Friday, April 17, 2009

Movie Review: Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER - DVD Cover Image

Directed by John McNaughton
Written by Richard Fire and John McNaughton

Michael Rooker .... Henry
Tracy Arnold .... Becky
Tom Towles .... Otis

Henry is just like you or me. He's soft spoken, good looking, and polite. He's got a job and has a few close friends, just like us. Only difference is, Henry's a serial killer and a damn good one at that. Living by his golden rules of murder, Henry has killed at random and without mercy all across this country and the police have no clue. Pulling his old prison friend Otis into his world, Henry opens a can of worms for himself. Otis, armed with a video camera and anything sharp he can find, has to be kept on a very short leash. He's sexually depraved and possibly more disturbed than Henry himself.

To complicate matters, Otis's sister Becky has fallen for Henry and she wants them to run away together. Henry has feelings for her as well, but the problem is that Henry has a tendency to murder any woman he comes across. Can Otis control himself? Can love save Henry? Can you make it all the way through this movie in one sitting?

This movie is, far and away, one of the most brutally disturbing ever made. The harsh natural lighting and scarce but effective score do wonders for the mood and always keeps you on pins-and-needles. The gore is kept to a startling minimum, but you don't even notice because of the realistic portrayals of murder unfolding on screen. The supporting cast is great, but the real star here is Michael Rooker, who underplays the charming serial killer to a T. No matter how many movies I see him in, he will always be Henry to me.

HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER - Michael Rooker

Not for kiddies or the squeamish; Recommended for die-hards and “true-crime” fanatics only; Followed by an inferior sequel.

1986
Rated X/Unrated
83 Minutes
Color
United States
English

--J/Metro

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