Is it a nightmare or an actual view of a post-apocalyptic world? Set in an industrial town in which giant machines are constantly working, spewing smoke, and making noise that is inescapable, Henry Spencer lives in a building that, like all the others, appears to be abandoned. The lights flicker on and off, he has bowls of water in his dresser drawers, and for his only diversion he watches and listens to the Lady in the Radiator sing about finding happiness in heaven. Henry has a girlfriend, Mary X, who has frequent spastic fits. Mary gives birth to Henry's child, a frightening looking mutant, which leads to the injection of all sorts of sexual imagery into the depressive and chaotic mix.
Directed by: David Lynch
. Starring: Jack Nance
, Charlotte Stewart
, Allen Joseph
, Jeanne Bates
, Judith Roberts
, Laurel Near
, V. Phipps-Wilson
, Jack Fisk
, Jean Lange
, Thomas Coulson
, John Monez
, Darwin Joston
, T. Max Graham
. Music by: David Lynch
It always amuses me whenever I hear someone calls Napoleon Dynamite worthless trash, then they further to say films like Eraserhead-'and yes, there are A LOT of films just like it-'are cinematic masterpieces. I'm sorry, but both films are the same thing, just with different motives. I'll never begin to understand how anyone can find entertainment, or even something thought-provoking, in literally watching people stare at things for almost two hours. I'm sorry if everyone who gave this film a positive score had Down syndrome, but simply do not have that attention span. And, honestly, I feel sorry for those of you who do.
There is very little about Eraserhead that is genuinely weird. It's a surreal take on our daily lives, nothing more. All the scenes involve shots of the lead character sitting and staring at things in an attempt from the director to make us, the viewer, feel as if we're seeing something weird. In actuality, there is not a single scene in this movie that is any more abnormal than what I see when I look around my room as I type this sentence. There are a few scenes, including the scene that reverences the title, where David Lynch apparently realizes the fact in what I just said and adds some generic surrealist moments. Black-and-white tiles, old ladies, trees, what looks like a waded-up crap-'all the predictable surrealist imagery you can think of makes its way into this movie.
That leads to another point I've never seen a review mention: Eraserhead is NOT original. If anything, it's more unoriginal than the big-name Blockbuster made by some director who has about the creativity of a dead tree stump. It takes no imagination whatever to think of something like Eraserhead. Gothic art has been done for centuries. All Eraserhead does is take the most generic of it all and puts it to motion. It's a lot like a less diverse version of Vampyr. The only sole idea that David Lynch didn't wholesale copypaste from other artwork is the baby, and even that left me thinking about a few other movies with similar ideas. Eraserhead had zero originality, and next to no creativity.
The story isn't something a lot of people feel worth mentioning because it takes last priority in the film. Most people will say the story is left up to the viewer to decide, but that's completely ludicrous. Eraserhead has a very linear, predictable storyline that has been used time and time again in films and literature before. Because the story is so paper-thin, writing a single sentence about it would lead into massive spoilers, but I will say this. I fully expected the "disturbing" ending from the first 10 minutes. I would have been much more surprisedshocked if it DIDN'T happen. The events of entire storyline plays out exactly like a standard soap opera, and every single one of them is predictable. Again, Eraserhead is a sad lack of imagination.
The only thing I can actually complement Eraserhead about is the portrayal of emotion. The father-son relationship as somewhat compelling. The husband-wife relationship was interestingly and accurately portrayed. All the other relationships in the film were complete clichés, but those two stood out. But, then again, who really cares? I can see just as compelling relationships in real life, so why should I waste my life watching them in a movie that has no other redeeming value whatsoever? The effects of paranoia and nervousness are well-done, but, again, it adds nothing to the bland story.
Eraserhead is a waste of time. It takes an uninteresting premise and makes it even less interesting. As a work of Gothic art, it's simply generic at best. The repetitious surrealism gets annoying very quickly. Eraserhead does absolutely nothing but make you wonder: "Why didn't I just walk to the local nursing home and watch old people stare at walls? Same thing as watching this movie. And at least that way I'm doing the community good." .
Review by Jacques98 from the Internet Movie Database.