On the wall Eraserhead

On the wall: Eraserhead

On the wall: Eraserhead was published by Little White Lies (print only) in 2023 as part of a series of personal reminiscences on bedroom wall movie posters

It was love at first sight. 

I spent my adolescence reading and re-reading Joseph Heller’s Catch-22, and watching and rewatching David Lynch’s Eraserhead (1977) – the latter mostly in Sydney’s once glorious, now long gone repertoire cinema The Valhalla, whose large monthly programme poster adorned my cupboard door, and mapped out most of my recreational timetable. Like a surprising number of film critics my age, in my teens I worked part time in a video store, and my walls were covered in discarded posters for VHS releases (Surf Nazis Must Die was one). Yet pride of place went to my Eraserhead poster, with Henry Spencer’s confused face prominent, and the tagline “A dream of dark and troubling things.”

On the wall Eraserhead
Valhalla programme poster
On the wall Eraserhead
Surf Nazis Must Die poster

I was bound to love Eraserhead. Its (anti)hero, though curious, is also permanently dazed, erotically frustrated, and nervous about the nightmarish world around him. What self-disrespecting teen could not relate? Yet it was Henry’s befuddlement, and his surrender to fantasy, with which I most identified. Indeed, looking back, I now wonder whether I just dreamed that I had that poster, as I can find no online evidence of one with that exact tagline ever existing… 

strap: Befuddled account of the movie posters that were on the bedroom wall of my adolescence, with Eraserhead better than a mirror

Anton Bitel