OnePlusYou Quizzes and Widgets


Attack of the Crab Monsters (1957)

When looking at my meager output on this blog thus far, I noticed that most of the movies I've reviewed thus far are pretty new fare. So I decided to go for something truly classic and old school, and whilst I am still scared of my budget pack, I decided to go for a treat: A Roger Corman movie. As I managed to not watch a Corman movie outside a MST3K episode yet (at least to my knowledge), I already expected the worst. I mean... holy crap. "Attack of the Crab Monsters"... what a ridiculous title. And the acting... oh my Gods... THE ACTING...

The movie starts out with freaking surreal credits.

What the fuck...?

The plot? A group of scientists and some... well, non-scientists (I failed to really grasp why they were there in the first place, or what their responsibilities and duties were, but it's a B-Movie, so I'll not think about that for too long) come to an island in order to research the effects of too much radioactive stuff on... well, things on islands. They also want to know what happened to the first group of scientists that visited this island and vanished without a trace.

That said, the pictures are actually beautiful at times. When Corman has the possibility to shoot outside, it actually looks good. Unless it involves giant crab monsters, of course. I mean, take this for example:

Actually looks cool, doesn't it?

So yeah, I surprisingly enjoyed his camerawork. He has a very distinct, crisp style (and apparently a thing for oriental looking props, as I just notice during the second viewing to take the screenshots) - nothing fancy, but I like it. Sometimes, he dwells a bit too long on empty spaces or meaningless scenes that don't actually contribute to the movie's story or development, but even these are not bad.

By far my favourite scenes in The Attack of the Crab Monsters are the underwater scenes. Behold!

I have that thing going for old 50s and 60s equipment. Especially on well-formed females.

Speaking of well-formed females...

Because we can't really see a lot here, I took the liberty of taking another screen. One with more details.

And don't ask me what happened to the right black, errr, thing. I swear I didn't cut it out. It just... disappeared from the screen. And I didn't notice it. Weird.

But yeah, that's one of the reasons I like the underwater scenes. Another reason is that we get to see actual, living fishies.

Including, but not limited to, Steve Irwin's killer - EVIL STINGRAY!

At this point, I inevitably have to point out a plothole:

This isn't very far away from the shore, is it? I mean... hardly a giant distance in which the risk of drowning is very real and poses a danger to seafaring, brave men all over the world. Heck, a 4 year old could swim the distance from the boat to the shore. Also, please notice how shallow the shore is.

Okay, so we agree that this is not a dangerous shore?

Well, someone falls out of the boat (look at those evil, dark waters!), drowns, screams (underwater, I might add), and then gets beheaded. By a giant, evil crab monster.

That's probably the most un-bloody beheaded body I've ever seen. Then again, we're in the year 1957, and later, when a character gets separated from his right hand in a very permanent way (again by virtue of a giant crab monster, although indirectly, as in "by virtue of earthquake somehow caused by giant crab monster if I didn't get the plot completely wrong"), we see his hand lying half a meter away from his wrist, and there is no blood whatsoever. But heck, what did I expect. Certainly not copious amounts of blood and gore.

I like how he carefully lifts his arm to convince us that he really lost his hand.

Well, how to continue...?

During the night (well, some night they spend at the island), a pit (about 50 feet deep) suddenly appears, caused by "a disturbance" ("This pit appeared within the last 20 minutes!"... science isn't exactly Corman's strength, is it?), and of course, one of our heroes decides to climb into it... and...
...falls, of course. What else did you expect? I might have to add at this point that the pit is filled with land crabs.

Later, the marine biologist and... some other guy get woken up by the disembodied voice of one of the vanished scientists from the first expedition, beckoning them to come outside and help him. Yeah, we all can imagine what that entails... but actually, nothing happens. Besides for our heroes figuring out that the souls of those who disappeared on this accursed, foul island might still be... alive, somehow.

Oh, I forgot something:

The dialogue.

It is terrible. Trust me. It is at times bearable, but mostly terrible - so terrible that it's already funny again.

Dale Drewer: "Are you hiding something from us, doctor? A theory perhaps?"
Dr. Karl Weigand: "Maybe!"

Hank Chapman: "I killed it."
Dr. Karl Weigand: "Yes. By the sheerest luck."

