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Eraserhead
     

Eraserhead

4.5 10
Director: David Lynch, Jack Nance, Charlotte Stewart, Jeanne Bates

Cast: David Lynch, Jack Nance, Charlotte Stewart, Jeanne Bates

 

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Filmed intermittently over the course of a five-year period, David Lynch's radical feature debut stars Jack Nance as Henry Spencer, a man living in an unnamed industrial wasteland. Upon learning that a past romance has resulted in an impending pregnancy, Henry agrees to wed mother-to-be Mary (Charlotte Stewart) and moves her into his tiny, squalid flat. Their baby is

Overview

Filmed intermittently over the course of a five-year period, David Lynch's radical feature debut stars Jack Nance as Henry Spencer, a man living in an unnamed industrial wasteland. Upon learning that a past romance has resulted in an impending pregnancy, Henry agrees to wed mother-to-be Mary (Charlotte Stewart) and moves her into his tiny, squalid flat. Their baby is born hideously mutated, a strange, reptilian creature whose piercing cries never cease. Mary soon flees in horror and disgust, leaving Henry to fall prey to the seduction of the girl across the hall (Judith Anna Roberts). An intensely visceral nightmare, Eraserhead marches to the beat of its own slow, surreal rhythm: Henry's world is a cancerous dreamscape, a place where sins manifest themselves as bizarre creatures and worlds exist within worlds. Interpreting the film along the lines of Lynch's claims that it's the product of his own fears of fatherhood may make Eraserhead easier to digest on a narrative level, if need be.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
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. That the dystopia Jack Nance inhabits resembles reality tilted at 45 degrees owes more to Lynch's unique vision than his film's low-budget origins. Everything from John Merrick to a field with a severed ear falls into place after seeing Eraserhead.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/16/2014
UPC:
0715515125710
Original Release:
1977
Source:
Criterion
Region Code:
A
Time:
1:29:00
Sales rank:
7,498

Special Features

New 4K digital restoration, supervised by director David Lynch, with uncompressed stereo soundtrack; "Eraserhead" stories, a 2001 documentary by Lynch on the making of the film; New 2K digital restorations of six short films by Lynch: Six Men Getting Sick (1967), The Alphabet (1968), The Grandmother (1970), The Amputee, Version 1 and 2 (1974), and Premonitions Following an Evil Deed (1995), all with video introductions by Lynch; New documentary featuring interviews with actors Charlotte Stewart and Judith Roberts, assistant to the director Catherine Coulson, and cinematographer Frederick Elmes; Archival interviews with Lynch and members of the cast and crew; Trailer; PLUS: a booklet featuring an interview with Lynch from filmmaker and writer Chris Rodley's 1997 book Lynch on Lynch

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jack Nance Henry Spencer
Charlotte Stewart Mary X
Jeanne Bates Mrs. X
Allen Joseph Mr. X
Judith Anna Roberts Girl Across The Hall
Laurel Near Lady In Radiator
V. Phipps-Wilson Landlady
Jack Fisk Man In The Planet
Darwin Joston Paul
Hal Landon Pencil Machine Operator
Jennifer Chambers Lynch Little Girl
Gill Dennis Man with Cigar

Technical Credits
David Lynch Director,Score Composer,Art Director,Editor,Producer,Screenwriter,Sound/Sound Designer,Special Effects
Herbert Cardwell Cinematographer
Frederick Elmes Cinematographer,Special Effects
Peter Ivers Songwriter
Alan Splet Sound/Sound Designer

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Eraserhead 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The other reviewer is mistaken. Although the film was shot 1.33:1 (4:3), the intended viewing format is in fact 1.85:1. What is being cropped is intentional! This is not uncommon in film-making. The film negative is 1.33:1 size but is framed in such a way as to be cropped later in projection. Back to the Future is an example of a major film that was shot this same way. There is therefore no problem with this DVD release.
Guest More than 1 year ago
"Eraserhead" is the surrealistic horror masterpiece from David Lynch. It is now being re-released on DVD. Unfortunately, the new remastered version is CROPPED. The original film was shot in the 1.33:1 aspect ratio. You're actually seeing LESS on the widescreen (1.85:1) version. If you're a hardcore David Lynch fan, then you may want to buy the new DVD for the 90-minute interview segment, but otherwise, stick to the Region 0 Korean and UK import DVDs, which feature the film in its original aspect ratio.
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