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Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)

Unrated | | Biography, Crime, Drama | 7 September 1990 (USA)
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Henry, a drifter, commits a series of brutal murders, supposedly operating with impunity.

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9 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Dead Woman / Dead Prostitute / Hooker #1
... 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
... Becky
... Otis
David Katz ... Henry's Boss
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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:

The shocking true story of Henry Lee Lucas. See more »


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 September 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Henry, retrato de un asesino  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$111,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$609,939
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (edited for TV)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John McNaughton and Tom Towles considered the character of Otis to be a comic buffoon, and they consciously presented the character in a darkly humorous manner. Interestingly, Towles, a former U.S. Marine, formal training was in improvisational comedy, not dramatic acting. See more »

Goofs

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

Becky: I love you, Henry.
Henry: I guess I love you too.
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

References Maniac (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

LeLania
Written by T.K. Thady
Performed by Kid Tater and The Cheaters
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Wholesome entertainment for all the family.
9 March 2003 | by See all my reviews

A flat disturbing film, almost documentary in scope which trawls the depths of the human condition. 'Henry' is not surprisingly often slated as a violent exploitation film, bundled together at Film Fairs with the Italian cannibal flicks of the 70's.

Make no mistake though, this is a highly commendable piece of movie-making, which tackles the subject of serial killers with the same no-holds-barred approach which 'M' did way back in 1931. By referencing the early Fritz Lang classic, I am intentionally comparing 'Henry' favourably with it. I would also say that Henry Rooker's performance is on a par with Peter Lorre's.

The film develops like a three-handed play, revolving around Henry's flat which he shares with former prison-mate, Otis. The trio is made up by Becky, the sister of Otis, who comes to visit.

We are introduced to Henry immediately as a killer and the story does exactly what it says it will in the film's title. We simply follow Henry throughout his daily routine. No mention is given to any police enquiries and Henry is oblivious to any notion of avoiding capture or covering his tracks. Much of the film's power comes from this nonchalant approach, whereby if a person doesn't register that something he is doing is wrong, then it quickly becomes almost acceptable.

Rooker, in the title role, is totally convincing and gives a chilling performance, free from the mannerism clichés which detract from more famous serial killer characters like Hannibal Lector and Norman Bates. I can only think of Kevin Spacey in 'Seven' (1995) giving a similar level of performance for this character-type.

Despite a couple of scenes whose violent content borders on the gratuitous, for the most part 'Henry' succeeds by relying on a suffocating atmosphere and it's down-beat characters.

Anyone without a sense of desolation at the end of the film must be devoid of their senses.

BEST SCENE - Henry and Otis enjoying a night in on the sofa, watching their recent home-video recordings, is one of the most disturbing scenes I can remember watching.


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