Reviewed byThe_Movie_CatVote: 9/10/10
I can think of very few films that have sound as their most commendablefeature. The Exorcist is one, a film that, aside from infrequent strains of`Tubular Bells', adopts minimal incidental music. This is laudable in ahorror genre where shocks are clearly signposted and predicted byovergenerous musical stings. The Exorcist may be flawed, but its avoidanceof this field cliché is worthy of praise.
Eraserhead is the other film that excels in sound. A frankly disturbingconcoction of industrial score and white noise with undercurrents of musicalhall and sonorous church organ, it is almost an extra character in the film,and easily it's most prominent factor.
Yet Eraserhead is to be recommended for more than its incidentals. Animpenetrable and gloomy work, what is it actually about? Who is the credited`man in the planet' who pulls levers that control giant spermatozoa? Manyquestions like this permeate a film which perhaps has to be seen severaltimes to get over the initial shock of it's avant gardism. Lynch extractsthe everyday and supplants it with the exceptionally bizarre. The experienceof meeting a girlfriend's parents for the first time is never worse thanhere, where the parents in question gyrate spasmodically to the animatedlegs of a blood-spitting chicken. It's these scenes along with thedeformed mutant baby that could lend the film the air of an abortiondebate. Birth and repressed sexuality thrive throughout the film, fromsuckling puppies to the seductive appeal of the `beautiful girl across thehall' and a mother-in-law that gets too close for comfort. I guess theentire film could be a man's mental breakdown when faced with the prematureresponsibilities of marriage and fatherhood. Though to be honest I couldn'teven begin to imagine what it's really all about.
Encroaching blackness fills every scene, where lights are intermittent atbest, and at worse fail completely. Often sets particularly the bedroomwhen `Mary X' is feeding the child are like prison cells. Two of the mosteerie segments involve a title-explaining dream (?) where Henry's (Nance's)head is carved into pencil rubbers and an unsettling musical number from the`lady in the radiator'. This is the same lady with two candyfloss-like lumpson her cheeks that alternates her stage appearances between stamping ongiant sperm to singing with religious convictions.
Direction and cinematography are brilliant throughout, though the climax isthe ultimate extension of a film that borders on darker, extremelyunpleasant aspects of reality. I took a girl to see this film once, wherethe conclusion formed the final straw in what could be seen as a cycle ofrepellent imagery. I wonder why I never saw her again?
Reviewed byCoventryVote: 9/10/10
I'm always a bit worried when I'm about to express my love towards thismovie by the genius director David Lynch... I figure it's the perfectindicator for psychiatrists to claim that you're completely nuts :)
But what the heck, they're a lot of nutballs on this website, so I canspeak my mind freely. Indeed, I love this movie...although 'love' maybe a wrong term to describe my feelings towards it. This movie'fascinates' me is a much better saying. Usually, a movie is somethingin which you can live yourself in...in order to escape the stress ofreal life. Eraserhead is the exact opposite of that ! When watchingthis film, you can only hope that you'll never awake in the wold likeLynch shows it here. The horrible noises, the colorless and tastelesslocations and the insensible characters...you all hate to love it.Eraserhead takes a walk with your emotions, you don't know whether tobe disgusted or intrigued by it. So you'll feel uncomfortable whenwatching it and that's a wonderful experience for a cinema freak !
Eraserhead is the ultimate cult film in my opinion and a must see forevery fan of this delicious genre. In fact, I would go so far to sayyou can't call yourself a cult-freak if you haven't seen it yet.
David Lynch begins his highly impressive career with this one and itstill lives on. Eraserhead isn't his best film at all ( certainly notwhen it comes to storyline ) but it's his most deep and personal tale.25 years old and still the "weirdest" film ever. That's an achievement,certainly with all this artistic filmmakers lately...or, at least, theytry to be...)
I want to encourage as much people as possible to see this one, butit's for the best that some groups of people avoid it. Surely notrecommended if you're depressed or suicidal...The image of Jack Nanceand the rest of the cast could even put you more down, I think. Thetagline of this movie - "In heaven, everything looks fine" - couldbecome a stimulus, I'm afraid. Pregnant women and young couples in loveshould beware as well !! This film is the ultimate nightmare for thatwhat should be the greatest miracle of life...The hideous but yetharmless "baby" ( I really don't know how I should call it, actually)is the purest form of horror that ever occurred on the screen.
You must have respect for director David Lynch. If you imagine how hardit must have been to create and finance this production. But itworked...hell, even comedy legend Mel Brooks was deeply impressed.Based on this film, he decided to let Lynch direct "The Elephant Man" afew years later. By that, David's career was launched and of course hemade a masterpiece out of it. For me personally, his highlights werethe 80's with terrific movies like "Blue Velvet", "Dune" ( veryunderrated, in my opinion) and "Wild at Heart" at the end of thedecade. And let's not forget the best TV-series ever made: "TwinPeaks".
Please, watch this movie !! Three times in a row if possible. I know alot of people who just stopped watching it after half and hour ( orless ) and yelled "What the f*** is this ???". Real shame, if you askme. It's an insight to a great mind and a unique event. If you reallydon't see the magic of it, at least try to admire the very stylishhaircut of the main character. I'm thinking of doing the same thingwith mine...
Reviewed bydr_steveVote: 10/10/10
I've watched Eraserhead countless times. In theaters. Off of theinfamous Japanese-subtitled VCR copy. Off of the recent Lynchre-release. From around the late 70s onward. Yes, that long.
I have friends who won't let me recommend movies to them any more.
Anyway, the capsule summary, "Can't be summarized," is pretty close.
First, it is not a movie. It is not a film.
It is a piece of art.
All of the comments I read that attempt to describe it as a movie failfor precisely that reason. If you read the ones that can handle it,they handle it as an art review.
So don't even think of it as a movie. Don't recommend it as a movie. Itdoesn't work.
I'll also admit that I sat in a haze for decades, absorbed in theimagery. In awe of the impressions. And finally, an image crystallized,an image of what this was a portrait of. (And, of course, I expect thisimage may change with repeated viewings...) And as I watch it, withthis in mind, a continuity appears.
We are living in hell, we just don't realize it.
A film that defies conventional logic and storytelling, fueled by its dark nightmarish atmosphere and compellingly disturbing visuals. Henry Spencer is a hapless factory worker on his vacation when he finds out he's the father of a hideously deformed baby. Now living with his unhappy, malcontent girlfriend, the child cries day and night, driving Henry and his girlfriend to near insanity.