Monday, August 2, 2010

Movie Review: Eraserhead

Well, I just saw Eraserhead for the first time and I have to say.... well, um... I, uh... I mean it was really... Uhhhhhhhh...

Frankly, I'm speechless. Not because it was so fascinatingly glorious, either. Because I have no words. Because I have no idea what I just watched. Anybody out there who has the slightest inkling of what Eraserhead is about, I consider you to be a fucking genius. And I suspect a lot of people feel the same way.

I don't even know how to write a review for this movie. I don't know what it was about, much less what the fuck it means. Was this even a movie? Or did David Lynch magically insert a camera into his brain to record this bizarre dream he had one night? 

Okay, I kind of see some stuff going on with an aversion to or fear of fatherhood. Also some crap about living in a crappy city. Then he stares at the radiator and imagines a woman with golf balls in her cheeks standing on stage and singing. And he has an affair with the hot woman across the hall who turns out to be an uncaring slut. Then he has some kind of dream or vision where his head falls off, lands on the street, some kid picks it up, and takes it to some dude who does what? Makes a pencil eraser from his brain? I don't know. I thought my dreams were weird, but DAMN. Whatever this Henry guy is on... actually, I DON'T want any.

I mean, this is experimental filmmaking if anything, certainly not a coherent or linear narrative (for the most part). Which is cool... I'm a experimental filmmaker from way back - well, college anyway - but it might have helped to know that before jumping into the movie, expecting a "regular" movie. Then again, you can't ever expect anything regular from David Lynch, can you? So that was dumb thinking. People call all this bizarro imagery in Eraserhead "art," and I guess it's not the kind of art I'm attracted to. 

Ugh, seriously, this is getting cut way short because I still have nothing to say. Just go have fun reading the IMDb messageboards about this movie. It's basically a bunch of posts with people saying that the movie is trash and they don't get it and other people calling them stupid because they don't get it and yet other people telling THEM they are stupid because no one really knows what the movie is about and only those really pretentious movie critics claim to actually get it. So that sort of makes me feel better about myself. But not really. 

Oi, I just want some banana pudding.


  1. Honestly, I've never been a convert to Lynch's work. It's just...too weird for me.

    I will say this: there are better ways to spend 7 years than trying to make 'Eraserhead.' Seriously, 7 freaking years!

  2. absolutely brilliant uber-classic, so confusing, so disturbing - terrific!

  3. Ehehe, that's what you get for messing with David Lynch's movies. Your words pretty much resemble mine after I finished watching "Mulholland Dr.". I don't know if you've seen that one, but I highly recommend it.

    I've gotten more and more involved with Lynch's work recently and have even started watching his critically acclaimed TV show "Twin Peaks" from back in the 90s. It's a great show and can get incredibly weird at times.

  4. @Atroxion: I did see Mulholland Dr., but only once, many years ago. I feel I need to watch it again. I've also wanted to get into Twin Peaks for a while - need to add it to my Netflix queue.

    @Tim: I know! I read later about how long it took him to make it and I was like, really??? My guess was ten days, tops!! :)

  5. P.S. I did love Henry's hair. Very awesome.

  6. I'm a big Lynch fan (raised on Twin Peaks!), but I'll quite honestly say I don't have much of an idea what's going on in Eraserhead. I still like it though, to me it's almost a distillation of the Lynchian film style - more about the mood and feel of the film than linear cohesion. I can totally see, though, how it could just leave people cold. I agree about the message boards... it can get to the point of "You're stupid for liking it", "No, YOU'RE stupid for hating it!" level. This is why I like y'all lovely bloggers.

  7. The Lady In The Car With Glasses And A Gun (circa 1969)August 12, 2010 at 6:25 PM

    "Eraserhead" is one of the great "cult movies" it might still be on display in a museum 100 years from now long after "Avatar" has been forgotton.

  8. I'm a big David Lynch fan, with Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me being my favorite film of his. I got into Lynch way back in the late 80s when Blue Velvet came out. My teenage brain couldn't believe what it was experiencing. So, I talked my friend into renting Eraserhead and when it was over we just sat there, speechless (much like you!), but at the same time, I felt like my subconscious (I seriously spelled that wrong, didn't I?) was working on something. It was so weird. It's like I couldn't get the ideas to the surface, but they were there.

    I've only seen Eraserhead once since (in the theater with the excellent Elephant Man) and felt the same way I did the first time I saw it. I think Lynch movies are less his films as they are mine. I mean, he knows what he's doing and why, but something else is working and I'm giving myself to his films. I felt that way with Inland Empire. It came out at a time where I was very sad and depressed and I filled in the blanks with my own emotions. For me, the movie makes total sense. And for me, that's how Lynch movies work. I love them!

    Mulholland Drive is definitely his most linear film, and I adore it, but Twin Peaks is just so creepy and moving. There are very few films that make me react the way Twin Peaks did.