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4.2 out of 5 stars
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4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 11 October 2016
You've got to see this film at least once in your life. OK, it will probably only be once, but you won't forget it! I'd seen part of it on TV many years ago and had always be curious about the whole film. Now my curiosity is sated.
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on 13 June 2017
Like some other reviewers, I first saw this film in the early 70s as part of a degree course. Dark, disturbing, nightmare –but what is it all about? Do not try to analyse, rather take it in as an assault on the mind. Strong visual images with great camera shots, bizarre and unexpected behaviour. Not so much horror as challenging.
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on 5 July 2016
A masterpiece ...one of the best debuts of film history. A very strange and surreal film (following Luis Buñuel) ... shot on black and white it is now a cult film. David Lynch took many years to shooting.
Stanley Kubrick it was a fan of this picture .... pure cinema.... but obviously not for everyone.
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on 10 July 2017
Perfect picture and amazing sound work. The remastering is really good. In supplements, few first works of David Lynch.
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on 2 May 2006
Ignore what it might say at the top of the page.This disc is actually region free and plays on EVERY player i put it in. You should make sure however that your television can display NTSC.

As for the film...LOVE IT!!!
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on 15 July 2017
Horror movies have become pretty formulaic these days. They consist of either zombies, a masked killer, or a spooky entity terrorising a family. Even the better ones that subverted those sub-genres were still instantly recognisable as what they were and any that were hailed as ‘original’ were most likely remakes from Japanese films. However, back before CGI blood had become the norm and a group of five American teens could go on a road trip to the middle of nowhere without being picked off by pitchfork-wielding locals, came David Lynch’s horror masterpiece, ‘Eraserhead.’

I guess it could be described as a bit of a ‘passion project’ as it took him years to make, due to him filming it while he studied/worked other jobs and generally did his best to get this movie financed. Now, you can probably tell that I’m a fan, however I will admit that no matter how much it appeals to me, it’s definitely not for everyone. You could almost call it an ‘art film’ as it’s filmed entirely in black and white and has little to no dialogue. The story – or at least what we can tell is a story – centres around a young, downtrodden man called Henry (played by long term friend and actor of David Lynch, Jack Nance) as he shuffles back and forth to and from his job to his flat in what looks like some sort of post apocalyptic industrial landscape. It’s a bleak and meaningless existence for a man in a bleak and meaningless environment. I think the black and white adds to the overall mood of the tale. Whatever is really happening in Henry’s world, he is merely a small cog in a much larger machine. However, just because his life is bleak doesn’t seem to make it dull. He does seem to have a girlfriend. I use the word ‘seem’ as their relationship is never made truly clear. And, upon meeting her parents for the first time, discovers that there’s a baby at the hospital and he’s going to have to help look after it.

Now, this may not sound like the most sinister and horrific story ever told. However, I may have slightly overlooked some of the other things that occur. For example… the ‘mini chickens’ Henry eats at his potential inlaws’ house appears to be alive. The baby is a deformed freakish-looking thing that may or may not even be human. It whines continuously and there’s a lady living in his radiator with bizarre cheeks who crushes slithering worm-like creatures underfoot. Yes, it’s weird. But then this comes from the mind of David Lynch – the man who eventually went on to give us Twin Peaks, Lost Highway, Mullholland Drive and almost every other twisted, surreal modern nightmare ever put down on film.

