Thursday, February 16, 2012

157 - Eraserhead (1977)

DVD Box
In a post-apocalyptic nightmare, a man is forced to face his girlfriend and mutant child.

Henry Spencer lives alone in a warehouse in a post-apocalyptic industrial warehouse. Mary X is his girlfriend, and her parents despise him for making their daughter pregnant.

When she moves in she gives birth to a mutant baby, he is constantly kept awake by its incessant crying. To make things worse, his girlfriend abandons ship, leaving him to bring up the baby by himself, while being haunted by a woman in the radiator.

Theatrical Poster
Source: Wikipedia
Eraserhead is the very epitome of a marmite film. Some critics praise David Lynch for creating a movie exactly in his vision, and sticking with it despite having no money for five years. Others will slate the film for having little or no storyline, being consistently incoherent and welcome the investors' decisions to walk out after seeing part of the film.

I'm firmly of the opinion that David Lynch shouldn't have wasted his life creating this. Sure, the sets are quite spooky and, admittedly, tick the right boxes for apocalyptic style. But that's where the positives end.

The storyline has no coherence, preferring to ramble through as though it has just been made up. The supposedly funny dark humour when Henry meets his girlfriend's parents goes a long way to prove that the only thing not flat in the film is the protagonist's fuzzy locks.

The biggest problem is that there is never an explanation. Never a reasoning behind any of the events at all. Why are there only a few people in the world? Why is the baby born as a mutant, and how does it survive at all looking like that? Why is there a girl that lives in Henry's radiator? and finally, a perhaps most importantly, why does it take so long to change between shots that I can feel myself ageing?

This is undoubtedly the worst film I have ever seen in my life.

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