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Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)

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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 19,499 users  
Reviews: 201 user | 120 critic

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

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Title: Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mary Demas ...
Dead Woman / Dead Prostitute / Hooker #1
...
Anne Bartoletti ...
Waitress
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 ...
Husband
Erzsebet Sziky ...
Hitchiker
Tracy Arnold ...
Tom Towles ...
David Katz ...
Henry's Boss
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Storyline

Henry likes to kill people, in different ways each time. Henry shares an apartment with Otis. When Otis' sister comes to stay, we see both sides of Henry; the "guy-next-door" and the serial killer. Low budget movie, with some graphic murder scenes. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He's not Freddy. He's not Jason. He's real. See more »


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

September 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Henri, portret serijskog ubice  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$111,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$609,939 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (edited for TV)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although completed in 1986, the film didn't get a theatrical release until 1989. It is often mistakenly claimed that this was due to its being tied up in censorship issues with the MPAA, and although this is true to a degree, the majority of the delay occurred because the executive producers, Malik B. Ali and Waleed B. Ali were somewhat underwhelmed by the film turned in by director John McNaughton, and weren't sure it was even worth their time releasing it on VHS, let alone releasing theatrically. As McNaughton himself says, "they just put it on the shelf". Several years later, Chuck Parello (who would go on to direct Henry II: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1996)) saw the film and was deeply impressed. Parello was working for the Ali brothers at the time, and he began to lobby them to do something with it. He convinced them to let it be screened at the Chicago Film Festival in 1989, where, after getting a glowing review from the Chicago Tribune's Rick Kogan, the film was accepted into the 1989 Telluride Festival and subsequently the 1990 Splatterfest Festival, becoming the sensation of both festivals. At this point, the Ali brothers realized they had something unique on their hands and set about promoting the film for theatrical release. See more »

Goofs

In the opening shot of the movie of a woman's body, the "dead" woman (Mary Demas) takes a few breaths towards the end of the shot, as seen by the movement of her stomach. The filmmakers point this out in the commentary, and show additional footage in the outtakes. See more »

Quotes

Henry: Otis, plug it in.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Special Thanks to: Tony the Cop James Marks Family The Edward Dedmond Family See more »

Connections

Referenced in Game On: Laura (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Jukin
Written by T.K. Thady
Performed by Kid Tater and The Cheaters
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The human mind can be pretty disturbing from time to time
1 August 2003 | by (the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls) – See all my reviews

As you probably know, this film is partly based on the confessions of the real Henry Lee Lucas. If you know that and see this movie, you can ask some serious question about how disturbing some of our fellow humans are. This man shows no emotions what so ever. Contact with other people is nearly impossible, no mercy, not wondering whether his victims have a family or how old they are...no nothing. You wonder if he even IS a human, no living creature can be so awful.

So, if you ask yourself all this during this movie, and I assure you will, you could say it's an excellent film. The mission of the movie itself has succeeded. The ideal atmosphere is achieved in the movie. Dark, melancholic, depressing...Director McNaughton really creates world you don't want to live in. Michael Rooker plays the role of his life and puts down one of the best acting performances ever. Sure, he's never honored with an Oscar or any other important price for his performance, but everyone who sees this movie knows it's true. Actually, when I first saw this film at the age of 9 ( Too young, I know) I thought this actor was in fact a real-life psycho. Henry talks with the same, aggressive tone of voice during the whole movie, his eyes seem to shoot fireballs when the camera looks like in them and his appearance makes you want to puke. Actually this film is pure genius for mainly one reason : you don't have sympathy for any of the characters. Most film, even is the whole cast play villains, there's always one you like. One character you create a sort of band with. In Henry: Portrait of a serial Killer you can only feel hate. Hate and disgust for Henry and for his companion Otis. Heck, you even start to hate the girl... For being so naive that is.

Although many persons are killed and many violence occurs, Henry certainly ain't a gore or bloody film. Many things are suggested but not shown, and in this case it's actually more or at least as scary as showing the actual murders. That's a quality you don't see in movies very much. Only the old horror movies from the 30's and 40's could do that. And now also Henry can. I advise everyone to see this movie, if they haven't already. Not just if you're a fan of horror or thrillers, but also if you appreciate good movies in general. Even the most critic movie buffs can only find this film terrific. It was on many many levels a very important film.


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Is this movie actually SCARY? szegarra92
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Otis abhorred me more than Henry did! looker7
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