Part 13 of 13, excerpted from an essay entitled “Disturbo 13: The Most Disturbing Horror Films Ever Made” by Stanley Wiater.
Although writer-director David Lynch has gained a considerable reputation in recent years due to such projects as Blue Velvet and the television series Twin Peaks, his first feature film will forever be his most twisted. Shown originally mostly in art houses and at film festivals, Eraserhead is so unfailingly creepy that no one can completely forget it. The movie is structured with the logic of a nightmare, its characters are abnormal people who consume meals that may or may not be still alive, and its protagonists are the parents of a grotesque little baby that is definitely not human. At ninety minutes in length, the movie nevertheless seems to go on forever for anyone trying to anticipate what’s going to happen next, any why.
Shot is stark black-and-white, the movie shows Lynch at his most outrageous, as unsettling image after unsettling image unspools across the screen like the loosening bandages of a critical accident victim. Cineteratologist Richard Meyers has called it “a live action Monty Python animation made in Hell.” Whatever Eraserhead may be, it can be truly considered one of those films that forever changes your perception of “reality.” At the very least, you get the incomparable sensation of being awake in the center of a truly disturbing, bad, bad dream.