tions for every scene. He points out the films that White Of The Eye alludes to, offers a sophis­ti­cat­ed psy­cho­log­i­cal analy­sis of the sto­ry, explains the dif­fer­ences between the film and the book that inspired it, gives bio­graph­i­cal info for the direc­tor and com­ments on the use of music. In short, it’s an infor­ma­tive and thought­ful lis­ten from start to fin­ish.

WhiteOTE-01Next up are a series of inter­view fea­turettes. The first comes from the Arrow set and offers a sit­down with co-cin­e­matog­ra­pher Larry McConkey. In eleven min­utes, he explains how the film end­ed up hav­ing two cin­e­matog­ra­phers and how Cammell’s insis­tence on chaos, mixed with a tight sched­ule, forced the crew to inno­vate.

The oth­er two inter­views make their debut on this spe­cial edi­tion. The first is an 18-min­ute chat with Alan Rosenberg, who paints a por­trait of Cammell as a tor­ment­ed genius while admit­ting he didn’t ful­ly under­stand the char­ac­ter that the direc­tor want­ed him to play. Still, he has warm feel­ings for the film, which he con­sid­ers a pio­neer of a real­is­tic style of hor­ror film. The oth­er is an inter­view with Art Evans, who fond­ly recalls being cho­sen by Cammell for the film and work­ing hard to jus­ti­fy his faith. In under 16 min­utes, he offers up many mem­o­ries of the direc­tor, Cathy Moriarty and David Keith.

WhiteOTE-03The remain­ing extras are addi­tion­al or alter­na­tive takes on mate­ri­al in the film itself. Five and a half min­utes of delet­ed sce­nes are includ­ed: no sound was avail­able for the­se out­takes but Umland offers a detailed com­men­tary for each that explains their sig­nif­i­cance and why they were cut. Twelve min­utes of flash­back footage are shown in their orig­i­nal form so you can see how dif­fer­ent the col­ors were pri­or to the bleach bypass process. Finally, an alter­na­tive cred­its sequence offers a slight­ly dif­fer­ent take on the open­ing titles.

All in all, this is a worth­while spe­cial edi­tion. Those with the U.K. edi­tion may want to hold onto it for a few exclu­sive extras it has but U.S. view­ers will find this to be a fine alter­na­tive that throws in a few unique inter­views to sweet­en the deal.

To read Schlockmania’s film review of White Of The Eye, click here.