Title: Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
Director: John McNaughton (The Borrower)
Cast: Michael Rooker, Tracy Arnold, Tom Towles
Review: There's only a handful of movies out there that you watch them and after wards you are left with this look of shock in your face. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer is one of them. Based on the real life exploits of serial killer Henry Lee Lucas, this films achieves a thing rare in todays horror films. It scares you.
Henry appears to be a regular guy. He works as an exterminator and lives in a little apartment in Chicago with his roommate Otis. They were both inmates in jail and now that they are both out, they decide to live in the same apartment. Things get complicated when Otis's sister Becky decides to move in with them because shes had some problems back home and because of her extreme loneliness she falls in love with Henry. Of course she doesn't know about his part time job as a vicious serial killer.
This movie really surprised me. As I watched it I couldn't help but think why the hell I had not seen this before. The reason is the film was made in 1986 and no studios were interested in it because of its graphic and realistic nature. Therefore it went straight to video in 1990. Well, it took me a while but I finally got around to watching this film and let me tell you, if you haven't seen this film and you call yourself a horror fan, well, get your ass off your couch and go and get it like right now! Its essential viewing my friends.
Now, some people might think that this film is all about gore and blood and the murders, and yes there's lots of that. But to me what really stood out were the performances. Michael Rooker does an incredible career making performance with Henry. Its strange but the way the character is portrayed he seems almost like a good guy when compared to for example his roommate Otis. Now there's a real scumbag if there ever was one, which brings me to another point about this movie. The characters are the lowest scumbags you will ever know! I mean, you don't want to meet these guys on the street. And the actor who plays Otis (Tom Towles), he really out did himself in making his character a real turd of a man. So my hats down to these two actors for doing some of the best acting I've ever seen on a horror movie. I also enjoyed Tracy Arnold playing Becky, Otis's sister. Her reactions towards some of the events rang very true, specially towards the end.
The writers of this film made sure that the tense moments were very effective. And strange thing is that some of the most tense moments have nothing to do with the actual murders being committed. I found the most tense moments were those between Otis and Henrys different personalities clashing or just the fact that you know that these two guys are certified lunatics so you know that any given situation can turn into a real bloodbath, every moment in this movie is just right there on the verge of going completely ballistic. So the intensity levels are high here thanks to some great performances and a solid script.
But whats a movie about a serial killer without some killings? Some well orchestrated murder set pieces? Well there's plenty of those in this movie since the real life Henry Lee Lucas reportedly killed hundreds of people. So right from the get go in the first scene you get a taste of Henrys work. Interesting thing is the way that the movie chooses to show you some of the killings. The director decided only to show the aftermath of the actual killing. He focuses on the corpse of the victim and then we chillingly hear how it all happened. I found this to be effectively creepy. By the way, John McNaughton the director used some really great sound effects to enhance the sequences. There's some gore here too, not everything is implied. And when things get gory...they get gory my friends. There's a scene involving a bathtub...wow. You'll see what I mean, don't wanna spoil any fun.
So, basically, this is one of those movies that makes you feel really uncomfortable as you watch it, but you just cant take your eyes off it. And at the same time you can appreciate how extremely well crafted this motion picture is. One thing is for damn sure, you wont feel like your watching the type of horror movie they make today. This is a solidly horrifying film that you wont soon forget.
Rating: 5 out of 5.
Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986) 1080p YIFY Movie
Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986) 1080p
Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer is a movie starring Michael Rooker, Tracy Arnold, and Tom Towles. Henry, a drifter, commits a series of brutal murders, supposedly operating with impunity.
IMDB: 7.05 Likes
The Synopsis for Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986) 1080p
Loosely based on serial killer , the film follows Henry and his roommate Otis who Henry introduces to murdering randomly selected people. The killing spree depicted in the film starts after Otis' sister Becky comes to stay with them. The people they kill are strangers and in one particularly gruesome attack, kill all three members of a family during a home invasion. Henry lacks compassion in everything he does and isn't the kind to leave behind witnesses - of any kind.
