Jack Nance, Charlotte Stewart, Allen Joseph, Jeanne Bates, Judith Anna Roberts, Laurel
Near, V. Phipps-Wilson, Jack Fisk
1978, 90 Minutes, Directed by: David Lynch
Description:Is it a nightmare or an actual
view of a post-apocalyptic world? Set in an industrial town in which giant
machines are constantly working, spewing smoke, and making noise that is
inescapable, Henry Spencer lives in a building that, like all the others,
appears to be abandoned. The lights flicker on and off, he has bowls of water in
his dresser drawers, and for his only diversion he watches and listens to the
Lady in the Radiator sing about finding happiness in heaven. Henry has a
girlfriend, Mary X, who has frequent spastic fits. Mary gives birth to Henry's
child, a frightening looking mutant, which leads to the injection of all sorts
of sexual imagery into the depressive and chaotic mix. —
Where to begin with a review of Eraserhead? Did I like it? I don’t know. Is
it any good? I don’t know either - but it is definitely different. Would I
recommend it? No, not to just anybody - not everybody would like it. Sure,
the film has achieved a sort of minor cult status but I cannot really imagine
anybody wanting to see it more than once.
Whats it about? I
can hear you shout. Therein lies the rub: not much really. Its about a loner with a Bride
of Frankenstein hairstyle who gets a girl pregnant and marries her. Fine. Except their
baby is a sort of mutated monster, which sort of reminds one of the chest-bursting
creatures in Alien, that whines (like a real baby) a lot.
leaves him (because of the babys incessant crying) and eventually he goes mad.
Madder than he was to start with, that is. Eraserhead is shot in black & white and
took director David (Dune, Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks)
Lynch more than five years to film. It is set in a vaguely post-apocalyptic future of
decrepit buildings. The soundtrack seems to consist of white noise: amplified hisses and
The film reminded me most
of the old 1930s exercise in surrealism by Salvador Dali and Luis Bunuel, Un Chien
Personally I think that director Lynch took some notes after one
particularly bizarre and feverish nightmare and turned them into the movie we have here.
The keywords are surreal, grotesque, bizarre, unwatchable at times and gross. Even fans of
Lynchs later films such as Lost Highway and Wild At Heart will be
baffled by the proceedings.
Listen, if you have seen
any of director Lynchs other movies then check out Eraserhead. If you
havent then Id recommend starting off with his seminal 1980s indie movie Blue
Velvet. If you dont like Lynchs stuff, then stay far and away because Eraserhead
is even more inaccessible than most of his other output.
Me? Watching it was an
infuriating and willfully ambiguous experience - and while to be honest I
wouldn’t watch it again soon I’m definitely not disappointed that I did see it .