Jack Nance, Charlotte Stewart, Jeanne Bates, Allen Josephs,
Four decades later, Lynch’s debut feature, a self-described “dream of dark and troubling things,” remains a work of queasy genius. Eraserhead is the story of Henry, cursed with an innocence bordering on retardation, and a lonely life in a box-like apartment. Henry, however, does have a girlfriend, and she is in a family way. Their life together is filled with substance—every rubbery, nauseating substance one could imagine—and Baby makes just one more, a genuine horror that only a parent could love. Eraserhead is not for the squeamish, precisely because every image (and sound) evoked is somehow all too familiar.