IMDb > Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)
Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
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Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986) More at IMDbPro »

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Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer -- Based on the true life serial killer, Henry Lee Lucas.

Overview

User Rating:
7.1/10   19,487 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Richard Fire (written by) &
John McNaughton (written by)
Contact:
View company contact information for Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
September 1990 (USA) See more »
Tagline:
The shocking true story of Henry Lee Lucas. See more »
Plot:
Based on the true life serial killer, Henry Lee Lucas. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Awards:
10 wins & 7 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(229 articles)
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User Reviews:
Harrowing and real. See more (201 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
Mary Demas ... Dead Woman / Dead Prostitute / Hooker #1

Michael Rooker ... Henry
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 ... Becky
Tom Towles ... Otis
David Katz ... Henry's Boss
John Scafidi ... Kid with Football #1
Benjamen Passman ... Kid with Football #2
Flo Spink ... Woman in Cadillac

Kurt Naebig ... High School Jock
Kristin Finger ... Hooker #2
Lily Monkus ... Woman in Beauty Shop
Ray Atherton ... Fence
Eric Young ... Parole Officer
Rick Paul ... Shooting Victim

Peter Van Wagner ... Bum #1
Tom McKearn ... Bum #2
Frank Coronado ... Bum #3 (as Frank Coranado)

Lisa Temple ... Murdered Family - Wife
Brian Graham ... Murdered Family - Husband
Sean Ores ... Murdered Family - Son
Pamela Fox ... Hair Stylist
Waleed B. Ali ... Store Clerk
Donna Dunlap ... Dog Walker
Augie the Dog ... Delores
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Directed by
John McNaughton 
 
Writing credits
Richard Fire (written by) &
John McNaughton (written by)

Produced by
Malik B. Ali .... executive producer
Waleed B. Ali .... executive producer
Lisa Dedmond .... producer
Steven A. Jones .... producer
John McNaughton .... producer
 
Original Music by
Ken Hale 
Steven A. Jones 
Robert McNaughton 
 
Cinematography by
Charlie Lieberman (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Elena Maganini 
 
Casting by
Jeffery Lyle Segal 
 
Art Direction by
Rick Paul 
 
Costume Design by
Patricia Hart 
 
Makeup Department
Michael J. Alonzi .... makeup effects crew
Chuck Gatz .... hair stylist
Herb Nordheimer .... makeup effects crew
Bernd Rantscheff .... makeup artist (as Berndt Rantscheff)
Jeffery Lyle Segal .... special makeup effects artist
Scott Whitehead .... makeup effects crew
 
Production Management
Lisa Dedmond .... production manager
Steven A. Jones .... post-production supervisor
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Andrew Bradburn .... second assistant director
Paul Chen .... first assistant director
 
Art Department
Frank Coronado .... storyboard artist
Rick Paul .... property master
Rick Paul .... set dresser
 
Sound Department
Cory Coken .... sound editor
Ric Coken .... post-production sound mixer (as Rick Coken)
Dan Haberkorn .... sound effects
Elena Maganini .... post-production sound editor
Jim Moore .... rerecording assistant
Louie Quiroz .... assistant post-production sound mixer
Steve Wilburn .... sound re-recording assistant
Thomas T. Yore .... sound recordist
 
Special Effects by
Lee Ditkowski .... technical effects
 
Stunts
Paul M. Lane .... stunts
David Woolley .... fight coordinator
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Dave Buckley .... grip
Brian Graham .... grip
Dave Mahlman .... assistant camera
Paul Petraitis .... still photographer
Bernd Rantscheff .... still photographer (as Berndt Rantscheff)
Bradley Sellers .... assistant camera (as Brad Sellars)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Patricia Hart .... wardrobe
 
Music Department
Steven A. Jones .... musical director
 
Other crew
Richard Fire .... acting coach
Melanie Hecht .... script supervisor
Steven A. Jones .... title designer
David Le Boy .... title designer (as David LeBoy)
Bradley Magon .... production assistant
 
