Eraserhead [1977]

Director: David Lynch
Stars: Jack Nance, Charlotte Stewart, Allen Joseph, Jeanne Bates, Judith Roberts
Genre: Horror, Mystery
Rating: Unrated
Runtime: 89 minutes

This is where is the Lynchian nightmare began. Though he may have redefined surrealistic cinema in the 1980s and forever altered the face of television in the 90s, for many hardcore fans it is this infamous feature film debut that is David Lynch's crowning achievement. Many words have been used to describe Eraserhead (weird, bizarre, frustrating, enlightening, significant, unwatchable, meaningless, and momentous), but there is no denying it is completely unforgettable. As a surreal work of art, Eraserhead easily holds it own next to the works as Buñuel, Cocteau, and Dali. And like many surrealistic works, there is no clear answer on what Eraserhead "means." But, if you are trying to find a simple, linear, plot in Eraserhead, you are clearly missing the point. For Eraserhead is not simply a movie to view, but a true cinematic experience, like jumping into someone's nightmare and seeing it from their perspective. Whether you see it as a meditation on the terror of being a new parent, the suffocating feeling of living in an increasingly vapid, industrial wasteland, or a nightmare about the fear of loneliness, the film easily holds up to multiple viewings. And since this film is a dark visual ride and a supreme aural achievement, this long awaited, new transfer is an absolute blessing for David Lynch fans who will finally get to see, hear and experience Eraserhead clearly on DVD. Bizarre experiment? Surrealistic nightmare? Or a meaningless cult film? You be the judge. --Rob Bracco

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