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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars dream logic on film
If you found yourself among the 12 people who liked LOST HIGHWAY and thought it made sense in an odd way, even though you didn't understand it, you must see this movie. Make it your sole goal in life. Don't sleep until you own it. David Lynch has taken the sort of logic one only encounters in dreams (or nightmares) and used it to visualize his own, and yours too, fears...
Published on 26 Mar 2002

versus
24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars strangely compelling
I have not the slightest clue what this film is about, but oddly enough that doesn't really bother me. The best way I can describe it is like this: Eraserhead is like one of those really weird dreams you sometimes have which you can neither verbalise or rationalise, and which stays with you all day, and which affects you in ways you cannot quite explain...
Published on 22 Feb 2009 by Tim.T


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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars dream logic on film, 26 Mar 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Eraserhead [DVD] (DVD)
If you found yourself among the 12 people who liked LOST HIGHWAY and thought it made sense in an odd way, even though you didn't understand it, you must see this movie. Make it your sole goal in life. Don't sleep until you own it. David Lynch has taken the sort of logic one only encounters in dreams (or nightmares) and used it to visualize his own, and yours too, fears about marriage and parenthood. Using a spare plot, he spends most of the film drifting off into bizzare scenarios and visuals, loaded with symbolism and implied meaning, like a dream.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing but thought provoking, 6 Jan 2008
First of all, let me say that Eraserhead is not a film for everyone. Many people will find themselves confused by the strange atmosphere, surreal imagery, and signature David Lynch sense of purposefully awkward pacing.

That out of the way, I would have to say that this is possibly one of my most personal favorite films. It is dark, tense, atmospheric, and filled with sounds and images that will send chills up your spine. It is a film that takes more than one viewing to truly begin to comprehend, but is quite a ride nontheless. There are moments in this movie that will literally scare you, so much so that one could almost call this eerie surreal art-film a deconstructed domestic horror movie. This film, along with the original black and white Night of the Living dead, are two of the only films in existance that still scare me to this day. (Side note: Also, I reccomend that you see Luis Bunuel's movie "Un Chien Andalou" to see where strange art-films like this originated from.)

Anyway, the film's plot while initially incomprehensible to most, can be broken down into the tragic tale of a man named Henry Spencer (Jack Nance) stuck in a dark decaying city overrun by industry. During the film, he is forced to deal with the prospect of taking care of an illegitimate premature child birthed by his girlfriend, Mary X. (Charlotte Stewart) However, he is consumed by his guilt, and begins to comprehend suicide as a way out. But the story is told through such a swirling mixture of dreamlike imagery that this is not always readily apparent.

However, in order to better understand and appreciate the film, one must figure out what each of the images mean. Here's a short cliff notes guidline to some of the more common recurring images in the movie:

Worm = sin. These creatures appear all throughout the movie. Henry even tries to hide his "little" sin from Mary at one point, only to have a nightmare where Mary is consumed by worms. Henry's room is also filled with piles dirt and dead plants as one might notice, which makes his room a breeding ground for worms.

The Baby = The product of sin. You might have noticed that the baby looks an awful lot like a worm. Futhermore, the baby is a part of Henry, and later during the dream sequence, we discover that Henry IS the baby. When Henry kills the baby, he kills himself.

Eraser = Memories. Henry feels that his memories, or his brain with his bad memories, is like an eraser that needs to be rubbed out. In his dream sequence, he sees himself losing his head, and having his brains turned into eraser bits to be rubbed out and blown into dust on the wind.

The lady in the radiator = Death. Death looks grotesque, yet strangely appealing to poor Henry. The radiator gives off warmth and seems to become a stage where death performs for Henry, promising to stamp out his sins (worms) and telling him that "in heaven, everything is fine." At the end of the movie, Henry embraces the lady in the radiator before blackness falls.

The man in the planet = God. In addition to disposing of Henry's cofessed sins at the beginning of the movie (the worm coming out of Henry's mouth) the scarred man in the planet appears to prevent Henry from opting for suicide during his dream sequence. He silently reminds Henry of his sacrifice (the bleeding tree) though it is in vain as Henry shows God what he really is underneith. (the baby)

The last is a theme that occurs in all Lynch movies:

Electricity and electrical lighting = The presence of good. Darkness = The presence of evil.

There are other aspects of the film that keep popping up, such as the reocurrence of the unlucky number thirteen. Henry waits thirteen seconds for the elevator to open up, the lady across the hall takes thirteen seconds to appear, Henry's apartment numbers add up to the number thriteen, etc. Also, there are many other images which I will let you figure out on your own.

All in all, the movie is quite an experience. This is a film that you will either love or utterly hate. For myself, I managed to "click" with the movie from the first time I saw it and have enjoyed it since. Repeated viewings only add to the enjoyment of the film, as you begin to notice more and more that you never saw before. All in all, I say that it is an excellent and extremely layered film.

