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
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 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 »
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 »
I'd like to kill somebody.
Say that again.
I'd like to kill somebody.
Let's me and you go for a ride, Otis
See more »
Before the film begins the following can be read: "This film is a fictional dramatization of certain events. 'Henry' is not intended to be an accurate portrayal of a true story. The film is based partly on confessions of a person named Henry, many of which he later recanted. As to Otis and Betty, the film is fictional." See more »
I am 57 years old. I've seen many films in my lifetime. I am not easily frightened or upset by movies. I am partial to drama and documentaries. I can count on one hand the films that I have found to be so deeply disturbing, that I later regretted seeing them.This film is among them. It is possible to "see too much" in this life, and once seen, some sights remain trapped in your head FOREVER short of getting a lobotomy, or being
hypnotized. Leaving the theater that day, I honestly felt as though I had actually witnessed several murders. I was really shaken by the horrific realism of this cinematic event. I was sorry that I had seen the film, but it was too late to retract the terror that, even today, still remains in my memory. Some things are so
emotionally damaging, that perhaps they should be left alone. This film was so powerfully unsettling for me, that I feel a need to warn others of the emotional impact. This speaks well of the directors skill at scaring movie-goers, but
approach with caution please. This is a very heavy movie. The Honeymoon
Killers is another film that I regret seeing. Would that I could forget that
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