Eraserhead (1977)

We all know what watching a David Lynch movie means, getting yourself into some pretty weird shit. To that, add the fact that this is a horror movie and I don't love horrors. Those are the reasons I kept putting off Eraserhead for years. 

The film follows Henry Spencer (Jack Nance), an introverted and lonely man who works in a print factory. His life takes a turn for the worst when his estranged girlfriend, Mary (Charlotte Stewart), gives birth to their child, some sort of deformed mutant/alien baby who cries all the time. Driven hysterical by the situation, Mary leaves Henry and the child, and Harry must take care of it.

Despite what you just read, Eraserhead barely has a plot as nothing really happens for most of the film's running time. And when something does happen, it's pretty fucked up and complicated, and it's nearly impossible to understand what's going on --I gave up trying to find a meaning in this, to be honest. And yet, it's fascinating as it really makes you interested in seeing where the plot would go. 

The characters are your typical David Lynch weirdos only they lack development and the actors are dreadful in their roles. All but the main character, Henry. He is a very strange man. He looks lost, dazed and confused all the time. He doesn't have a lot of depth, nor a personality. There's something about him though that makes him seem like a really nice guy which makes it impossible not to like him and sympathise with him. The brilliant visual performance from Jack Nance definitely helps. 

American Film Institute
But I guess Eraserhead isn't the kind of movie you watch for a plot or solid characters. It's indeed all about the atmosphere, the feelings and emotions the film conveys, and it definitely successes at doing that. There's a moody, uncomfortable atmosphere from start to finish, enhanced by the creepy soundtrack which often feels intrusive but still fits the film pretty well, and a stunning black and white cinematography. The film is disturbing and haunting, and, while I feel like they are shown for the sake of shock only, the weird imagery is effective.

Did I understand Eraserhead? I'm positive I didn't. Would I rewatch it? Probably not because of the way it made me feel. Do I regret watching it? I don't. As disturbing and unsettling it was, it also was incredibly fascinating. Simply the work of a genius.


  1. I have this on my Blind Spot list for next year (Yep, I mapped that out already lol) I've been putting it off for far too long. Thanks for the warning about the plot!

  2. When I first saw the film, I was like.... WHAT THE FUCK? I kept saying that throughout the entirety of the film and had to stop because I was so unprepared for what I had seen. It shocked me but in a damn good way. I would re-watch it every now and then as I'm just in awe that Lynch made something that is incredible.

    1. God, I don't think I'd be able to rewatch it. Once was enough for me.

  3. I still have to see this nutso film and I want to. That last picture reminds me of a person i know who never shuts up and i equate her to a clucking chicken