With that, I give you some fun facts about the movie:

-The pencil eraser machine actually worked. It was put together by Lynch and a friend of his.

-To this day, Lynch will still not disclose how he constructed the amazingly convincing baby creature, though he claims is was created with substance/objects that anyone could find around the house.

-Jack Nance's hair was incredibly malleable. Literally, all it took was a little bit of trimming on either side of his head and some combing to get it to stand upright.

-In order to get a better sense of textures for the film (possibly for the organs of the baby) Lynch dissected a dead cat.

-When driving around town with the "Henry hair" Jack Nance would sit in the center seat while Lynch and someone else would sit on either side to keep his gravity-defying hair from being seen
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53 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An unlikely educational tool - but an excellent one all the same, 13 Nov 2006
This review is from: Eraserhead [VHS] (VHS Tape)
I first saw Eraserhead in an impromptu showing, in an underground nightclub in a derelict building. Very fitting surroundings, really. I was young and thought it funny, shocking, artistic, and very original. After twenty one years of parenting a severely autistic child/now man, I also recommend this film - alongside such quirky bedfellows as "Groundhog Day" and "There's Something About Mary" - to anyone who asks for insight into autism or life with an autistic person. This may be very politically incorrect, but what else should I recommend? Not "Rain Man". It's a fantasy.

"Groundhog Day" contains the main message for surviving autism. There is reward and salvation in embracing all the repetition. "Something About Mary" I love because it is a film where you don't get the hand of the gorgeous girl unless you genuinely love her disabled brother, too. Ha ha.

So why "Eraserhead"? Well, my son sees things differently because of his autism, in a life fraught with anxieties. When taken to view the magnificent Humber Bridge he drew a giant cat, because a real one miles away in the distance was worrying him. He likes to draw brass instruments starting with the holes. He believes he is Bernard, the mouse from the Disney film, "The Rescuers". He draws portraits of himself captioned, "Bernard's Yellow Egg-Scrambled Face." He is terrified of butterflies, mashed potato and DVD players. Before he can sit down even in his own house, he has to check a thousand little things to make sure they look the way he wants: the lights, plug sockets, curtains, electrical equipment, fridges, taps, rugs, vases, plates, cups, food. Everything. All the time. Many times a day.

So. As much as I wish I could still see this excellent film as a horror movie, I can't. I still find it quite funny - I have never lost my sense of humour. But it no longer seems frightening or weird to me. I've become impervious to surrealism. I live it, and nowadays I like it.

So, you can't lose. This movie will entertain you, and without your knowing it, it might make you a better person. It's fiction, but it's not fantasy. In fact in places, it's almost a documentary! See it.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Suspend disbelief - here comes David Lynch, 28 Mar 2004
By 
Andy Millward (Tiptree, Essex, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Eraserhead [DVD] (DVD)
The first time I saw Eraserhead I had heard neither of the film itself, nor of David Lynch, and had no idea what to expect. To put it mildly, I was seriously uneasy - not sickened as in gore-fests, shocked as in the he's-behind-you school, nor even spooked by the supernatural. No, what makes this film disturbing is that Lynch has plumbed the film directly into the viewer's psyche. You understand what you seen on the screen, but can't understand or relate to it directly. And don't expect explanations or loose ends to be tied!
Weird is one word, but it goes much deeper - a trance-like dream state where inexplicable events occur at random intervals, with no obvious rational logic or emotional consistency. By taking away many of the trappings of conscious reality and leaving you in a stylised world akin to a Dali painting where normal objects don't necessarily appear in the expected context, nor to behave as you would hope. From the odd appearance of John Nance, through to the bizarre roast chicken and all peculiarities thereafter, Eraserhead succeeds in disorientating the viewer better than any film I've come across before or since.
In hindsight, the heavy metaphors about parenthood seem more obvious, but no less disturbing for all that. Even comedy in this context (like the roast chicken) can have the opposite effect. You might laugh, but it's tension relief with a difference. The suspense notches up another gear in the process.
As another reviewer says, this is still fresh today, and certainly an alternative to the bland production line that is Hollywood. Perhaps the Hollywood machine toned down Lynch's act (though in the light of Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks and suchlike, not by that much!), but first films have rarely been more startling. If you're a student of David Lynch, look here to see where his creative imagination was fired.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Disturbingly surreal and passionately realised comedy-horror, 31 Oct 2000
This review is from: Eraserhead [VHS] (VHS Tape)
David Lynch is one of the world's finest directors. He blends pretentious surrealism with comedy that makes you feel guilty to laugh at. He has made some stunning films, like Blue Velvet, and he has made some terrifying films, like The Lost Highway. However, never has Lynch managed to top this brilliant masterpiece. It's basically about a man trapped in his apartment by the responsibilities of parenthood (although his child is more like a bloody E.T. than a baby) who slowly drives himself mad. An interesting plot, strengthened by stunning direction and excellent acting. Lynch's movies always have perverse undertones, and this is no exception. This is not a sexual movie, however; the perversion comes from the hatred Lynch makes you feel toward the disfigured child that is Eraserhead's true central character. This film is a true masterpiece, and don't let the pretentiousness of this film put you off; it's truly a great movie that will engross you from start to finish based solely on how bizarre it is. This is easily the most unusual and deranged movie to have EVER been produced out of a major Hollywood studio. Weird, but beautiful. Watch it for the final scene.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars strangely compelling, 22 Feb 2009
This review is from: Eraserhead [DVD] (DVD)
I have not the slightest clue what this film is about, but oddly enough that doesn't really bother me. The best way I can describe it is like this: Eraserhead is like one of those really weird dreams you sometimes have which you can neither verbalise or rationalise, and which stays with you all day, and which affects you in ways you cannot quite explain.

