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  #1  
Old 23 August 2007, 09:36 PM
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Icon97 The Eraserhead Baby

Now I know we had a thread about this on the old board, but it didn't go much of anywhere, so I thought I'd open the discussion up again.

I've actually never seen Eraserhead, but apparently there are urban legends and speculation surrounding a "baby" that appears in the movie. The baby is very creepy looking and David Lynch refuses to discuss what exactly the baby was, or how it was created, leading people to speculate that it's a cow fetus, or even a human fetus.

Even Wikipedia mentions the Eraserhead baby as a well-known urban legend, so I'm surprised that there isn't a snopes page dedicated to it.

This page has what is purported to be an interview with Lynch where he's very evasive about questions regarding the baby.

You can see the baby briefly in this youtube clip around the 3:00 minute mark, then again around the 4:15 minute mark. It is a bit unsettling, just a heads-up to those who might be squicked out by it.

Judging by how the baby moves, especially during it's second appearance I'm guessing it's some sort of a puppet, but I wouldn't be surprised if it weren't designed to be reminiscent of an in-uterine animal.

Judging by what a cow fetus looks like (don't click if you don't want to see a fairly icky picture of a cow fetus being sold in China), I doubt the baby is a cow fetus. Judging by the features of the baby's face, I wonder if it's based more on a fetal sheep? I was unable to find pictures of a fetal sheep for comparison though.

I suppose it's always possible that Lynch used an actual animal fetus as a puppet, but I would think that would be far too problematic for practical reasons because you'd have to deal with issues of decomposition, rigor mortis, etc. It wouldn't be easy to film a movie if your dead sheep fetus puppet kept on stiffening up. So I'd say it's highly improbable.

I will say for what apparently was a fairly low-budget movie, the baby is a very well-done puppet, if that's in fact what it is. It's convincingly real looking enough that I find it a bit creepy myself. I'd love to know how it was done if Lynch really did just use traditional materials to create such a creepy puppet.
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  #2  
Old 23 August 2007, 09:53 PM
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Tarquin Farquart Tarquin Farquart is offline
 
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I think it would take something away from the film knowing what the baby is, or how it was made.

That said, I think it is a puppet.
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Old 24 August 2007, 02:50 AM
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Now I need to find that movie and watch it *morbidly interested*

I also agree that it possibly could be, or is based on, a fetal sheep. Maybe a goat.
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  #4  
Old 24 August 2007, 03:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarquin Farquart View Post
I think it would take something away from the film knowing what the baby is, or how it was made.
I completely agree. It's like trying to find a scientific explanation for why Dali's watches were limp.

But it does look like a sheep, sorta. Leave it to sheep to be adorable no matter what age (yes, I think the baby is adorable).

PS to Lady Lockout, let me advise you that the film's much more effective if you watch it half asleep.
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  #5  
Old 24 August 2007, 03:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Humjv Sampsky View Post
PS to Lady Lockout, let me advise you that the film's much more effective if you watch it half asleep.
Or stoned.
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  #6  
Old 24 August 2007, 03:56 AM
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I love Eraserhead, but if you think that baby is cute, just wait until you see the ending.
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  #7  
Old 24 August 2007, 04:59 AM
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bthyb bthyb is offline
 
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Reading

We have a book about Lynch and his films, Weirdsville USA by Paul A. Woods.

Here's the passage about the baby:

Quote:
Equal extremes of pathos and revulsion are born from the fact that the Baby appears so intolerably real -- at least, it's a credible representation of how a foetus might appear if not allowed to develop beyond the pre-human stage. For this, the credit, as with much else, belongs to Lynch. Having designed and built the Baby, he then maximized its original impact by ensuring that no stills of it were released during the publicity stage.

'In a way, nobody designs anything,' reflected Lynch, when credited with one of the most haunting non-human beings in cinema. 'All these shapes are found in nature. They are archetypes everyone can relate to even if they can't intellectualize why.'
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Old 24 August 2007, 06:47 AM
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Quote:
Now I know we had a thread about this on the old board, but it didn't go much of anywhere, so I thought I'd open the discussion up again.
I've actually never seen Eraserhead, but apparently there are urban legends and speculation surrounding a "baby" that appears in the movie.
I'm kind of curious as to how you can get so worked up about a movie you've never seen, despite the fact that it's a cult classic and available in just about any video store anywhere in the world... maybe you should actually watch it and form your opinions afterwards ?
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  #9  
Old 24 August 2007, 08:09 AM
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Tarquin Farquart Tarquin Farquart is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Humjv Sampsky View Post
PS to Lady Lockout, let me advise you that the film's much more effective if you watch it half asleep.
Usually quite easy, as it tends to be shown on TV in the wee small hours.
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  #10  
Old 24 August 2007, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charlie23 View Post
I'm kind of curious as to how you can get so worked up about a movie you've never seen, despite the fact that it's a cult classic and available in just about any video store anywhere in the world... maybe you should actually watch it and form your opinions afterwards ?
Umm, who's getting worked up? Who's making any judgments on the movie itself? The OP is curious about the baby in the movie's origins and is made even more curious by David Lynch refusing to talk about it.

