Ever had a slightly disturbing nightmare? I say slightly, because a streak of humor runs throughout. The kind of nightmare where the dreamer is trapped in an industrial hell of dirt, mud, abandoned buildings, and leaky drums with no one knows what horrific chemicals seeping into the ground water. Then the dreamer returns to a 10×10 foot apartment with a bed, a table, a chair, a dresser, and a tiny bathroom in the corner.
For decorations, the dreamer has a pile of dirt with a stick protruding, or a squirmy worm in an exotic wooden cabinet. A mysterious neighbor relays a phone message: “Someone named Mary called and invited you to dinner.”
Walking out into the Dante’s Inferno which surrounds the room and Mary’s home, the dreamer hears her yell, “You’re late Henry!” Mary’s mother asks, “What do you do?” The reply is simple, “I’m on vacation.”
If you haven’t yet recognized the story line here, immediately go to Netflix and search for Eraserhead,” David Lynch’s first film released in 1977. This bizarre flick defies categorization. It has been shown in dozens of art houses across the country, sometimes paired with The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Now that I have it bookmarked, I can watch it over, and over, and over. One of these times I WILL figure it out.
It never keep me up at night, but it does keep me thinking long after the closing credits. I have seen it maybe a dozen times, and every time I see it again, I raise more questions to pile on the unanswered ones from prior viewings.