Henry Spencer is the main protagonist of the surreal body horror film Eraserhead. Since the film is very absurd and hard to comprehend, many people believe that Henry was actually a protagonist villain because of the fact that he murdered his own son at the end of the film.
Henry was a vacationing printer who lived in a small apartment. He was also the boyfriend and eventual husband of Mary X. A child was later conceived after their marriage, and the child was hideous looking to say the least. Eventually the Baby caused Mary to leave the apartment, and Henry was forced to look after the abomination of a child.
Spencer later tried to have an affair with the Beautiful Girl Across the Hall, but his Baby constantly stopped him from doing so. The final straw for Henry, however, was when he saw that the Beautiful Girl Across the Hall was inviting men into her apartment and that she couldn't love him because of his failure of a child. In great anger, Henry took a pair of scissors, and he then proceeded to stab his child with them. The Baby's head then transforms into the planet at the beginning of the film, and it explodes. The final shot of the film involves the Woman in The Radiator returning to embrace Henry while the scene is engulfed in light.
In many interpretations of this film, Henry is believed to have actually been suffering from a mental illness and that the entire plot is actually just his delusions. It is also believed that the Baby was actually normal looking, but Henry's mind interpreted the child as being an abomination that needed to be killed. The final scene could imply that Henry committed suicide at the end after he realized what he had done.
- Henry is portrayed by Jack Nance.