7.4/10
85,750
557 user 154 critic

Eraserhead (1977)

Not Rated | | Horror | 3 February 1978 (USA)
Henry Spencer tries to survive his industrial environment, his angry girlfriend, and the unbearable screams of his newly born mutant child.

Director:

David Lynch

Writer:

David Lynch
Reviews
Popularity
2,193 ( 10)

Watch Now

From $3.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Blue Velvet (1986)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The discovery of a severed human ear found in a field leads a young man on an investigation related to a beautiful, mysterious nightclub singer and a group of psychopathic criminals who have kidnapped her child.

Director: David Lynch
Stars: Isabella Rossellini, Kyle MacLachlan, Dennis Hopper
Lost Highway (1997)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

After a bizarre encounter at a party, a jazz saxophonist is framed for the murder of his wife and sent to prison, where he inexplicably morphs into a young mechanic and begins leading a new life.

Director: David Lynch
Stars: Bill Pullman, Patricia Arquette, John Roselius
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

After a car wreck on the winding Mulholland Drive renders a woman amnesiac, she and a perky Hollywood-hopeful search for clues and answers across Los Angeles in a twisting venture beyond dreams and reality.

Director: David Lynch
Stars: Naomi Watts, Laura Harring, Justin Theroux
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A young FBI agent disappears while investigating a murder miles from Twin Peaks that may be related to the future murder of Laura Palmer; the last week of the life of Laura Palmer is chronicled.

Director: David Lynch
Stars: Sheryl Lee, Ray Wise, Mädchen Amick
Wild at Heart (1990)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Young lovers Sailor and Lula run from the variety of weirdos that Lula's mom has hired to kill Sailor.

Director: David Lynch
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Laura Dern, Willem Dafoe
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A Victorian surgeon rescues a heavily disfigured man who is mistreated while scraping a living as a side-show freak. Behind his monstrous facade, there is revealed a person of intelligence and sensitivity.

Director: David Lynch
Stars: Anthony Hopkins, John Hurt, Anne Bancroft
Inland Empire (2006)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

As an actress starts to adopt the persona of her character in a film, her world starts to become nightmarish and surreal.

Director: David Lynch
Stars: Laura Dern, Jeremy Irons, Justin Theroux
Twin Peaks (1990–1991)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

An idiosyncratic FBI agent investigates the murder of a young woman in the even more idiosyncratic town of Twin Peaks.

Stars: Kyle MacLachlan, Michael Ontkean, Mädchen Amick
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

An old man makes a long journey by lawnmower to mend his relationship with an ill brother.

Director: David Lynch
Stars: Richard Farnsworth, Sissy Spacek, Jane Galloway Heitz
Videodrome (1983)
Horror | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

When he acquires a different kind of show for his station, a sleazy cable-TV programmer begins to see his life and the future of media spin out of control in a terrifying new reality.

Director: David Cronenberg
Stars: James Woods, Debbie Harry, Sonja Smits
Adventure | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

In a corrupt, greed-fueled world, a powerful alchemist leads a Christ-like character and seven materialistic figures to the Holy Mountain, where they hope to achieve enlightenment.

Director: Alejandro Jodorowsky
Stars: Alejandro Jodorowsky, Horacio Salinas, Zamira Saunders
Twin Peaks (2017)
Crime | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

Picks up 25 years after the inhabitants of a quaint northwestern town are stunned when their homecoming queen is murdered.

Stars: Kyle MacLachlan, Sheryl Lee, Michael Horse
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jack Nance ... Henry Spencer (as John Nance)
Charlotte Stewart ... Mary X
Allen Joseph ... Mr. X
Jeanne Bates ... Mrs. X
Judith Roberts ... Beautiful Girl Across the Hall (as Judith Anna Roberts)
Laurel Near ... Lady in the Radiator
V. Phipps-Wilson V. Phipps-Wilson ... Landlady (long version)
Jack Fisk ... Man in the Planet
Jean Lange Jean Lange ... Grandmother
Thomas Coulson Thomas Coulson ... The Boy
John Monez John Monez ... Bum
Darwin Joston ... Paul
T. Max Graham T. Max Graham ... The Boss (as Neil Moran)
Hal Landon Jr. ... Pencil Machine Operator
Jennifer Lynch ... Little Girl
Edit

