David Lynch is Rainman with a movie camera and a large vocabulary. He's nucking futs but seemingly quite harmless - plus he's a great filmmaker. For years he was the only source for a Eraserhead DVD, and it sold for $40! Damn you Capitalism!! For some reason probably not fully understood even by Lynch himself you can now walk into (your local retailer here) and buy it for $20. Sure it doesn't come in the 8"x8" box with a 20 page booklet, but life is about choices.
Eraserhead came out in 1977. I saw it a number of times as a midnight show at the Mini Cinema on Long Island. I always managed to stay awake somehow, and at the time it made little sense because I never dared consider it might have an actual plot. It was just a series of weird events I experienced at the face value of its strangeness. Looking at it now it's really a very simple story expressed weirdly. After decades of watching strange and senseless movies the WTF factor is gone and the symbolism of Eraserhead is easy to figure to the extent that any simple Freudian theory is pretty much as good as another. Lynch claims nobody has interpreted the film exactly as he envisioned it, but the guy's so out there if he did explain it you'd think he was lying.
The feature length video of Lynch talking about Eraserhead is a treat. A slight wind sound blows the whole time. Lynch wanders from thought to thought and I finally understood why he's never recorded a commentary track. You might as well have Edith Massey discussing Desperate Living. Hearing Lynch explain his fascination with dissecting a dead cat I can fully believe the internet rumor that the baby was a puppeteered cow fetus. The baby is great.
Eraserhead was shortened 20 minutes after a test screening and it really did need it. Why he didn't keep most of the extra film is a mystery even to Lynch. His mother's reaction to the film was "Oh, I wouldn't want to have a dream like that." In Eraserhead, everything is fine.