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Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)

Unrated  |   |  Crime, Drama, Horror  |  7 September 1990 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 21,886 users  
Reviews: 200 user | 129 critic

Based on the true life serial killer, Henry Lee Lucas.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mary Demas ...
Dead Woman / Dead Prostitute / Hooker #1
Anne Bartoletti ...
Elizabeth Kaden ...
Dead Couple - Wife
Ted Kaden ...
Dead Couple - Husband
Denise Sullivan ...
Floating Woman
Anita Ores ...
Mall Shopper #1
Megan Ores ...
Mall Shopper #2
Cheri Jones ...
Mall Shopper #3
Monica Anne O'Malley ...
Mall Victim
Bruce Quist ...
Erzsebet Sziky ...
Tracy Arnold ...
Tom Towles ...
David Katz ...
Henry's Boss


Loosely based on serial killer Henry Lee Lucas, 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. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The shocking true story of Henry Lee Lucas. See more »


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

7 September 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Henri, portret serijskog ubice  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$111,000 (estimated)


$609,939 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (edited for TV)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Although the MPAA initially gave the film an X-Rating, this movie, along with Peter Greenaway's The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989) and Pedro Almodóvar's Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (1989), were the main reasons for the creation of the NC-17 rating (an adults-only film which is non-pornographic). See more »


Just after Becky buys a newspaper and sits down to read, a vehicle goes past and we see a camera on a tripod to the far right of the shot. See more »


Otis: Adios, motherfucker.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Before the film begins the following can be read: "This film is a fictional dramatization of certain events. 'Henry' is not intended to be an accurate portrayal of a true story. The film is based partly on confessions of a person named Henry, many of which he later recanted. As to Otis and Betty, the film is fictional." See more »


Referenced in Post Traumatic: An American Nightmare (2009) See more »


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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

What A Sick (But Fascinating) Film!
4 October 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This low-budget film gets high marks because it's entertaining, despite the perversity of the subject matter. It's only 83 minutes long and it moves very fast. Some will be turned off big-time with the shocking brutality of this film, but that's what it is about - a cold-blooded killer (Michael Rooker, playing real-life killer Henry Lee Lucas) with seemingly no conscience, and a stupid partner (Tom Towles as "Otis Toole"), who is about as bad.

"Chilling" is a good word to describe these guys.

The only part of the movie which was repugnant to me was the scene in with Rooker and Towles break into a house, terrorize a woman and videotape it. Other than that, this is fun to watch in a sick way. This, and the French movie, "Man Bites Dog," are the two movies in my collection I am embarrassed (morally speaking) to say I own and find fascinating to watch.

There are only three main actors in this film: Rooker, Towles (playing fellow killer, Otis Toole, a real dumb-ass trashy character) and his kid sister, "Becky" (Tracy Arnold). All three are extremely interesting.

The rest of the people are all victims of those two guys who go on a killing spree that is almost a daily occurrence for a short time. It's absurd, but that's the story. It caused quite a star when it was released. It was given a rare NC-17 rating. Nowadays, it would be "R" with no fanfare.

This is a very sick story, but it sure is interesting.

21 of 30 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Is this movie actually SCARY? szegarra92
Otis abhorred me more than Henry did! looker7
I wonder if John Walsh ever saw this... kmay144
This movie reminds me of (SPOILERISH) polinomi0

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