Brilliant in its simplicity, but at the same time utterly hilarious and ridiculous. I enjoyed the dialogues a lot - in that "it hurts so much that I already start to like it"-way (Me? A masochist? Are you KIDDING me?! Hrmph.).

I also want to note that some of the reactions from the cast are... just... words fail me. For example:
A giant crab monster breaks into the house and wreaks havoc in a room (in order to destroy the house's wiring, apparently). Our protagonists, present?

Are standing there and looking at the door behind which the terror is happening. Even after the guy went in and saw a GIANT CRAB MONSTER attack him. I don't find that reaction entirely believable.

The soundtrack is actually good though, I might add.

Well, on to the essentials of the movie: The crab monsters.

They are actually cool. Okay, cool besides for how they look like. When eating someone, they absorb their entire atomic structure AND can speak with their voices AND absorb all their memories and knowledge. It is a very cool premise that could actually work out as something creepy if adapted for modern audiences with slightly better effects (and I say "slightly" because I mean "one hell of a lot of better effects" but don't actually want to admit it). Just... why the hell CRABS? I can't think of something as unthreatening as crabs (although a certain someone might disagree with me on that and might even get me to admit that crabs are awesome creatures of destruction if he just keeps the indoctrination up). Intelligent, thinking, mind-reading, mind-absorbing crabs?

Also, the science of this movie, although I hesist to call it thus, makes my head hurt. So, the titular crab monsters have... evolved... because of radioactive plants that they... ate? They are ...negatively charged (!!!) and can be destroyed (as in "literally reduced to sand") by positive energy. Also, their... atoms... are not coherent. As in... no connection at all between their constituting atoms. They can also transmit their voice through anything made out of metal (?) and are apparently able to sink islands.

As I said, science isn't exactly the strong point of this movie. It might even be its weakest point. I mean... no connection between their constituent atoms?! What the hell?!

Still, as I actually was able to enjoy this movie and the premise of the monsters isn't bad at all:

5.5/10 really ridiculous looking crab monsters who transfer their voices into metal.

Okay, okay. I am convinced. I was privileged enough to witness aforementioned friend's crab collection today. Spider crabs look fucking scary, ESPECIALLY to someone with a bad case of arachnophobia like myself.

So... yes. Crabs can be scary. I admit it. I repent.

If I can get a picture of his spider crab, I'll put it up here. Google doesn't give me a picture as... nice... as his exemplar. The fact that he killed the critter himself and now has them lying around in boxes in his room in which he stores all of his stuff makes it even better. And, apparently, crabs are actually cool critters. So... I apologise. Crabs are truly cool things.

...sheesh, now I am thinking about crabs and how to murder them.


Insanitarium (2008)

I don't know what to say. I still have goosebumps and that blissful, happy smile on my face with the wide eyes with a lot of white in them. That is my "OHMYGODIJUSTWATCHEDTHEPERFECTHORRORMOVIE!!!!" - expression, in case you are wondering. Combined with frantic giggling and a very fast-paced way of speaking (as I just realised during a short phone call).

The Hills Have Eyes and Dawn of the Dead both got excellent scores in my reviews. I am sorry to say that I have to edit them now. Insanitarium is WAY better.

I am officially in love with this movie.

*takes a deep breath*

Ok, I'm a bit calmer now. On with our regularly scheduled movie review.

"If you're reading this letter, it's because I have been committed to an insane asylum."
- Now that's what I call a promising start. Also, we get treated to beautiful shots of all sorts of various medical equipment. As I am desperately in love with medical equipment of various kinds, this is almost pornographic for me. And beautifully shot, I might add (again).

Generally, the camerawork in Insanitarium is very good. I watched it again with a friend today (after my initial viewing for the sake of this review, which resulted in me ranting about how great this movie is on the phone), and he (I already mentioned him - the guy who is responsible for treating me to Narok and likes good horror flicks and despises cheap B-Movies) was equally impressed. So, you see, it's not just me. Sometimes, other people actually agree with my assessment of a movie's qualities.

