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Eraserhead
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on June 27, 2015
My favorite movie. Ever.

Some will not understand it. Some will be confused by it. Some will be disgusted by it. Some will hate it.

But some will get it. And for those people, it will be an experience like no other.

By "get it" I don't mean that people will uncover some hidden meaning in Eraserhead, or will walk away from the movie understanding what took place. By "get it" I mean that some people--like me--will resonate the movie on an emotional level even if their conscious mind can't make heads or tails of it. This movie is a like a dream that you still feel hours after waking even if its images and ideas don't make any sense to your waking mind.

The only thing I've ever experienced that hits that same level of incoherent emotional intensity would probably be the music of early Industrial music acts like Skinny Puppy. Indeed, the movie's immersive soundtrack is reminiscent of some Industrial music, with its washes of white noise, throbbing bass, and heavy atmosphere. Considering that Eraser was released in the same year as The Second Annual Report of Throbbing Gristle, the album that invented Industrial music, there may be a hidden lineage between this movie and early Industrial acts.

Much like Throbbing Gristle, this movie isn't necessarily a pleasant experience, but it becomes all the more powerful for it's horrific imagery, which is so memorable it will probably be with you the rest of your life. The movie is not a gore-fest or anything so straightforward: it's much more powerful than that. The ending was so visually and emotionally intense that I was staring at my screen, slack jawed and shaking, all throughout the credits and for several minutes afterward. No movie has ever affected me even half as much.

You have to be in a certain mindset to watch and enjoy this movie. It helped define the "midnight movie" phenomenon, and I can see why: even if you just watch it on a laptop, I highly recommend watching it at midnight. If you do, prepare for one of the most intriguing movies you're likely to ever see.
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on August 8, 2014
I have the Blu Ray version and an older DVD version. The contrast, saturation and black level is much better
in this Blu Ray. I will not go into the film it's self, other reviewers have already done a nice job.
But, there are several prints of this film avalible, which makes it hard to choose which one is best.

Be aware that Criterion is releasing a new digital restoration in Blu Ray in September 2014.
I have mine on preorder.
We will just have to wait and see if the new Criterion version is any better then this Blu Ray.

So, if you want to buy this disk, you would be well advised to wait until September, when the restoration
hits the market.
I am sure I have bought this film at least 4 times, as formats improve over time.

The film it's self is very dark in saturation, and you cant see some of the details.

This was also the case in the theater when I first saw it at the AFI (Washington, DC), when I was a member.
No one had seen the film, and Mr. Lynch was supposed to have been there to introduce the film, but he
didnt show up. It was his actual final work print that was screened that evening.

The Blu Ray edition fixes the black saturation so more details are finally visible.

I am wondering what other details I havent seen yet may be revieled in Criterion's new
restoration.
I am keeping my fingers crossed, I really dont want to keep buying this film hoping to find
the jackpot!!!!
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on April 22, 2017
Bizarre, bizarre, bizarre - You will love it or hate it - I could not stop watching it even though the subject matter was weird and disgusting - But, it's David Lynch at his bizarre and weird best
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on October 9, 2016
This movie takes the psychological distress associated with an accidental pregnancy and turns it into a full-blown horror movie: it's one of the most bizarre and disturbingly relatable examples from the genre, though it's definitely not for everyone. Personally, the subject matter of this film made me feel extremely uncomfortable, but overall, I feel like that was the director's intended goal. It's definitely worth a rental if you've never seen it, and in the pantheon of great horror movies, I feel that it is one of the very best that the genre has to offer.
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on March 19, 2008
This review is from: Eraserhead

I think "Eraserhead" is surely the type of movie most people will either hate (casual, mainstream viewers) or like (an open-minded viewer for film appreciation). I found myself unusually drawn to it (and mesmerized) because quite frankly the more weirder it got, the more interesting it became.

In a nut shell, this film is about the solitary life of a man (who is on vacation from his job as he constantly reminds people) that lives in a run-down almost abandoned building in what appears to be an industrialized, urban city. Throughout the film we learn the man eventually gets a baby that is abnormal (at least appears abnormal to us) with mutant-like features from a woman that appears disturbed (from a family with a disturbed behavior but appears normal looking). The film constantly shows images from what appears (to me) from the man's dreams because he struggles to sleep in the presence of his disturbed wife, screaming mutant baby and the inquisitive, but seductive lady neighbor next door. A lady with a slight, mutant appearance sings about "dancing in heaven" every time the man is near his room's heater radiator.

CONS FOR THE MAINSTREAM VIEWER;
It's in black & white. The characters are dull. I don't understand it.

PROS FOR THE INQUISITIVE VIEWER;
The black & white and the dull appearances of the background sets the tone for the film which is dark & depressive. While the images and scenes are disturbing and unusual (such as the menstrutating chicken, the tapeworms & the destruction of the baby), they are memorable because chances are you have never seen a film quite like this. After all, I think one of the unique purposes of film is to create long, lasting impressions. There really isn't much of a plot to this film. It's just open for your own interpretation.

If you can casually watch "Eraserhead" and appreciate for what it is and what it attempts to present then you can enjoy it. If you hate it, then you better stick to the mainstream movies with overpaid actors/actresses, multi-billion dollar special effects and the always happy, Hollywood, endings.
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on January 5, 2017
One of the greatest films of all time.It's such a beautiful, visual, and conceptual masterpiece. Amazing imagery. Evokes so many different types of feelings, from laughter to disturbed. I have watched this film over and over again. I recommend it to anyone looking for something different in terms of filmmaking.
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on June 13, 2007
Well, this is a strange movie indeed, and I have to disagree with some of the reviewers that say this isn't enjoyable to watch or very entertaining, I think it is extremely fun to watch and extremely entertaining. This is the most creepy, depressing movie that I've ever seen. The one thing that I do know is that this movie is supposed to be a dream(or a nightmare I should say). I've also had the idea of turning a dream into a film(or a film into a dream)and can see that David Lynch had that same thought almost forty years ago and pulls it off perfectly. If you have one of those dream trans-later books lying around it would probably help to dig it out for a viewing of "Eraserhead".
I believe in actuality that Henry Spencer is a normal man with a some-what
normal life and that we are just witnessing his dreams and his doubts about life, lack of communication in his relationship,doubts of being a father, loneliness, suicide and the after-life. I don't think anybody really knows what the message is behind "Eraserhead or if there is a message but thats the great thing about it. Oh yeah,and THE LADY IN THE RADIATOR REALLY CREEPS ME OUT.
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More than 35 years after its initial release, Eraserhead remains a curious enigma wrapped in shadowy symbolism. It's a shining example of what can happen when a director cracks the door open just enough to glimpse his vision, but not enough to fully grasp the story. David Lynch, for better or worse, intentionally or not, delivered a heck of a story, but stumbled on the punchline.

Others have already spelled out the plot, but in a nutshell: Henry Spencer (Jack Nance) is seen in the opening, in a montage with the 'Man in the Planet' who manipulates a sperm-like creature (which has exited Spencer's mouth) and the creature appears to fall to earth. Later, we're introduced to the world of Henry. He's a Nobody, the anti-hero. A printing company employee on vacation who returns to his dreary apartment building to be informed by his sexy neighbor across the hall that 'Mary' has called, and wants him to have dinner with her parents. Mary appears to be a past love interest. Henry obliges and finds that Mary's family puts the 'funk' in dysfunction. From the catatonic grandmother to artificially chipper father Bill, the dinner goes from bad to worse when the 'baby chickens' (probably Cornish game hens) weren't cooked long enough. This is one of the best scenes of the entire film.

Mary's mother soon corners Henry and informs him that Mary had a baby, and that the two should marry. But the baby is anything but. Imagine an infantile 'E.T.' Henry and Mary are now in his apartment, but the infant's incessant crying forces Mary to return home. Henry now embarks on a series of bizarre visions and dreams as he attempts to care for the strange infant. The finale, both shocking and graphic, leaves the viewer wondering, what the heck did I just see?

Much of what this film has going for it is atmosphere. The sounds are creepy. Now add to it the pipe organ meanderings of the legendary Fats Waller. And we see Henry as he travels what resembles a post-industrial landscape. We hear the noises of factories operating, but nowhere near total capacity. One can easily imagine modern day Detroit, with its large areas of urban blight and abandoned housing, the result of 50+ years of liberal politics and the greedy hand of the auto unions. A city dying, a city in decay. The film is as stark as the visions shown, a curious play on light and shadows. It's difficult to imagine this movie in anything BUT black and white. But it was used to great effect by Lynch.

But at the end, there are too many questions and not enough answers. A director can leave too much to the audience to try and interpret. Much has been made about the sexual undercurrents, but was the baby the epitome of the fear of fatherhood? Was the child an alien implant? And just who was the Man in the Planet? An intergalactic father looking for a surrogate parent? And the Lady in the Radiator, was she trying to draw Henry away from the dark side and to the Light? It could be argued (and I'm sure there will be plenty of argument) that Eraserhead might be the horror film equivalent of Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey. Long after you've stopped pondering about the plot, the nightmarish images will stay with you.

TRIVIA: Due to funding problems, it took more than 4 years to complete the film. The late Jack Nance (1943-1996) kept his crazy hairstyle for the entire time, until the movie was completed.
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on May 10, 2014
Eraserhead (1977) is a very low budget surrealist horror film written, produced, and directed by David Lynch. If I had to sum up this movie in two ways, I'd say that it's darker than dark, and weirder than weird. This film definitely is a love it or hate it affair; to say that it's surreal is an understatement. However, it truly is a work of art, and a break from the norm. What makes this film work is the black and white color format; it's dark, eerie, and subtle, and the plot is unusual and full of psychological and sexual references. And the music? The music is a low-toned, sort of an industrial sound, or a nuclear reactor sound, which adds to the film's eccentricity and far-out feel. From a graphic standpoint, this film is tolerable, in my opinion. So many people think this film is too graphic; I've seen way worse. Overall, Eraserhead is quite an experience, and even manages to amuse at times. Does this film make sense? Probably not at first, but a second viewing will bring clarity to those who appreciate films depicting a psychological struggle. There is no other movie like Eraserhead; it's in a class all by itself. I highly recommend this film for someone looking for an unusual flick once in a while. This film (for me) is assimilated best with all the lights turned off, and preferably after midnight. :-)
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on August 26, 2017
Not everyone's cuppa but I've always liked it. Don't expect anything if you decide to watch it, just let it be.
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