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Feature


Irvin Kershner’s stylish, violent cult thriller—from an original screenplay by John Carpenter—stars iconic star Faye Dunaway as glamorous fashion photographer Laura Mars, who begins to experience horrific visions when she ‘sees’ a series of brutal murders as they happen. (Taken from the official synopsis.)

Video


The Eyes of Laura Mars features a generally pleasing transfer, presumably derived from an older HD master (this appears to be confirmed by the accompanying booklet). It looks every bit the seventies feature film it is, with gritty cinematography and a largely naturalistic colour palette (no orange and teal here). After a slightly shaky start things improve markedly in the detail department, delivering some nice wide shots and genuinely impressive close-ups, although the image is never going to challenge the best the format has to offer. I found the black levels a little milky at times, which in turn has a detrimental effect on contrast, but they’re only truly problematic during a handful of scenes. The quality during the ‘vision’ sequences is somewhat worse than the rest of the film, but this is obviously by design and fairly typical of features of this ilk and era. The image is free from any major film artefacts, doesn’t appear to have been subjected to any egregious digital tinkering, and has a solid encode.

Audio


The only available audio option is that of LPCM 1.0 Mono audio, which is to be expected given the film’s age and standing. It’s a perfectly acceptable track overall, although obviously limited by design. With that said, dialogue is always intelligible, never becoming buried under the effects or music. Speaking of which, I was quite pleased to hear some recognisable disco tracks peppered throughout the film, although I suspect those with a lower tolerance for cheese will take a different view.

Extras


As with the majority of its releases, Powerhouse has assembled a solid collection of bonus material for this edition of the film, details of which can be found below:

  • Audio commentary with director Irvin Kershner
  • The Eyes Have It: an appreciation by critic Kat Ellinger
  • Visions: original 'making of' documentary
  • Eyes on Laura Mars: on-set photography with commentary
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • David DeCoteau trailer commentary: a short critical appreciation
  • Image gallery: on-set and promotional photography
  • Limited edition exclusive booklet with a new essay by Rebecca Nicole Williams, an overview of contemporary critical responses, and historic articles on the film

Overall


Originating from a script by John Carpenter (yes, that John Carpenter), The Eyes of Laura Mars is a competent, if unspectacular thriller with Giallo leanings. Unfortunately the film’s biggest mysteries—the identity of the killer and the origin of Laura’s bizarre visions—are either too easy to deduce or remain unexplored, which results in a largely unsatisfying experience.

On a technical level this is another capable catalogue release from Powerhouse’s Indicator label, offering a pleasing audio-visual experience and a fair assortment of complimentary bonus material. I’ll wager that it’s probably the best the film has looked and sounded on a home format by quite some margin, which should please its fans.

* Note: The images below are taken from the Blu-ray release and resized for the page. Full-resolution captures are available by clicking individual images, but due to .jpg compression they are not necessarily representative of the quality of the transfer.

 Eyes of Laura Mars, The
 Eyes of Laura Mars, The
 Eyes of Laura Mars, The
 Eyes of Laura Mars, The
 Eyes of Laura Mars, The
 Eyes of Laura Mars, The
 Eyes of Laura Mars, The
 Eyes of Laura Mars, The


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