Ok, on to the plot (as this is a fairly new movie - DVD release in the US today, so you get treated to something that you might not have watched yet!):

Jack (our protagonist, convincingly played by Jesse Metcalfe of Desperate Housewives "fame") is desperate to talk to his sister, who has been committed to a mental institution after a failed suicide attempt. She didn't take their mother's death easily, and is mentally unstable. Jack tries to talk to her, but the asylum doesn't allow any visitors, and a wall of silence surrounds it. So he figures that the only way he can find out how his sister is doing, possibly get her out of the asylum again, is to... get himself committed and then break out with his sister, Lily. Sounds like a crazy idea to me, but then again, who am I to judge?

But as soon as he is in the aforementioned institution, he finds out that Dr. Gianetti (a great performance by Peter Stormare - he truly shines as the mad scientist/insane psychologist) is treating patients with a new drug called "Orpheum"... which is designed to strip away the layers of the higher brain functions where the sickness resides... so that he (Gianetti) reduces the patients to their lizard brain (read: Limbic System, my favourite part of the brain) in order to reintroduce "normal behaviour". Not a bad idea. The only problem is that, as you may or may not know, the limbic system is also the part of the brain that controls our aggression. So, "Orpheum" (which is awesome, by the way) has one little side effect: It makes people a bit... violent.

Welcome to the Middleton Psychiatric Institute!

The way Jack gets himself committed is awesome, by the way. However, aforementioned friend of mine noticed some minor plot holes and inconsistencies in the scenes of him playing insane, getting himself into the asylum and those immediately after he arrives there:

- Plothole #1: Considering the viable risk of blood-borne diseases, it is unlikely that two members of the altruistic American police would touch someone who is bleeding out of a variety of wounds without gloves ...or touch him in the way they do at all. HIV and other nasty things are just too much of a risk.

- Inconsistency #1: Jack is seen to violently cut off his own hair. When we see him in the asylum (in a nifty strait jacket that I want to have), he has a perfect haircut (note how perfect he managed to cut the hair on the back of his head). I severely doubt that this specific asylum, or any mental institution, would give a guy a haircut to make him presentable, so... well. Minor, but they exist.

One thing that might be a particularly personal thing with me, Insanitarium and my personal opinion of this movie is that the mental institution from this movie is eerily reminiscent of an asylum I have personal experience with. It's just creepy as hell to watch a horror movie about an asylum just to realise that the one you are familiar with looks and feels exactly the same. Maybe it's an international thing and all of those nice institutions look the same (down to the vomit-pus-yellow walls of the psych ward and the people just sitting around and... staring... into... no particular part of nothingness, see below) and that the orderlies behave in pretty much the same fashion all over the world... although, granted, we didn't have a blindingly white maximum security tract in the CDK. We just had a separate building, although it did have a lot of, well, white in it.

Eerily familiar, that...

Another thing that might have had an influence on how happy I am with this movie is that I love lunatics. Granted, I don't like asylums (unless I can walk out of them without any problem and am not obliged to come back the other day), but I like talking to crazy people. Well, the interesting crazy people (no insult to the numerous cases of bi-polar, conversion disorder, depression, agoraphobia etc., but really, schizophrenics and paranoid people on a quest to find the brain's daisy receptor in order to create the perfect drug out of daisies and thereby free humanity from its earthly bonds are more interesting to talk to).

It's easy to make friends in a mental institution. Trust me on that.

But yes, it's really creepy how Insanitarium manages to perfectly imitate my experience with a mental institution. Well, not the whole movie, obviously.

Welcome to Maximum Security. It is nice here... really.

One thing I particularly liked about the movie is how Jack has to face the reality of an asylum:

#1 - Yes, psych wards are scary if you're not insane yourself.
#2 - No, you can't get out if you're not supposed to.

So... back to the movie. Jack tries to free Lily with the help of Dave (a very convincing Kevin Sussman), a paranoid conspiracy theorist who can move around through the asylum more or less freely (at night, if no one catches him).

Say hello to Dave.

Here we are introduced to Plothole #2: How does Jack know the different security codes of the asylum? It's still believable that he knows about the wiring because he studied blueprints and all that jazz before getting himself committed, but the security codes? You'll hardly get those off the internet, or by walking into some office and nonchalantly asking for them.

He finds out that "Orpheum" is not actually a biochemical agent, but something far more awesome (I won't give it away, though - watch for yourself). He also finds out that there is much more to the drug than he thought - it's not just making people's eyes white and increasing their tendency for violent behaviour... it also makes them hungry. Hungry for ...warm stuff.

THAT kind of warm stuff.

And this gentleman (Mr. Loomis... *giggles*), who gets regular doses of Orpheum, if I might add that, has it bad. Very bad. I know what I'm talking about.

Notice the cramps and the silent screams. You can't see it on the screenshot, but his body is twitching. Poor bloke.

There's food directly in front of him.

AND on the floor, carelessly being wasted by just... dropping... onto... floor...

Instincts... taking... over... Need... taking... over...


Incidentally enough, he finds out about this whilst we get treated to something I'm not sure whether I should classify it as rape or consensual sex. My friend wasn't sure either, so I'll just not give a damn how to call it. But trust me, dear readers: It is awesome. Really, this movie has EVERYTHING!

(That's her slip in her mouth, in case you can't tell)

Bondage + Scalpels + Blood + Sex = Ultimate Awesome

And no, I am not a sick, perverted freak. Just because I think this is the best "sex"-scene I've witnessed in a horror flick thus far doesn't mean that there's anything wrong with me. I am not crazy! I have a certificate to prove it! ...damn, they took that away last month. Ah, well. *sighs*

Insanitarium also gives the proverbial nod to the epitome of all horror movies featuring cannibalistic patients of an asylum: Mr. Hawthorne (Armin Shimerman). Man, I was happy to see his performance. I've read reviews in which people complained that the character of Hawthorne is a total ripoff of our dear Dr. Lecter, but hey, what happened to paying homage to a good movie/character? I personally enjoyed it.

Also, Mr. Hawthorne is the first person who shares my views and opinions about what constitutes proper food:

Hawthorne: "This food is DEAD!"
Assistant: "I'll see if Gianetti can whip up a steak. How do you like it?"

Hawthorne: "...alive."

Well, our movie turns into a gorefest after Jack's discovery of the dangers of Orpheum and his attempt to flee the asylum together with Dave and his sister Lily.

Did I mention that the gore is awesome?

In short, let me give you my personal impression of Insanitarium:
The camerawork is perfect for this kind of movie. Sure, it's not something someone would win an Oscar for, but it works in this instance - and it works very good. Some of the shots are literally works of art, and the use of colour also warrants to be mentioned. Very good, very convincing.

The blood and gore are top notch. I'm hard to satisfy in that department, and damn, I didn't think "Meh, there could be more graphic violence and blood and gore" for one second of this movie. It's a crazy ride full of violence, blood and gore that should satisfy every gorehound. At least it satisfied me. A lot.

The pacing was awesome. The movie never failed to deliver the wonderful feeling of suspense that so many other movies in the great and glorious world of horror lack.

The directing is awesome, the editing is awesome, the soundtrack really gets into you and adds to the suspense (it is also perfectly adjusted to the fast pacing of the movie, something that I appreciate - there is nothing more infuriating to me than music or sound effects that just don't fit the pace of a movie... well, besides other things, but that's one of the most infuriating things I can imagine pertaining to movies). A+ for all of those points.

Also, let's not forget the acting. All of our main characters were really good (as I am lucky enough to be able to say that I've never seen one second of Desperate Housewives in my whole life, I didn't have any preconceived notions about Metcalfe), and I enjoyed their interaction. The dialogues never really seemed forced and appeared to come natural.
What impressed me most, though, was the acting by those who played the crazies. Kudos to you, ladies and gentlemen. Having some experience with psych wards and maximum security wards myself, I can honestly say that they really got the crazies down to a T. There was nothing artificial in their portrayal of insane people. I've seen the real thing, people, and this wasn't far away from it. Not at all.

I love this movie.

10/10 icepick lobotomies.

Diary of the Dead (2007)

I've finally come around to watch this Romero output, and I have to say: I'm pleased. I am truly and absolutely pleased. Mostly because I think that Professor Andrew Maxwell, played by Scott Wentworth, is one of the most awesome characters ever in a zombie movie. I could easily imagine a zombie movie with him as the actual protagonist (living, not dead, or undead, or some sort of death-dependent status of existence).


Anyways, on to the plot: A group of film students from the University of Pittsburgh (cunningly pronounced as "Pittsberg", as the proper pronounciation - see for example "Edinburgh" - is beyond the American public and its grasp of English) are trying to survive in a world in which zombies are everywhere... and make a documentary about it. The whole movie is set up as a documentary - "The Death of Death", by Jason Creed. I want to note here that the initials "JC" have a creepy similarity to those of another famous JC, who also wanted to bring truth (even TRUTH) to the people/mankind and sacrificed himself for his message. Makes me wonder what Christianity would be like if that other JC had had a myspace and a blog...
The students film how they survive (more or less), use other material they downloaded from the net or from surveillance cameras or from the news to show how the media is distorting the truth (no, not the capital Truth)... and living an obsession with documenting the terror and cruelty that invaded their lives.

As always when it comes to Diary of the Dead, the Professor Emeritus puts it way better than I could. Witness the following dialogue, with a bit of background:
JC is constantly filming. Pretty much everyone is a tad annoyed at this, especially since he isn't much help with his camera practically glued to his face. A friend gets attacked in an abandoned hospital (they clearly forgot one of the rules of surviving a zombie apocalypse: One of the worst places to hide in case of a zombie apocalypse is a hospital - for obvious reasons), and he just stands back and shoots what's happening whilst his friends hysterically cry for help.

After the situation is resolved, the Professor is shooting him a look of pure disgust, and the following gem of dialogue is produced.

Andrew Maxwell: "There will always be people like you, wanting to document, wanting to record some sort of ...diary."
Jason: "Me? You're the one who put the camera in my hands. You're the one who made me want to do this!"
Andrew Maxwell: "Not this. This is a diary of cruelty. And in wartime, when the enemy can be marked as this son of a bitch or that son of a bitch, then cruelty... becomes justified."

A diary of cruelty. It's exactly what this movie portrays, and damn, whilst it isn't flawless, it is a solid zombie movie in the tradition of The Master (no, not the one from Doctor Who) with the social commentary we came to expect from his works.

Another scene that demonstrates how sick we, as human beings, can become is close to the end of the movie, when JC refuses to help Tracy (the Texan girl) when she is chased by a zombie - in order to grab the perfect horror movie footage. It is actually slightly sickening - not because of any gore or terror or suspense, but just because you realise how fucked up and sick JC's reaction is.

Diary of the Dead doesn't only explore the media's reaction to something like the zombie apocalypse happening, but intrinsically deals with today's society and its possible reaction. Especially with the rise of the internet and its importance in our everyday lives (hell, try living without your email for two weeks, you'll know what I mean... you practically miss EVERYTHING) and the speed with which information is travelling through the world... it is an interesting concept, and Romero surely made a lot of this very basic idea.

Something that is repeated sometimes is the phrase "if it isn't on camera, it didn't happen". It strongly reminds me of the internet meme "pics or it didn't happen" - in an age where you basically can't trust ANYTHING due to the new nature of information (or maybe it was always the nature of information to be generally untrustworthy, due to human nature, failure and our inherent... well, I'll cut the philosophical stuff short and just say that it is due to the conditio humana that we all suffer from). Read somewhere on the net that vaccinations are making people sick and are only used because companies want to suck the very lifeblood from the people? Well, either you accept it as truth, as a lot of people these days seem to do (predominantly in the US, I might add), or you try to find your own truth (usually done by thinking).

"What gets into our heads when we see something horrible? A horrible accident on the highway - something keeps us from just driving on. Something... pulls us. But we don't stop to help. We stop to look."

Thought provoking, isn't it? The essential voyeurism of the human race. We get excited by the cruelty and suffering we see. We call friends and family to inform them that we just witnessed an accident, and they are as eager to hear all the details about it as we are to elaborate on those details. What is it with our obsession with cruelty, with suffering, with violence and death and pain? Okay, this directly ties in with "why do I watch horror movies", but... seriously. Give those questions a thought and try to find out for yourself.

I want to add at this point that I totally approve of zombie destroying deaf Amish guys. Say hello to Samuel, the bravest, most courageous and most awesome deaf Amish you'll ever meet.

Samuel - officially coolest Amish ever. Could YOU impale your brain with a scythe whilst a zombie is nibbling at your brain? I don't think so.

The dialogues aren't bad; the tension in the group of survivors, especially at the beginning, when things are still new and JC's obsession with filming everything that happens is still a novelty to the others (an annoying novelty, I might add). Generally, the pacing is a bit on the slower side, but it doesn't fail to deliver its premise of the zombie apocalypse in the age of the information superhighway and media control. It's not about the zombies and the gore, it's about the social implications.

Also, myspace.com gets screentime: "72.000 hits in 8 minutes!" - one of the reasons why I wonder how that other JC would have fared with myspace. Then again, in modern times, he would be dismissed as one of those whacky Near Eastern crazies, not necessarily thought of as the messiah / Son of YHVH.

Going back to the dialogues for a second - the best lines are, of course, coming from the Professor:

(Referring to the radio transmissions talking about the rising dead, clarifying some misconceptions his students appear to have with the concept) "The problem doesn't seem to be that people are waking up dead, but that dead people are waking up."

(Referring to his flask filled with delicious alcohol) "I'm running low. I'd like to make it to a state store before they all shut their doors forever. God, there's a terrible thought. A world where a gentleman can't buy a bottle of bourbon."

I truly enjoy every single line that man utters.

The gore isn't bad, either. We get one zombie whose intestines are falling out of his stomach cavity, one whose brain is being eaten away by some sort of very cool acid, headshots, gut-munchings, scythe action, arrows to the brain sticking teenage zombies to walls (or rather, nailing them to walls)... not too much, not enough to make me salivate all over the keyboard, but still good.

My major criticism of this movie is how idiotic the students are and how idiotic they react. At least they had enough exposure to culture to know that you best exterminate dead people who don't behave dead by shooting them in the head, aka destroying the brain. Have they never watched a zombie movie? If I heard on the news that the dead are rising, I would run to the next store, stack up on canned foods and bottled water and sturdy objects to make my home into a fortress, run back home, and hide. Well, at least for a while. But definitely not try to find my relatives and hole up together. Then again, I'm not exactly known for my great zombie survival scenarios, if you catch my drift. Still, the students are idiots, at least in the beginning (they wisen up a bit).

But the Professor is awesome. VERY awesome.

7/10 Professors who appreciate books, are masters of archery , have a taste for good alcohol and fancy themselves a swashbuckler.

Eraserhead (1977)

This is my first David Lynch movie.

...need I say more?

Eraserhead is one hell of a confusing movie. I like to think that I get the imagery employed by Lynch when it's about sexual themes like impregnation, fuc... errrr, making love, giving birth etc., but most of the movie was simply... well, not entirely lost on me, but partly lost on me. I'm sorry, I'm apparently not enough of an intellectual to appreciate the classics.

First things first (after my initial opening): Our protagonist, Henry Spencer, has creepy eyes. He's first seen sort-of floating in space, with a rocky planet which I tentatively identify as an artistic rendering of the Moon (I know that the Moon isn't a planet, thank you very much) in the background and apparently somehow connected to his brain.

This is the friendly man who apparently operates the... Moon? Henry's brain? Henry's Limbic System? I'd vote for #1 and #3 combined, as the Moon has a very strong sexual connotation in the Western Hermetic tradition (or even the Greek myths and all that), and the Limbic System is the "fight, fuck, survive"-center of our brains. So... yeah. Creepy man apparently controls our protagonist's sexuality through the Limbic System.

We then get treated to a deep canyon on the Moon. It literally looks like a birthing channel... and the transition goes from it being fully lit to it being completely dark. Directly after that, a Brain-Sperm-Spine-monster floats out of our protagonist's mouth and is dropped into a pit.

This pit looks quite creepy. It is filled with some sort of fluid, and I can't help but think that this symbolises impregnation. The pit as a symbolic metaphor for the vagina. How fitting.

The plot? Oh... the plot. Henry Spencer gets his sort-of (spasmic) girlfriend Mary pregnant, and she gives birth to... something. He then has to care for it, and it screams and cries and... makes noises, which slowly drives him insane.

At this point I should probably mention that our protagonist, Henry, looks miserable throughout the whole movie.

The thing that this movie really has going in favour of itself is the black and white optic (I adore B&W), the appropriately weird music (freaky!), the post-industrial landscapes with all those tubes and machines constantly working, never resting, and the blank windows, covered up with bricks and cement, staring onto the streets and into the rooms with blind, dead, unseeing eyes. The camerawork is also great, the shots are really beautiful.

