The bizarre black and white art house flick Eraserhead sees director David Lynch enter Cronenburg territory – all weird gooeyness and prosthetics with a totally weird atmosphere. The wooden characters are typical of Lynch’s films. The lead character (Henry Spencer played by Jack Nance) is a man with hair that looks as though it’s been electrocuted under the van-de-graaf generator. He is forced into marrying a girl he gets pregnant by her utterly weird parents.
The child turns out to be so far removed from the concept of ‘human’ that it’ll either disturb you or have you in stitches. It’s got no arms or legs for a start and it’s small body is wrapped in a bandage that turns out to be it’s skin! It’s head is like that of a shrunken hippo’s head. It’s quite hard to communicate the total weirdness of this film or talk of the plot: apparently there is none. The film just ends. So for an hour an a half we’re treated to eerie sounds and music and lots of strange worm/intestinal creatures falling from the sky, a woman singing in the radiator and a factory that makes erasers for pencils out of people’s heads. The effects were surprisingly good for the time that the film was made and the prosthetic version of Henry’s head is quite realistic. The small amounts of dialogue in the film are nice and strange too and give nothing away about the characters.
This sort of film will undoubtedly divide critics. I’ll firmly in the camp that loves this sort of off-the-wall film making. Judging by the reviews on the movie database, many people hate the film for its lack of plot. You’ll just have to decide for yourself.
Make your own Eraserhead baby.