Eraserhead (1977) Film Review

Posted: July 29, 2014 in Horrendous Horror Movies
Tags: , , , ,

Directed by David Lynch, Eraserhead is an incredibly odd film. (And the bizarreness makes sense, seeing as many of Lynch’s films were created to “disturb, offend [and] mystify” audiences.)

The movie begins when Henry (Jack Nance) is invited to Mary’s (Charlotte Stewart) house for dinner. Here, he meets her eccentric family and learns that Mary has given birth to their child. (Yet I wouldn’t call it a child; to me, it is an alien-like creature.)

Soon, Mary and the alien-like creature move into Henry’s small apartment. Mary, upset with the constant crying of the creature, leaves, claiming that she is going insane. The rest of the movie focuses upon Henry hallucinating about the Woman in the Radiator, feeling up the Woman across the Hall, and caring for his “child.”

The “child,” or alien-like creature, is pretty damn creepy. According to Wikipedia, the actual prop is named Spike, and its mouth, neck, and eyes are capable of independent movement. And I find it creepy that no one, except Lynch himself, knows how Spike was created, or what it is. Whatever Spike is, though, frightened me, and has made me fearful to become a mother one day.

Yes, their “child” is creepy!

In order to create a child, one must have sexual intercourse, and Eraserhead is filled with sexual undertones. For instance, in the beginning of the movie, Henry releases a sperm-like creature from his mouth, which abruptly falls into a circular opening. To me, this scene represented conception, and it showcased the making of Henry and Mary’s strange alien-like creature.

Actually, there are numerous scenes with sperm-like creatures which explode into white goo. The Woman in the Radiator encounters these creatures; she violently treads on them, releasing goo onto the checkered floor. And Henry finds more sperm-like creatures lurking in Mary’s blanket. (Oh goodness, this sounds incredibly dirty.) When Henry retrieves these creatures, he throws them against the wall, and they explode into a gooey mess. If you want to watch a movie filled with sperm-like creatures, watch Eraserhead.

Alright, let’s move onto another subject.

There are a few more creative, yet unsettling scenes that I wish to mention. The first is when Henry’s head, which has popped off, is taken to a pencil factory. There, his brain matter is used to create pencil erasers. (After viewing this scene, I looked at my pencils in a whole new light.)

The other scene occurs when, during the strange dinner, Henry begins to carve the small chicken. As Henry begins to cut into the flesh, the chicken begins to writhe and bleed all over his plate. Oh, and while this chicken is bleeding all over the place, Mary’s mother begins to make orgasm noises. This scene, which was very unique and creative, is also incredibly uncomfortable and mystifying.

One downfall of Eraserhead would be the background noise; at times, it felt like static sounds and high-pitched whines were punching my eardrums. (Yes, my ears did not appreciate this film.)

Overall, Eraserhead was bizarre and artistic; I would highly recommend it to any surrealism fans.

To watch the trailer, click here


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