The Director and Players for Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986) 1080p
The Reviews for Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986) 1080p
Realistic, incredible performances. Solid horror film!Reviewed byspacemonkey_fgVote: 10/10
Title: Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
For these type of serial killer movies you never need a budget worth millions of dollars to let it work out. Often a shoe-string budget work out the best for this type its movies, because it contributes to the movie its unpleasant atmosphere. You can say that in these type of movies the amateurism and simplicity all adds to the creativity and overall effectiveness of the movie. The best known example of this is the original first "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre", from 1978.
This movie is far less known and also isn't blessed with such a great title. The title of this movie somewhat sounds something like a based on true-events TV movie, without any graphic images. But don't be fooled, for "Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer" is filled with graphic violence and other disturbing moments.
The movie feels and breaths an '70's atmosphere. Also the overall style of the movie is very '70's like, in a gritty, dark and very straightforward type of way. It also of course helps that the movie at times uses 'home-video' movie, in which we get to see the killings/rapes from the perpetrators perspective alone.
It isn't a movie that has a true beginning or ending, in terms of having a conclusion that puts an end to things. It has instead now got one of the best possible endings thinkable, that is shocking, unexpected and satisfying even though it doesn't put a definitive end to things.
The real story of Henry Lee Lucas is even more shocking and disturbing but also a lot longer and more complicated of course. It's far too much to put in a movie and then prevent it from getting ever overlong or starts repeating itself and remain original. This movie obviously had to make some choices and even decided to not only exclude a lot but also to change and add certain elements, which all strengthens the story in this case. The story might seem very simple at first sight now but is's perhaps the very same simplicity that makes the movie so great- and let things work out in it so effectively. It makes some great choices with its story and build up, that seem simple but are all thought out and constructed cleverly.
The movie features the then still unknown Michael Rooker in one of his earliest roles. None of the actors are that impressive within this movie, which gives Michael Rooker all the more room to shine in his role. He plays a great two faced character, that can be both kind and sort of shy as well as ruthless. He does this very convincingly within the movie.
But it are the graphic killings within the movie that makes this a really watchable one. It doesn't show all the killings how they happened but only just a few, which makes the impact of them work out all the more and adds to the reason why this movie is regarded by many as one of the most shocking one's.
A great and effectively shocking movie within its genre.
First off, If I sat here all damn day, and tried to think of an 80's horror movie that is equal to this one... well, it just wouldn't happen. Yet another fine example of a low budget bringing out the horror, within the horror. A story, with no moral, and no retribution. This is Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer.
Michael Rooker will forever haunt your dreams as Henry, a character based on serial killer, Henry Lee Lucas. Rooker just has that cold, merciless, look about him, perfect for the part. Henry is a drifter. Calm, and soft-spoken, actually mild-mannered on the outside. Underneath, an unspeakable rage with all the fury of hell, simmering inside him, constantly searching for someone, anyone to kill, for just a little peace of mind. As he passes through Chicago, Henry hooks up with an old friend from prison.
Meet Otis Toole, played to perfection by Tom Towles, a man, who was apparently born to play the role of "deranged redneck." Otis is the epitome of white trash. Probably more capable of rape than anything, that is, until Henry gets in his head.
Becky, Otis's sister is in town for awhile, so the bachelors have a little female company, which is fine with Otis, because he's just lookin' for a little lovin'. Unfortunately for Otis, Becky is more in to Henry, I guess she prefers the quiet type. Being naive and irritating, and having stupid hair is no reason to set such low standards.
Before we know it, Henry introduces the splendor of cold-blooded murder to Otis, who is a natural. At times, during their little outings, Otis comes off even more sadistic than Henry, although lacking the intelligence needed to have a successful killing career, besides, Henry's patience is running thin with this obnoxious redneck, plus, Becky is all up in his business, so it might be a good idea to hit the road soon.
They occasionally play Henry on the Independent Film Channel. IFC would kick ass if they played less watered-down "independence" and more outrageous B-cinema, like this. I would recommend the 20th anniversary DVD, with the documentary on what actually happened. What actually happened is even more brutal than the Portrait. Like all great horror epics, there must be a sequel, which must make money. Henry 2 is just OK, which, now that I think about it, would probably qualify the sequel as one of the best horror movies of the 90's, considering the 90's, and all. No cops, no justice, no rhyme, no reason, just evil destroying innocent, then, moving on. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer is some vile/dandy horror. For a better serial killer movie than Henry, check out... no, wait, this is it, seriously, it doesn't get any better than this. 10/10