Eraserhead was David Lynch's first feature film and was the culmination of his work at the AFI Conservatory. The film is a surreal meditation open to interpretation, but has often been described as a film about the fear of becoming a parent.
David Lynch described this as his most personal film, and this is his first feature length film. It opened to poor reviews, many people disliking and not understanding any aspect of it. Someone even criticized it for its "gory" climax, and while their is blood, its definitely nothing horrific. The movie isn't dialogue heavy, but their is talking regularly. The first 10 minutes are silent. Henry Spencer is the main character, and his dream-sequence in the movie is where the title comes from. Henry has a girlfriend named Mary X, whom he is sort of distanced from. Surprisingly, he is invited to dinner with her and her family, coming off as especially strange since Henry didn't know whether they were together or not. All throughout the movie, the landscape is very run down, and industrialized. The whole soundtrack is industrial, except for 2 or 3 exceptions. Mary's father cooks chicken, and says they are man-made. He asks Henry to carve the first chicken and shyly he does. He goes to cut it open and the chickens legs twitch, and it starts to bleed. Mary starts crying hysterically and runs into the other room. Her mother follows. Later, Mary's mother confronts Henry as to whether or not they had sex. Put into a literal wall, Henry says yes, and admits it. Mary tells Henry that she had a baby after only 2 weeks, and that its horribly deformed and premature. Mary goes home with Henry and sets the baby down on a makeshift bed on the table. everything below its neck is wrapped in dressing, and its unclear what is under it. Mary leaves after deciding she can't take the babies constant crying, and Henry is left alone. Around this point in the movie, it starts getting especially weird and surrealist. Henry sees a light flick on inside his radiator, and a checkerboard stage appears. A young girl comes out with very distended cheeks, and she shuffles around nervously and smiles. From the ceiling, little white things fall that sort of resemble a sperm, or the baby itself. As they hit the ground, The Lady in the Radiator shuffles over to it, stomps its head from its neck, and smiles. This goes on for maybe 2 minutes before the light disappears. He appears at the beginning to, but Henry starts having visions of a character known as "The Man in the Planet", who is seen with very burnt skin cranking levers that are very stiff. It's open to interpretation as to what he represents. Henry see's the Lady in the Radiator again, and she sings a song. She repeats "In Heaven/Everything is fine/In Heaven/Everything is fine/You've got your good things/and i've got mine." The baby starts coughing, and Henry goes to leave for a second. When he opens the door the baby starts bawling so Henry turns around and the baby is covered in spots. "Oh, you ARE Sick." Henry replies. Henry has an abrupt sexual encounter with the woman across the hall, and shortly after Henry has a nightmare. He's standing on the checkerboard playing with this metal rod on a banister, when his head pops off, and it falls into a pool of blood. The baby's head emerges from Henry's body and cries for a second, and then Henry's head falls through the puddle of blood and out of the sky into a city. His scalp is removed and his brain is exposed. A young boy picks up the head and walks to the eraser factory where they put some of his brain matter on the end of a pencil to see if its serviceable as an eraser. The an who tests yells "Its Okay!" and he blows the eraser bits into the air, and all you see is the black background and highlighted bits of Eraser and loud white noise. Henry wakes up, and goes to talk to the lady across the hall. She isn't there, and Henry mistakes the babies crying for laughter at him. Henry rushes back into the hall, only to see the woman with another man, and she gives a frightened stare. It cuts back to Henry, and his head is now the babies. Henry may have imagined this to symbolize her disgust and fright at him. He goes back into his apartment, and cuts open the dressing, which is apparently now the babies skin. It exposes all his vital organs and it screams terribly. Henry stabs one of its organs with scissors and a liquid starts gushing out. The babies head is now gigantic and floating in mid-air, visibly frightening Henry. The head starts to resemble the planet, and starts to explode, showing the Man in the Planet struggling with the levers, sparks burning his body terribly. Henry is now in the Radiator, and see's the Lady in the Radiator. She hugs him, and white noise whirrs up and the screen turns white, until Henry lets go. He lets the Lady in the Radiator hold him, the white noise becomes deafening, and the screen shows Henry with the Lady in the Radiator, very hard to see due to the whiteout. The screen abruptly cuts to black, and the credits roll.
The Lady in the Radiator, Henry's lone source of comfort.