7.0/10
23,439
201 user 133 critic

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)

Unrated | | Biography, Crime, Drama | 7 September 1990 (USA)
Trailer
1:54 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Henry, a drifter, commits a series of brutal murders, supposedly operating with impunity.

Director:

Reviews
9 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 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
Maniac (1980)
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    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
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
Manhunter (1986)
Crime | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Former FBI profiler Will Graham returns to service to pursue a deranged serial murderer named "the Tooth Fairy" by the media.

Director: Michael Mann
Stars: William Petersen, Kim Greist, Joan Allen
Dahmer (2002)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Biopic about notorious American serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, taking place in both the past and the present.

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

Two teenage girls head to a rock concert for one's birthday. While trying to score marijuana in the city, they are kidnapped and brutalized by a gang of psychotic convicts.

Director: Wes Craven
Stars: Sandra Peabody, Lucy Grantham, David Hess
Hellraiser (1987)
Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An unfaithful wife encounters the zombie of her dead lover; demons are pursuing him after he escaped their sadomasochistic underworld.

Director: Clive Barker
Stars: Andrew Robinson, Clare Higgins, Ashley Laurence
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Based on the Ed Gein case, a deranged rural farmer becomes a grave robber and murderer after the death of his possessive mother whom he keeps her corpse, among others, as his companions in his decaying farmhouse

Directors: Jeff Gillen, Alan Ormsby
Stars: Roberts Blossom, Cosette Lee, Leslie Carlson
Re-Animator (1985)
Comedy | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 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
Audition (1999)
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    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
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Two siblings visit their grandfather's grave in Texas along with three of their friends and are attacked by a family of cannibalistic psychopaths.

Director: Tobe Hooper
Stars: Marilyn Burns, Edwin Neal, Allen Danziger
Edit

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 ...
...
David Katz ...
Henry's Boss
Edit

Storyline

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

Taglines:

Yeah, I killed my Mama... See more »


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The four murder scenes seen in the first few minutes of the film were all based on real life murders which Henry Lee Lucas claimed to have committed, especially the first shot, where the body of the nude woman is posed in exactly the same position as a victim in a case involving Lucas. See more »

Goofs

Some obvious matte lines are seen in the film from time to time. See more »

Quotes

Henry: If you shoot someone in the head with a .45 every time you kill somebody, it becomes like your fingerprint, see? But if you strangle one, stab another, and one you cut up, and one you don't, then the police don't know what to do. They think you're four different people. What they really want, what makes their job so much easier, is pattern. What they call a modus operandi. That's Latin. Bet you didn't know any Latin, did you kid?
Otis: Big fucking deal.
Henry: What?
Otis: Nothing.
Henry: It's like a trail of shit, Otis....
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Slice and Dice: The Slasher Film Forever (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Psycho
Written by J. Roslie
Performed by The Sonics
©1965 Etiquette Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

one of the scariest movies ever made, period.
3 August 1999 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

With the BWP hype, a lot of talk of going around about "the scariest movie you've ever seen". Probably because I've seen over a thousand horror/fright/suspense/gore movies, I have trouble pinning it down. I can't name the scariest, I can name the top 5. As far as non-supernatural horror goes, this movie and Last House on the Left are the scariest movies I've ever seen.

I saw this at a film festival and the audience was very, very quiet. My friend and I just sat there quietly cowering most of the time. It's just way too realistic. The opening and closing are probably the most frightening, and we don't even see Henry killing anyone, just the bodies of his victims and their terrified screams in the background, echoing. It will give you chills down your spine. The stuff in the movie that scared me wasn't any big "jumps" or gore, just very disturbing, creepy moments (especially if you knew someone who was been the victim of a homicide, as I do). My friend I saw it with worked at the city prosecutors office and heard about plenty of local murder cases and said it rang very, very true to life. One of the most chilling scenes is early on, when Henry goes to a mall and just sits patiently in the parking lot, scanning. The camera looks coldly and calculatedly at different women in the parking lot from Henry's point of view. There are so many shots you almost start to wonder what the point of the scene is until it hits you: they are ALL potential victims, this is how he looks at women. I have always been careful as a woman whenever I am alone but after seeing the film, to this DAY I do not walk to my car alone at the mall without my mace in my hand, and I look all around me and never turn my back on anyone. The movie also does not glamorize the killing or violence against women at all.

Also, it's a good primer on home and personal safety. (a good rule- Do not EVER let a stranger into your house when you are home alone if you were not expecting him. In fact, after I saw this I never open the door when I am home alone and not expecting anyone, period. Think I'm paranoid? Watch this movie and see how safe you feel).

The plot sounds simple but it's not boring. The movie follows the exploits of Henry, a young man who is practically a textbook case of a serial killer (male, white, 30's, drifter, soft-spoken, shy). Conflict comes when his disgusting nasty inbred cousin Otis Toole stays with him, along with his pathetic sister. One night Otis and Henry pick up a couple of prostitutes and are having sex with them in the car. Henry kills both of them sort of offhandedly, with no more emotion than you would swat a fly. Otis starts joining him on his exploits. Henry is more sympathetic than Otis, however, because while Henry does these things because he is sick and doesn't have a choice, Otis seems to get off on them, and also should know better. Things sorta go downhill from there, and the sister complicates things because she is so desperately lonely that Henry starts to look good to her. It culminates in one of the most chilling, downbeat endings of all time.

After I saw this movie at the festival, I was lucky enough to be there when Michael Rooker, who plays the title character, came out and lectured and did Q & A. When I say lucky, I don't mean lucky that I got to meet a celebrity (though that was neat). I mean lucky that I was able to have proof immediately afterwards that this was just a movie. If the movie had ended and I just had to get up and go home, I probably wouldn't have gotten any sleep for about a week. He was very nice and personable, wore glasses and a blazer, not at all like his character. The thing I remember most clearly is someone asked him what kind of movies he liked and he replied, "I don't like horror movies, really, I like musicals". Everyone laughed for about 5 minutes, partially out of relief. BIG relief. See, it's just a movie, there's the actor right there, and ha-ha, he's actually very shy and charming and harmless, isn't that funny?

Even with all of that, I still find this one of the most disturbing, unsettling movies ever made. You haven't seen a really scary movie until you see this movie.


102 of 131 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) polisemia
Brilliant 80s Horror, not for likely truth of Henry donmunk321
Heath Ledger SalmanZaki1991

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?