Thanks
Kevin Dougherty .... special thanks
Greg Doyle .... special thanks
Tommy Dubois .... special thanks
Mic Fabus .... special thanks
Neil Flynn .... special thanks (as Neal Flynn)
Judith Gold .... acknowledgment: Chuck Gatz courtesy of
Steven Hager .... special thanks
Larry Hart .... special thanks
Bob Jorgenson .... special thanks
Jeanette Jorgenson .... special thanks
C.J. Kavooras .... special thanks
Alex Kerr .... special thanks
Charles Michaels .... special thanks
Becky Passman .... special thanks
Elizabeth Passman .... special thanks
Paul Petraitis .... special thanks
Wendy Sander .... special thanks
Mike Sandlass .... special thanks
Laura Storto .... special thanks
Barb Sun .... special thanks
Greg Sun .... special thanks
Pat Thompson .... special thanks
Cath Whitney .... special thanks
James Young .... special thanks
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
83 min | Australia:77 min | Norway:78 min | Sweden:78 min | Italy:75 min (edited for TV)
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Argentina:18 | Australia:R (uncut) (2005) | Canada:18+ (Quebec) | Chile:18 | Finland:K-18 (uncut) (DVD rating) (2001) | Finland:K-16 (cut) (1998) | Finland:K-18 (cut) (1997) | Finland:(Banned) (1992) | Finland:K-18 (cut) (1992) | France:-16 (with warning) | Iceland:16 (original rating) | Iceland:(Banned) (video rating) | Ireland:18 | Italy:VM18 (1992) | Netherlands:16 | New Zealand:R18 (cut) | New Zealand:(Banned) (uncut) | Norway:18 | Portugal:M/18 | South Korea:18 | Sweden:15 | Sweden:18 (original DVD rating) | UK:18 | USA:Unrated | USA:X (original rating) (rating surrendered) | West Germany:18
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Even members of the filmmaking team themselves have been disturbed by the film. Composer Robert McNaughton couldn't watch the film right the way through upon first seeing it, and actor Tom Towles (Otis) has only ever seen the film once, at the Splatterfest Film Festival in 1990.See more »
Goofs:
Crew or equipment visible: 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 »
Quotes:
Henry:It's always the same and it's always different.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Borrower (1991)See more »
Soundtrack:
LeLaniaSee more »

FAQ

What's the purpose of the unusual sound effects used several times throughout the film?
What are the deleted scenes on the DVD?
Who are the five dead bodies seen early in the movie?
See more »
54 out of 63 people found the following review useful.
Harrowing and real., 1 January 2004
Author: Skeptic459 (nren006@ec.auckland.ac.nz) from Auckland, New Zealand.

The real Henry Lee Lucas had one of the worst childhoods that I have ever had the misfortune of reading about. Growing up in Texas, he lived with a family that was totally dysfunctional. He grew up in a shack, that had nothing more than a dirt floor. The father being a legless alcoholic, literally as well as figuratively. The mother worked as a prostitute. Henry was also forced into sexual activity with her clients. They forced him to dress as a girl and then would proceed to have sex with him. He was a child that grew up being raped.

He then grew up with such an intense rage that he became a serial killer. Are we surprised? Now, I am not trying to justify his behaviour. Rather, I am pointing out the fact that these people do not just fall out of the sky. There is no such thing as an inexplicable evil. That is, the person is just evil because they are. Yes, there seems to be some genetic evidence for psychopaths. However the majority do not become killers. The ones who become killers are made. If you are truly interested in what makes a psychopath, I suggest you read, 'Not Guilty by reason of Insanity ' by Dorothy Otnow Lewis. Serial killers are often portrayed as being like Hannibal Lecter. Smart and talented creatures that have suddenly lost their moral code. The truth is most are a psychological mess. Losers that are full of conflicting emotions. There is also strong evidence to suggest that these people are made by a specific form of brain damage. Basically when you combine trauma in childhood and frontal lobe brain damage, you end up with Henry.

This movie is what happens when people are treated in an utterly horrific way. Michael Rooker is excellent as a psychopath who seems normal but deep down harbours a psychotic rage against society. He and Otis travel around killing. Why? Why not? The pointlessness of their lives is perfectly captured. People complain about the lack of plot. I think it perfectly captures the plot. It shows the emptiness of these characters. In fact Henry and Otis feel nothing unless they are killing. The emotional side of the characters has been like killed off by previous abuses against them. They are not unlike the living dead. Even when Otis's sister shows some affection towards Henry he cannot reciprocate. He can't relate to people, he can only get off on torture and death. Yeah, this is shocking. But it is also incredibly sad.

Here in New Zealand there are many shocking drunk driving ads that they play to try and get people to stop this behaviour. I feel that this movie is like that. The movie is an ad for psychopaths, who they are and the dysfunctional psychological world that they inhabit. It is a film that honestly looks at these kinds of people. This certainly does not glorify these people, which is a criticism that has been levelled at the 'Silence of the Lambs' series. This is why I think it shocks people. The serial killer kills for visceral, physical pleasure. As Ted Bundy stated, 'I killed because I wanted to.' Maybe, this is where the film falls down. That the characters motivations are not explained well enough. But either way the viewer is given a shockingly realistic interpretation of a serial killers world.

Obviously this is a film that was made on a budget! But this just adds to the bleakness. In fact Chicago looks dirty, grimy and not like somewhere that you would visit. The performances of the rest of the cast are pretty average if not bad. So the film has some definite flaws. The exploitation factor is there. But then I think of films like Baise Moi and this film has nothing on that!

Overall I think this is an objective look at a world that those of us who come from normal backgrounds will find horrific. A world that we prefer would never exist, but however does exist. Maybe one day, as our society matures these people will cease to exist. Stories like these will become completely fictional. I really hope for that day. 7 out of 10.

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Henry's mother gonelunch1
Movies Like This One.... Frore
I wonder if John Walsh ever saw this... kmay144
worst date movie I ever rented! xsickpeoplex
Homer S. : Portrait of an Ass Grabber woodssd9
Otis abhorred me more than Henry did! looker7
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