Eraser Head Review


Eraser head (1996)
Starring the likes of  Charlotte Stewart, Judith Roberts, and  Jack Fisk directed by David Lynch.

Eraser head, like 'The Elephant Man' is powerful and disturbing, this movie is possibly an insight to what problems and or relationships Lynch had at the time.
The movie appears to revolve around: awkward external families, premature babies, sex before marriage and these are all presented to us in such a way that you begin to feel empathy for Henry; or rather like your there your self being submitted to these uncomfortable scenarios.

Reviewer Graeme Clark believed "If Eraserhead is about anything, it's about the stress of failing in responsibilities that seem impossible to manage," (Clark. 2006)

Clark seems to be correct when he talks about the 'stress of responsibilities', we see this in the scene when the mother of Henry's (premature) baby lives with him for a short period, only to be angered by the average noise a baby would make if it needed anything, however due to the constant  noise she got angry and rather than aiding the baby to try and figure out what was wrong, she gathered her bags and left Henry to take care of it on his own.
Almar Hafidason thought that the film was "so consumed with surreal imagery that there are almost limitless possibilities to read personal theories into it." (Hafidason.2001)

That being said the sexual undertones throughout the movie is clear, however defining what exactly its trying to say is hard, although what can be gathered is " The baby represents sex at its most evil, biology at its most perverted, and responsibility at its most trying" (Gibron.2003)

"The film has a tone more of disgust and despair than frustration, revulsion at sex and disease" (Clark.2010)

Lynch used a interesting technique to immerse us in the story which was by having a kind of white noise going all the way through the movie, making us linked with the character, for example its similar to the test where if someone has their hand waving over yours and a table at the same time, the brain will incidentally create a link, so when that person hits the table you'll flinch (not just because of the sound) but because you reacted as if you could feel it.

In the movie the only times when we here silence is when he hears silence, the only time this happened was when he was in the elevator.

Overall the movie appears to be important to psychology, an insight to something you may or may not have felt, and should hope not to.
Illustration List:

Fig.1 -
fig.2 - accessed 30/12/10
fig.3 -


-Graeme Clark, 2006.
-Almar Hafisason, 2001.
-Bill Gibron. 2003

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