May 22, 2017
Review #937: Eraserhead.
Jack Nance (Henry Spencer), Charlotte Stewart (Mary X), Allen Joseph (Mr. X), Jeanne Bates (Mrs. X), Judith Roberts (Beautiful Girl Across the Hall), Laurel Near (Lady in the Radiator), Jack Fisk (Man in the Planet), and Jean Lange (Grandmother) Directed by David Lynch.
What can I really say about Eraserhead? Fittingly, this is the first film featured on here directed by David Lynch, who also wrote the film along with doing the music, editing, special effects and other technical aspects in a movie that served as his directorial debut. He described the film (released 40 years ago on March 19, 1977 at the Filmex film festival) as "A dream of dark and troubling things"; to try and interpret the movie would be pretty fruitless along with missing the point of these reviews: seeing if this serves as quality entertainment. For me, it is a fairly interesting movie worth looking at, though it may not be for everyone. Nance is our every-man that we follow through the movie, and it is his expressions and actions in this strange world Lynch has crafted that we get to see amidst all of the imagery and sounds. He is the only one who is given significant time to be seen throughout a movie that expresses a surreal kind of horror that preys on one watching closely. The rest of the cast isn't as prevalent in presence, but they certainly are noteworthy, such as Near and Fisk. The black-and-white look of the film is also key in how it works in capturing this strange little world, making for a unique crisp experience. The baby is easiest the most horrifying thing to look at, and the way that it sounds is especially horrifying. Any scene involving it is disturbing, but the whole movie has other moments of gore and weird elements; even something like chicken for dinner is creepy. At 89 minutes, this is a movie that runs at a fair pace in that it never seems to drag itself too much in pretentiousness because there is usually something to look at coming around the corner, with an ending that is like the film itself: flowing at its own pace and on its own terms. Is it a good movie or is a great movie? It definitely excels on establishing atmosphere (along with effects), but for me it operates as a movie that tells its story with a type of unique energy to it that clicks more often than not. When it comes to putting a label on a movie like this, "cult film" likely works best. To try and talk about this movie at a greater length would be hiding the main point: See the movie for yourself and hopefully it gives you some entertainment.
Overall, I give it 9 out of 10 stars.