Despite it being completely incomprehensible, I still think Eraserhead should be on everyone's "top films to see before you die" list. It is strangely compelling, while utterly baffling at the same time.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The master of weird's amazing debut!, 17 Feb 2006
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This review is from: Eraserhead [DVD] (DVD)
Where to start with a film that features a deformed baby, a woman in a radiator, chickens that flap about on the plate when they're about to be carved and the strangest haircut ever (besides my own). Well this is David Lynch's first full length feature and is stranger than Mulholland Drive and Lost Highway put together. It is not very dialogue heavy; it's more atmospheric and nightmarish really. Nor is it particularly scary- in fact it is quite beautiful. There is one scene that stands out in my mind as being particularly disturbing though: where the father is sat staring at the main protagonist (Eraserhead) with a fixed smile on his face and his daughter walks in to stand behind him with her hand clasped over her mouth in horror. I know it doesn't sound particularly disturbing but it is when you see it. This is certainly not for everyone- but if you are a fan of all things weird and disturbing then this is a must.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars See if you can work this one out - cult classic, 21 Mar 2010
By 
A. A. Jones "A A Jones" (Stockton on Tees, England, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Eraserhead [DVD] (DVD)
I first watched this film in the cinema of an offshore oil production platform in 1983. I was in the company of about 30 others initially. Gradually people began to leave when the film turned out to be so weird. It was not meant to be funny, but some people found it hilarious, I must admit to having many a laugh myself.
It's an odd film to say the least, dark with strange places and noises. The hairstyle of the main character is something that forever cracks me up.
The film reached a point where I was compelled to see it to the finish. There was just myself and two others left. I could not make any sense of the film at all and we had a good laugh the next day talking about it. I have since bought the DVD and watched it several times including once with my wife, much to her displeasure. I never did get to fathom it out.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars industrial noise never sounded so sweet, 19 Dec 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Eraserhead [DVD] (DVD)
I first saw this film lying in bed at about 2am flicking between channels. Its first impression on me was 'great, another "art" movie for the pretentious and/or insomniac generation.' How wrong I was.
One of the major things that I love about Eraserhead, and with a lot of Lynch's work, is the feeling that the film could be set in the past, present, or future. The viewer is not told of the era, location or any other trivialities that may cloud judgment on the plot. And what a plot it is, only surpassed by the soundtrack which is a blistering, frightening and yet enveloping enterage of industrial noise.
Once agin the screenplay is limited, and speech relatively slow (considered) between the cast, a factor that is once agian reproduced in 'Lost Highway', one of Lynchs later movies.
Basically this is a fairy tale for grown ups, and is mesmerising from start to finish. Its 18 certificate is merely to put the censors mind at ease, with no real 'gore' of mention present. This is horror, but in a differnt sense of the word. You are not going to find stereotypical horror processes here, just an original, yet strangely addictive film.
The only reason this DVD dosent get ***** in my opinion is due to the realatively scarce extras. Trailer, and biography/filmography.
Watch this on a nicam speakered TV in the dark with the windows open on a cold night I dare ya!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing, 5 Feb 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Eraserhead [DVD] (DVD)
Lynch's Eraserhead is a challenge to watch. It challenges the homely view of parenthood, setting up a family and living a life that is not controlled by one's own will.
Henry's future is mapped out at the start, the Being in the signal box(Henry's hopes and aspirations) desperately trying to change the course of events that will rule his life forever(the conception of the baby).
We have free will but there are things that interfere with it over which we have no control.
Be disturbed. Be VERY disturbed.
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Eraserhead [DVD] [1977]
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