Storyline

A film that defies conventional logic and storytelling, fueled by its dark nightmarish atmosphere and compellingly disturbing visuals. Henry Spencer is a hapless factory worker on his vacation when he finds out he's the father of a hideously deformed baby. Now living with his unhappy, malcontent girlfriend, the child cries day and night, driving Henry and his girlfriend to near insanity. Written by Jacob Samuelson

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Warning: the nightmare has not gone away See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 February 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Eraserhead 2000 See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$20,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$7,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby (re-release)| Mono (original release)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Jack Nance nicknamed the baby "Spike". The rest of the crew also ended up using this name for it. See more »

Goofs

The man's hands on the door at the beginning. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Beautiful Girl Across the Hall: Are you Henry?
Henry Spencer: Yes?
Beautiful Girl Across the Hall: A girl named "Mary" called on the payphone in the hallway about an hour ago. She said that she's at her parents and that you're invited to dinner.
Henry Spencer: Oh, yeah?
[after a long pause]
Henry Spencer: Well... thank you very much.
[Henry enters his apartment, while the girl slowly closes the door to hers]
See more »

Crazy Credits

There are no opening credits, just a long, tilted close-up of the face of Jack Nance. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Alone in the T-Shirt Zone (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

Messin' Around With the Blues
Written and performed by Fats Waller (as Thomas "Fats' Waller)
In 1927.
© Peer International Corp. (Chappel & Co. U.S.A) (BMI)
© Copyright 1976. David Lynch.
© 1976 O.K. Paul Music.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Analysis fails here
23 July 2003 | by bunditaSee all my reviews

Unlike some of Lynch's more recent works ("Mullholland Drive" and "Lost Highway" for example) Eraserhead is a film that doesn't benefit from being "figured out".

The film left me with several strong emotional impressions, mainly having to do with the hell of a forced marriage and the burden of caring for an unwanted child. In spite of truly bizarre occurances (Roast chickens start kicking and oozing blood at the dinner table while Mom has a seziure apparently unnoticed by everybody else; grandma seems catatonic, but mom still gets her to toss the salad, etc., etc., etc...), Mary comes from a rigidly "traditional" family, completely crass in it's need to know if Henry had sex with Mary, what Henry does for a living, and it's assumption that he will marry Mary after presenting him with flimsy evidence that they've had a child together. The values that force Henry and Mary to marry are shown to be as much a part of the machine that has created the industrial hell in which they live as any other force.

Their universe seems post-appocalyptic in its desolation; not a wisp of vegetation anywhere, and almost no clues about time of day. I suspect a rational explanation for the setting of Eraserhead might include some alien takeover; Henry and Mary's "premature baby" doesn't really look human, and it's introduction to their lives is more than a little suspect. Not to mention the "worms" that keep appearing everywhere,looking like dissected human central nerve chords.

While I firmly believe there is no one way to interpret Eraserhead, it

does touch on a number themes that fall into the "social commentary" bin. Isolation deepening simultaneously with physical connection (pipes)as a metaphor for sex that alienates, marriage forced by circumstance, etc. It manages to get the viewer (at least this one) thinking about these issues in an abstract way. I don't know that I really enjoyed the film (although Harry's dream where his brian gets turned into eraserheads was humorous) but I didn't find it worthless. As an image and soundscape, it was truly brilliant.

The intentional mix of plot and diversion succeeds in tempting and then thwarting analysis, like a painting or a sculpture. As such, this film is guaranteed to alienate a large audience. Some of Lynch's more recent films ("Mulholland Drive", for example) are puzzleboxes that start the viewer out in this state of confusion, but actually make a lot more sense once the puzzle is figured out. "Eraserhead" deliberately induces confusion, and intentionally maintains confusion throughout, with no resolution intended. As such, it is typical "student work", untainted by the need to be palatable to large numbers of people, unencumbered by the idea that many will lose interest because they do not see value in maintaining states of confusion (it's called developing an attention span). As with all things, it's a matter of taste.


9 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 557 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed