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
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 »
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.
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