This week Michael and Nakea are bringing up baby, as The Unenthusiastic Critic's 2021 Halloween Movie Marathon continues with David Lynch's Eraserhead (1977).
First, we're belatedly defining our terms, as we attempt to determine exactly what makes something a horror film. Is any movie that is gross, dark, disturbing, or horrifying necessarily "horror," or are there more specific criteria that determine the borders of the genre?
Then, we're sitting down for Nakea's first viewing of Lynch's beautiful, surreal, deeply unsettling, oddly comic debut feature. Join us for a lively conversation about nightmarish parental anxieties, questionable hospital practices, and whether Eraserhead and Mr. Mom are fundamentally the same movie.
00:00: Prologue: David Lynch interviewed by Tom Christie, 1979
00:50: Preliminary Conversation: What Makes Something "Horror"?
14:11: Interlude: David Lynch interviewed by Charlie Rose
14:39: Cultural Osmosis: Pre-Viewing Discussion
20:53: Interlude: from Eraserhead
22:26: The Verdict: Post-Viewing Discussion
1:09:29: Outro and Next Week's Movie
Notes and Links
—Movie Reviewed: Eraserhead (dir. David Lynch, Libra Films, 1977).
—References and Resources: "Defining the Horror Genre in Movies and TV," Jason Hellerman, No Film School; "What is Horror? Definition and Examples in Film," Jonathon Scott, Studio Binder; Danse Macabre, Stephen King (Berkley, 1987); Eraserhead review, Variety; "David Lynch and Frederick Elmes on Eraserhead," "Eraserhead Crew Interviews," and Eraserhead Stories, The Criterion Channel; "David Lynch Thinks No One Will Ever Agree on What Eraserhead Is About," Bilge Ebiri, Vulture; "Henry's Window is the Key to Eraserhead," David Johnson, Welcome to Twin Peaks; David Lynch on Charlie Rose, 1997, YouTube; David Lynch: Beautiful Dark, Greg Olson (Scarecrow, 2008).
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—Saint-Saens' "Danse Macabre" by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under CC BY 3.0.