Customer Review

51 of 57 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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Showing 1-10 of 11 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 7 Jan 2008 13:32:23 GMT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on 1 Feb 2008 15:36:32 GMT
J. OHara says:
Great review. One of the only interesting things I've ever read on Amazon. Thanks!

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Apr 2008 16:59:32 BDT
Alijazz says:
Hi Stuart,
You really have to see it. Nothing can prepare you for Eraserhead. It's unique among films. Everyone writing here is speaking from an intensely personal perspective. If you don't have anything living behind your radiator, you might not like it!

Posted on 1 Jul 2008 12:58:45 BDT
B. Ridder says:
What?

""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."

What are you talking about? What does all this got to do with Eraserhead?
I know many people with autism wich i meet on a daily basis, and i find your irrelevant rants quite offensive.

"So why "Eraserhead"? Well, my son sees things differently because of his autism..."

You are not answering your question! You do not talk about the movie! You only talk of your child wich has nothing to do with the movie!

Do you consider Eraserhead to be "autistic" or something?
The movie is wierd, it has lots of weird mental stuff, and the main character is a bit weird/anxious (and he even stares at a radiator at some point!). My son is also weird/anxious and that weirdness is called autism. Therefore, Eraserhead=A Great Insight Into Autism! You'll Learn All About It!
"Insight into life with an autistic person"???
Oh, the baby is a misshapenly born monster and drives the main character insane. Therefore Eraserhead=A Great Insight Into Living With Autism!

Is this what you tell us? Because it offends me in many ways.

First of all: This movie is NOT about autism or living with autism!
David Lynch mentioned that there NEVER was any interpretation about the movie that came close to his interpretation, and i bet he has heard them all. So the living with autism is your personal interpretation. And any interpretation about movies with this kind of caliber should be kept to ones self.

Now what you are doing: everyone who has never seen this movie (... or Groundhogs day or Something about mary ... *sigh*) might associate it with autism while they watch it, and they will think about it while watching the movie. This ticks me off, because it ruins the magic of open interpretation, wich i believe is one of the things that makes this movie so powerful.

A message you might also give: People who dont know anything about autism might think: "Such a weird guy, therefore autism is weird and anyone who doesn't look or act weird is not autistic" OR "An ugly constantly crying monster baby represents living with an autistic kid? Autism must be quite a horrible thing to live with! Therefore, autistic people: horrible". I will not be suprised if someone thinks such way, because i've heard quite a few ignorant people say some terrible things about autisic people.

Stop trying to force the idea of autism into movies wich happen to be quirky, weird or repetitious. If you can't help doing that, keep it to yourself, because you might offend people (especially if you associate autism to a movie with a 'gorgeous girl and her "disabled" brother' ...).

Remember, the movies you have mentioned are more 'fantasy' than Rain Man (wich is not a movie about autism, but about an autistic SAVANT, wich is something a bit different), and they all tell nothing about (living with) autism at all. It only does in your own mind.

Why dont you try and reccomend movies that are actually about autistic people? Like Mozart and the Whale, Snowcake..
You'll probably never see a movie about autism that isn't a little bit 'fantasy' or 'romantic' because thats just what movies are .... but for gods sake pick some movies that are actually relevant and insightful to autism, despite the little bits of movie fantasies and romanticisms.

I actually feel a bad for criticizing you ..because from what i can tell you are a really great, proud parent that loves his son very much. And that is something i admire.
But this is something i had to get off my mind, and i hope you understand why and please, dont take it personal.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Jul 2008 00:43:37 BDT
Alijazz says:
Hi B Ridder,

It's hard to imagine that you read my review, such are your comments. And I certainly wonder whether you understand what autism actually is. And I wonder if you noticed the number of conclusions you jumped to - making points that I certainly didn't, and presenting views with which I do not agree. The movies I refer to all remind ME of living with my son's autism (I'm his mother, by the way): Mary's brother is autistic (did you see the film?); Groundhog Day is like being the carer of any severely autistic person - believe me. Every day has to be exactly the same or all hell breaks loose. Only the approach to each day can change the carer's lot. And Eraserhead. Well, again, I ask - did you see the film? The amazing thing about this film is that it means something different to everyone who sees it. My review explains what it means to me. You are welcome to write your own review about what it means to you.

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Jan 2011 17:38:44 GMT
Last edited by the author on 1 Jan 2011 17:44:04 GMT
N. Carley says:
Alijazz, you have the patience of a saint for suffering these comments and remaining polite. Thanks for a very different review.
S. Allen, if we weren't all self indulgent we wouldn't be writing reviews, playing at being Barry Norman.
B. Ridder, what the hell is wrong with you? Do you own this film, did you create it?
"Don't take it personal"? Good god.

Posted on 16 Feb 2011 22:50:56 GMT
Fantastic review, and helpful in that it indicates that Eraserhead is a thought-provoking film. I'd like to think I could draw my own conclusions from watching it - I only ever take note of reviews (good or bad) that have something personal to add to the discussion.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Feb 2011 17:25:29 GMT
Last edited by the author on 24 Mar 2011 10:19:06 GMT
Alijazz says:
Hi Mr Wheat and N. Carley. I was pretty baffled by the big outburst: fittingly surreal, though, no?

In reply to an earlier post on 6 May 2012 01:15:02 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 6 May 2012 07:26:00 BDT]

Posted on 10 Jun 2013 22:22:57 BDT
Last edited by the author on 10 Jun 2013 22:23:37 BDT
Maria says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]
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