One of the things I mentioned above is something of a weird thing, though. I mentioned that the windows are covered up with bricks and cement. As we mostly perceive the movie and respectively the world in which the movie plays through Henry's eyes, it might very well be that he just perceives the windows to be closed and covered up. His girlfriend's (if that term can be applied) windows are quite normal. So... reality or dream?


The sounds are creepy. There is hardly any dialogue in this movie - which I think is very important. Dialogue would destroy the desolate, creepy, lonely and surreal atmosphere that Lynch clearly aimed for. This movie is carried by sound effects, lighting and pictures. Thumbs up for that. I like movies with only a little dialogue.

This movie also treats us to fist-sized chickens that are, well, just like real chickens. With one difference: If you cut them, they start bleeding and... losing... fluids... and twitching in a definitely orgasmic sort of rhythm. And make sex noises.

Sounds squishy. Reminds me of sex-noises, sickeningly enough. Thank you, David Lynch.

It also makes the nice, elderly lady to the right ORGASM, She gets turned on by a twitching, oozing fist-sized chicken. Freud, anyone? Thank you again, David Lynch. It is nice to know who to blame the next time I have chicken and recoil in terror.

"They are still not sure if it is a baby!"
...if you ever hear those words outside of a movie, know this: Sounds like trouble.

So, we find out that Henry and Mary had pre-marital sex, and that Henry is now a Dad - of a "they are still not sure if it is a baby"-baby. Unsurprisingly, he doesn't take to these news too well.

This woman (Mary) is caring for...


That is NOT a baby. However you define baby, no matter how much you dislike babies (like me): This. Is. Not. A. Baby. Although it reminds me of the funny story of the exorcist of Vienna who aborted a demonic-reptilian-monster-baby, as told to me by one of the leading experts on Magick in Vienna, a 17-year-old Magister Templi (of his own order, consisting mostly of 15-year-old girls...).

I repeat: This is NOT a baby.

The sound effects of Eraserhead are great, especially when you play the movie loud. The "baby" is screaming. And I mean SCREAMING. CONSTANTLY. Annoying the Nine Hells out of everyone, including myself.

...and does anyone else think that it sort of looks like a cute dinosaur baby?

Anyways... Mary, who in between two scenes moved in with our protagonist Henry in order to care for the ..."baby"... decides to move out when she gets really, REALLY nervous from not getting enough sleep because of the screaming and crying reptilian/non-human brat she bred together with sweet Henry. So she does the only sensible thing and leaves him with the... "baby".

And I'll be damned, that thing is SCREAMING. Whenever Henry tries to leave the flat, the... "baby"... starts being annoying. Fucking annoying. Reminded me of that:

The First Primordial Malice from Beyond Time and Space, my cat Rincewind. He starts yowling every time I leave the flat, even if it's just for bringing down the trash, as well. I can sympathise with Eraserhead's protagonist's suffering.

That aside, we get treated to some weird dream sequences. For example...

WTF is THAT?!?!

IT is "dancing" amidst a slow rain of brain-spine-sperm-thingies. At the end of this dream sequence, it steps on the... thingies. I'm sure there's a lot of symbolism behind it - the destruction of virility and life, a disapproval of... uhm... non-Christian sexual practices like masturbation (the seed/sperm-stuff falls onto the ground, vaguely reminding me of the story from the Torah/Old Testament about Onan and his *cough*sin*cough*...)... lots of stuff. I just really can't be arsed to either watch the movie again or spend an hour thinking about it. So ner, there you go with my half-assed assessment of this scene's symbolism and significance.

I have four more pages scribbled full with notes, which shows that I actually paid attention to the movie. However... not today. I might update this review tomorrow, but for now, let me end on this note:

Lots of sexual symbolism and imagery, weird dream sequences, crazy part with erasers being made out of Henry's head (hence the title), killing of creepy "baby", suicide. Point.

Edit: I just got motivated to complete this review. I just can't, though. Sorry. If some day, you'll see a bright green line exclaiming "ERASERHEAD UPDATED!", then you'll know I managed to do it. But goddamn it, not tonight. I don't want to read those notes and make coherent sentences out of them anymore, and most of all, I don't want to dwell on the movie's symbolism anymore.
Wait for the update, if you're interested.

There. So much for my motivation. This whole movie just killed it.

Neutral 5/10 scenes that only make sense when you read up on psychology and the movie's history.