Eraserhead

  • Directed by David Lynch
  • United States, 1977, 89 mins., English

Is the twisted child of Henry Spencer (Jack Nance) a metaphor for the paternal anxiety this new father is experiencing? Or are the child, the Lady in the Radiator, the Man in the Planet, and all the other grotesque figures that Henry encounters meant to be taken at face value? Director David Lynch offers no road map for reading his stark, black-and-white debut feature, released after a five-year gestation period. Celebrated as one of the original midnight movies, the film ran for several consecutive years on the late night, 1970s theater circuit in New York and San Francisco, slowly catapulting it into the upper echelon of cult favorites. Eraserhead is a genre unto itself, much as Lynchian has entered the lexicon to describe anything disturbingly left of center. “Watching Eraserhead today, what emerges is the sheer, immersive clarity of David Lynch’s vision, the sense of a world unlike our own and yet inextricably bound to it: a world in which all the light has been sucked out, leaving only horror and isolation, desperation and unattainable dreams.” – Tom Huddleston, Time Out.

Appears in: October After Dark

Genres: Cult