Now, as I say, it’s not for everyone. It’s hardly a ‘date movie’ and most people will probably be either bored or confused (or both). It’s very slow. It doesn’t make as much sense as most films with their classic Hollywood narratives and overall many will find it just too damn weird to be watchable. However, if you’re in the mood for something a little different (and when I say ‘different’ I mean horrifically different!) then ‘Eraserhead’ is certainly a film that has to be watched to be experienced. Whether you end up loving it or hating it, it will definitely stick in your mind for many years to come.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 10 February 2016
Eraserhead is one of those films that many people love; if you like strangeness, black and white imagery, things oozing, spurting dark liquid, disgusting things, strange rooms with even stranger lighting, in a nameless city that is hardly shown, vertical hair that looks like the bride of Frankenstein, but here is on the male lead - you may like this. It has little plot, but a lot happens in a kind of dreamscape, whereby Henry Spencer, the main character, finds himself left by his wife to look after their prematurely-born baby, who looks like an alien wrapped in bandages. He also has a glamorous neighbour, has a bizarre meal at his in-laws', and has a dream in which his own head is used to provide erasers on the end of pencils, having sprung off his shoulders. Some of the images - this scuptural head landing on and denting the pavement, for instance - are good, but for a non-fan of the genre it does try the patience a bit and seems a bit long even at 85 minutes. Its main interest for me was seeing where the style of The Elephant Man came from; there are similarities in the inky b/w images, but there the strangeness is harnessed to more meaning and emotional connection.
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on 19 August 2017
Strangely compelling, it was like no film I had ever seen before. It works a bit like a Rorschach ink blot, every time I watch it, I notice something new and have a new idea about it. And I have to say, I do like it, parts of it I like a lot. It's a disturbing film, a kind of dystopia. When I first saw it, the opening reminded me of Winston Smith in Nineteen Eighty-Four going home from work, and that probably predisposed my to interpret the rest of it the same way. It helps if you know something about the history of film, German Expressionism, for instance. But it doesn't help you much. It's difficult to imagine a film like this being in colour, the stark, black-and-white photography is beautiful and yet alien. The story is actually fairly straightforward. The hero goes to his girlfriend's house, and his girlfriend's parents obviously think that he should marry her, because she's had his baby. But then, one of her family expresses doubt that what she has given birth to really is a human baby. Doubt, uncertainty, and fear are major themes of the film. There are strange dream sequences that may not mean anything, and merely express the hero's inner turmoil. The titular dream seems to suggest that, though he has intelligence and imagination, the products of his brain do not actually 'make his mark' in the world, but are merely seized upon to erase other people's marks, well, that's one possible interpretation. I'll leave it there, hoping that I've shown how this is a film that needs the viewer's imagination as much as the director's. Don't give up on it if you don't like it. This is a film that repays several viewings.
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on 6 January 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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on 16 March 2009
Much like orgasm, sleep is necessary, life-affirming, soul-enhancing and mysterious.

Two things have led me to 'Eraserhead' :
1} The recent death of Patrick McGoohan has brought back into focus his obsessive cage motifs and dynamic rants against collectivism and conformity - and 2} a heavy cold. Your humble scribe has been suffering from a brutal attack of catarrh. When lying down to sleep, the phlegm sticking to the back of my throat is making the same noise as Henry Spencer's horrific issue.
Beecham's just isn't the answer.

McGoohan's removal is the most telling of the two events. Just as it looks like Lynch will never fully explain 'Eraserhead', so the hidden substrata of 'The Prisoner' is now probably lost for ever. There are those of us with theories, which however passionately and indignantly expounded, can now never be proved.
Just as it should be.

There isn't sufficient mystery in the world. Not nearly enough child-like wonder.
The pressure of life is a clanking, hissing reality. I have no fear at all of getting old but the thought of ever-increasing responsibility and reliance is breath-restrictingly worrying.

The things that make me jump from sleep aren't terrors of mortality or disease, but mundane fears of phone-calls not made, a deadline missed, an enquiry unattended.
Everyday nonsense - sorted in twenty minutes of light and consciousness - take on twisting, uncomfortable apprehensiveness when the eyelids finally start to flutter.

In Lynch-World these horrors are deeply personal, not shared. 'Eraserhead' reminds of Derek Jarman, 'Wicker Man', Hammer movies (Lynch has definitely seen 'Curse of the Werewolf'), Cocteau, Powell and Pressburger, Morrissey. It's also the funniest film. Lynch exorcises his inner-demons by laughing at us, and by laughing with him, we laugh at the biggest joke of all - our lives.
(Imagine ladies, answering one of those 'lonely hearts' ads and Lynch turning up! Pockets stuffed with cigarettes. 'The Undiscovered Wit of Noel Edmonds' in one hand, and an 'Attack of the Mushroom People' dvd in the other.)
'Eraserhead' - furtive and under-hand - is a case of tell the truth and shame the devil. It's not possible to harbour misgivings when the joke being played is such a good one.

Henry, by Jack 'Chaplin' Nance is enthralling. The 'Man in Planet's (obviously the viewer) death throes in the same white light that finally gives Henry the freedom he craves only to have everything snatched away by 'heaven' is almost Ophulsian in its pathos and symbolism.

The fact that there is no final escape is the political satire, but it's the presentation of 'normal' family life, or God-help-us, family life as Lynch sees it, that gives the comedy its snap and edge.

Insane chickens splutter blood at the worst dinner party in the world; a shoot grows from a mound next to Henry's bed where perhaps an alarm clock should be; his unfettered lust for the woman across the hall (very probably a prostitute); his dour, angry partner who is even more consumed by the depressing inevitability of existence than he is...
The tears will roll down your cheeks.

'Songs in the Key of Life' could easily be titled 'Songs From the Key of Dreams'. No food or water..we die, but take away our sleep and we thrive as conduits. All the best serial killers motives are in their dreams and your appendix can randomly kill you.
We're right on the edge, every hour of every day. Brittle, delicate, full of doubts and unfulfilled aspirations and then lastly, we're hurled into the void.

I don't worry that God OR the devil awaits us there - Lynch would be a crazier eternity altogether.
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