It's the source of a potential urban legend, something this site deals with. I don't have to have seen Three Men and a Baby to wonder about all those myths regarding a ghost in the window.
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  #11  
Old 24 August 2007, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
I don't have to have seen Three Men and a Baby to wonder about all those myths regarding a ghost in the window.
No, but if I was going to spend any time researching a myth about a ghost in the window in a scene from Three Men and a Baby, I would probably start by renting the movie.
But hey, maybe I'm weird.
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  #12  
Old 24 August 2007, 03:27 PM
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Syllavus Syllavus is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charlie23 View Post
No, but if I was going to spend any time researching a myth about a ghost in the window in a scene from Three Men and a Baby, I would probably start by renting the movie.
But hey, maybe I'm weird.
I'm curious about the baby because I have an interest in urban legends and movie special effects, since this is an urban legend about a special effect in a movie, I was interested in it. I would like to see the movie eventually, but for now, I've seen clips from the film of the baby, and since that's what this discussion is about, the baby and not the actual film, I don't see what the problem is.
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  #13  
Old 24 August 2007, 09:40 PM
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Quote:
I'm curious about the baby because I have an interest in urban legends and movie special effects, since this is an urban legend about a special effect in a movie, I was interested in it.
Cool. No problem.
It's pretty obvious once you see it for more than a couple of seconds that it's a silicone based model with very basic mechanics, spritzed with a bit of oil to add some light reflection.
Not a Cow, Human or Sheep fetus, not ET, and I reckon he based it on his imagination.
He could have used an animal skull for the model base because of the elongated eye sockets, but if he actually modelled over an existing skull it was heavily modified and wouldn't be representational of a living animal anyhow.

Last edited by charlie23; 24 August 2007 at 09:49 PM.
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  #14  
Old 24 August 2007, 09:55 PM
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Goat

No matter what it was meant or wasn't meant to be it made my stomach turn. It looks just like when one of my goats miscarried this past year. Not a pleasant thing to stumble upon at 6:30 in the morning let me tell you. I totally second the "I gotta see this movie now" morbid interest thing.

Drama ~GROOOOOSSS!!!.....Cool!~ Queen
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  #15  
Old 24 August 2007, 10:46 PM
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Wicked Tinkerbell Wicked Tinkerbell is offline
 
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I only watched the clip at the 3:00 minute & the 4:15 minute marks to see 'the baby'.

The head remindes me of the heads of Nubian goats. Perhaps Lynch used them as a model.

Hmmm... then again, it could be an early Jar Jar Binks...

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  #16  
Old 27 August 2007, 04:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thebobo View Post
Or stoned.
I've never used drugs but just reading the synopsis of the movie made me feel a little high.
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  #17  
Old 28 August 2007, 04:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by missy_pooh_1997 View Post
I've never used drugs but just reading the synopsis of the movie made me feel a little high.
I had friends in college who would watch that film stoned. This is one movie I wouldn't want to watch under the influence of anything. It is a mind trip within itself. Lynch literally created the feeling and atmosphere of a bad dream. It is like watching someones deep depression or anxiety attack.
I still recommend this great piece of cinema. Everyone from Kubrick to Woody Allen to Mel Brooks(whom would later produce several of Lynch's films) were compelled by Eraserhead.
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  #18  
Old 29 August 2007, 08:39 PM
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Eek. That baby is something that sticks with you. The whole film is a great adventure into being unsettled, but the baby brought me close to screaming ab-dabs towards the finale.

To me it looked like a very clever puppet, based on something unformed, but not at all human. It is given the behaviour of a human baby, but doesn't look to me anything like a human foetus. Its face looks something like a sheep that has suffered severe burns. And as for its body... well, we never really get to find out. I think the use of sound is the most haunting thing, particularly when the baby is ill.

I don't really want to know how it was done. I doubt David Lynch is covering up anything sinister, he just doesn't want to break one of his best spells, and I admire him for that.
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  #19  
Old 29 August 2007, 09:30 PM
TheLazenby TheLazenby is offline
 
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Gah, that baby. The shot immediately before "Oh... you ARE sick!" is the grossest, most unpleasant thing ever.

That said though, I do love this movie!!
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