Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)

Unrated  |   |  Crime, Drama, Horror  |  7 September 1990 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.0/10 from 22,258 users  
Reviews: 202 user | 130 critic

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


Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

9 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Maniac (1980)
Crime | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A psychopath, troubled by his childhood abuse, loose in New York City, kills young women and takes their scalps as his trophies. Will he find the perfect woman in a photographer, and end his killing spree?

Director: William Lustig
Stars: Joe Spinell, Caroline Munro, Abigail Clayton
Re-Animator (1985)
Comedy | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A dedicated student at a medical college and his girlfriend become involved in bizarre experiments centering around the re-animation of dead tissue when an odd new student arrives on campus.

Director: Stuart Gordon
Stars: Jeffrey Combs, Bruce Abbott, Barbara Crampton
Crime | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

Henry II picks up where the original (Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer) left off. Henry (Neil Giuntoli) takes a thankless job at a port-o-john company where he meets husband and wife, Kai... See full summary »

Director: Chuck Parello
Stars: Penelope Milford, Neil Giuntoli, Mike Houlihan
Man Bites Dog (1992)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A film crew follows a ruthless thief and heartless killer as he goes about his daily routine. But complications set in when the film crew lose their objectivity and begin lending a hand.

Directors: Rémy Belvaux, André Bonzel, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Benoît Poelvoorde, Jacqueline Poelvoorde-Pappaert, Nelly Pappaert
Audition (1999)
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A widower takes an offer to screen girls at a special audition, arranged for him by a friend to find him a new wife. The one he fancies is not who she appears to be after all.

Director: Takashi Miike
Stars: Ryo Ishibashi, Eihi Shiina, Tetsu Sawaki
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Five friends visiting their grandfather's house in the country are hunted and terrorized by a chain-saw wielding killer and his family of grave-robbing cannibals.

Director: Tobe Hooper
Stars: Marilyn Burns, Edwin Neal, Allen Danziger
Dahmer (2002)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Before his arrest and conviction for serial murders, chocolate factory worker Jeffrey Dahmer hunts Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for young attractive males to turn into unconscious (eventually dead... See full summary »

Director: David Jacobson
Stars: Jeremy Renner, Bruce Davison, Artel Great
Funny Games (1997)
Crime | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Two psychotic young men take a mother, father, and son hostage in their vacation cabin and force them to play sadistic "games" with one another for their own amusement.

Director: Michael Haneke
Stars: Susanne Lothar, Ulrich Mühe, Arno Frisch
Angst I (1983)
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A troubled man gets released from prison and starts taking out his sadistic fantasies on an unsuspecting family living in a secluded house.

Director: Gerald Kargl
Stars: Erwin Leder, Robert Hunger-Bühler, Silvia Rabenreither
Martyrs (2008)
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A young woman's quest for revenge against the people who kidnapped and tormented her as a child leads her and a friend, who is also a victim of child abuse, on a terrifying journey into a living hell of depravity.

Director: Pascal Laugier
Stars: Morjana Alaoui, Mylène Jampanoï, Catherine Bégin
Suspiria (1977)
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A newcomer to a fancy ballet academy gradually comes to realize that the school is a front for something far more sinister and supernatural amidst a series of grisly murders.

Director: Dario Argento
Stars: Jessica Harper, Stefania Casini, Flavio Bucci
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

During a night of 1983 with full lunar eclipse, Samantha Hughes takes a babysitting job surrounded by mysterious circumstances before she finds out her client's terrifying secret.

Director: Ti West
Stars: Jocelin Donahue, Tom Noonan, Mary Woronov


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 ...
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


He's not Freddy. He's not Jason. He's real. 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?


The film was shot on 16mm in 28 days with a budget of $110,000. It initially earned $600,000 on its (extremely limited) theatrical run, but has since gone on to earn millions on VHS and DVD, as well as theatrical re-releases. See more »


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 »


Store clerk: How about those Bears?
Henry: Fuck the Bears.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Referenced in Video Nasties: Moral Panic, Censorship & Videotape (2010) See more »


Lavalite Waltz
Written by Dan Haberkorn (as D. Haberkorn)
Performed by Dan Haberkorn
See more »

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 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
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

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: