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Eraserhead

Jack Nance , Charlotte Stewart , David Lynch    DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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From auteur David Lynch comes this nightmarish classic in which a young man living in an industrial wasteland comes to grips with parenthood. Henry Spencer (Jack Nance) inhabits a surreal world rife with grotesque characters and bizarre creatures, not the least of which is his own child, a hideously deformed, squalling aberration. A study in the macabre, this early film features the arresting imagery and dark humor characteristic of Lynch's work.

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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
I'm trying to figure this film out. The more you watch it the more you understand it. It keeps it's power each time you watch. Is it scary? YES. Is it funny? YES. Is it good? Well, it's not for everyone. Only for the intellectual person who loves horror that not only scares you, disturbes you, and makes you laugh, but also one that makes you think. Fans of this should check out Jacob's Ladder, and fans of Jacob's Ladder should take it a step up and see this oddball. I love it, because it is so weird. You must buy it. Technically, Eraserhead is an edifying combination of talent, effort, minimal budget and sheer determination. Shot on black & white stock, excellent use is made of light and darkness, contrasts, shadow and texture to enhance the atmosphere. Elements of early European horror are inescapably obvious, while it's in the intangible symbolism that Bunuel and the avant-garde comes to mind. In harmony with the visuals, Lynch makes exquisite use of the available sonic landscape. A procession of sounds (hums, clanks, rumbles, squeaks and cries) fill in for the lack of dialogue, suggesting an all-encompassing technological nightmare. People like Henry are cogs in a world of steam, fire and coughing pipes (contributing to his alienation). However, Eraserhead is not a film that you can watch and expect to be mindlessly entertained by. To achieve more than boredom and frustration, a little effort needs to be put into resolving the symbolism, throwing light upon what initially seems to be a darkened room. If you can't do this, at least appreciate Henry's awesome hairstyle!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Jenny J.J.I. TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
I swear to you in the beginning of this film I was going to throw this movie in the trash but as it progress I grew to like it. I should preface by saying this is my second taste of David Lynch (Blue Velvet being my first). I knew it would be weird, but I was not expecting this. I like weird movies, but this makes "Donnie Darko" look like "Titanic". Let's accept the fact that this is one of the most notoriously bizarre, weird and idiotic films ever made, we cannot deny that it made an impact on experimental cinema. If we were to believe that this film is nothing more than psychedelic fodder for abnormal or curious minds then we are discarding it, perhaps exalting it to an avant gard status. Is it just random imagery shown for "shock value" sake? Was David Lynch some goof ball in his youth that he was just some fool who embarked on a five year project, which isn't anything better than someone showing weird people and weird things just to discover what the reaction would be? Likely. But I think it's a bit of that and more.

Everything here is designed to shock you but the baby. The baby is absolutely normal. What is interesting, some critics say the baby is a mutant, but do they think so in the movie? They treat it like a normal child. Yes, it looks like an eye sore, but it looks so to us, how do we know how it looks to them? Or how do we know, that we see what it IS, and not what Henry and his wife SEE it to be? The answer is - we don't know that. This dimension of the movie raises everyday life misfortunes and reflects social consciousness of some family issues. Everything that concerns society and social perception is more or less clear and familiar (like the marriage). But when it comes to personal visions and submergence you fall into the jack rabbit's hole.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
I'm trying to figure this film out. The more you watch it the more you understand it. It keeps it's power each time you watch. Is it scary? YES. Is it funny? YES. Is it good? Well, it's not for everyone. Only for the intellectual person who loves horror that not only scares you, disturbes you, and makes you laugh, but also one that makes you think. An open-ended metaphor with the tone of a nightmare, David Lynch's debut feature combines disturbing visuals with what may be an even more disturbing sound design to create an unforgettable film that's affecting on a visceral level. A Cronenberg-ian discomfort with the simple fact of physical existence courses through Eraserhead, beginning with, but not limited to, matters of sexuality and reproduction. In an early scene, Lynch turns even a family dinner into a horrific affair, emphasizing the inherent grotesqueness of the mere act of eating. The later introduction of a deformed, extremely vocal child seems not the least bit out of place in a world in which even the most mundane aspect (a radiator not the least among them) is notable for its ability to disturb. While Lynch would rarely return to the outright fantasy worlds he explores here, Eraserhead nonetheless sets up the obsessions that would follow him through his career, particularly the ability of the seemingly ordinary to unsettle upon closer observation. Fans of this should check out Jacob's Ladder, and fans of Jacob's Ladder should take it a step up and see this oddball. I love it, because it is so weird. You must buy it.
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Format:DVD
Eraserhead is tough to explain. I love it, but find it hard to watch at times. This film seems to invoke feelings of isolation, depression, and sheer wierdness within the viewer (at least me as a viewer). It is truly a nightmare (imagine, as you watch, that this was a dream you had last night and that you have just awakened from that dream). I think that David Lynch did a great job with the imagery, sounds, etc... If hell has a waiting room, the land of ERASERHEAD is it. It's where things just are the way they are and there really isn't any escape. The characters in the movie are set fixtures who will never be anything more than they are. It is a world darker than most people's reality. I hope that soon this film will make it to the DVD market because it is truly a great film, although, not for all (and I can understand that). A close match for this film in my opinion is Santa Sangre directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky.
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't buy from this supplier
Don't risk buying from this supplier. My DVD was a dud. Won't play on any blu-ray device. Get the Criterion issue to be safe.
Published 1 day ago by Mark Collings
2.0 out of 5 stars Ummmmm...what am I looking at?
While at some point in the film I did get a Twilight Zone feel, most of the time I was just wondering what the heck I was looking at. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mayor Maynot
4.0 out of 5 stars DVD details
-> ONLY applies to DVD released by 'raro video' ASIN: B004LW5W1U

Film: 7.5/10
Picture quality: 8.5/10
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1 (1.37:1 orig. Read more
Published on Sept. 22 2011 by mickey_one
5.0 out of 5 stars Just creepy
Some films try to be odd or bizarre, but Eraserhead is just strange and creepy without trying. Don't try to figure out what David Lynch is trying to say with this film, it's just... Read more
Published on April 14 2011 by Kevin Macpherson
5.0 out of 5 stars Nightmarish world...
This is perhaps David Lynch's best film. Eraserhead came out in 1978 and has been a cult favourite ever since. It is a surreal story filmed in haunting black and white. Read more
Published on Sept. 24 2010 by Edmonson
5.0 out of 5 stars Eraserhead-Alienation In the Modern world
Eraserhead poses many questions for viewers but allows few answers. The setting reminds me of something out of a Charles Dickens novel/only darker. Read more
Published on Dec 20 2003 by GoSchmoe
5.0 out of 5 stars "But what the hell do they know, I said?"
If you're reading this, then you've seen this movie or are at least curious what all the hype is all about? Read more
Published on Dec 2 2003 by Lao Che
5.0 out of 5 stars An Experience
Many viewers of David Lynch's Eraserhead have exhausted all avenues of erudition to decipher the complex pandoras box of Lynch's debut film. Read more
Published on Nov. 4 2003 by Brandon DiSabatino
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing...
Seeing as I am sixteen, I expect many reading this review will have little regard for it. However, I still find it imperative to write about my experience with this film. Read more
Published on Oct. 19 2003 by spoon_man
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