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Henry - Portrait Of A Serial Killer [Uncut] [DVD]


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Product details

  • Directors: John McNaughton
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Studiocanal
  • DVD Release Date: 26 May 2003
  • Run Time: 85 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000089ARP
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 21,865 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

A highly controversial film that took several years to be released on video. Henry (Michael Rooker) works as an exterminator and murders strangers for fun. He lives with drug dealer Otis (Tom Towles) and Otis's sister, Becky (Tracy Arnold), who has moved in with them to escape her abusive husband. When Henry shows Otis the ins and outs of serial killing, Otis takes to it with enthusiasm.

From Amazon.co.uk

Most horror films exist in a fantasy movie-world safely removed from our existence, populated by zombie-like killers and psychopathic madmen. The power of Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer is its chilling placement in the mundane existence of everyday life. Michael Rooker plays Henry not as a raving psychopath but as the frumpy guy next door, a drifter who takes out his frustrations on random victims and escalates his body count after teaming up with the violent ex-con Otis (Tom Towles). Though not exceedingly gory in light of the excesses of such fantasy horrors as the Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street series, director John McNaughton's straightforward presentation and documentary-like style creates a chilling realism that many viewers will find hard to watch. McNaughton neither comments on nor flinches at the brutal violence, which reaches its apex in a disturbing camcorder-eye view of a particularly sadistic murder of a middle-class couple, with Henry and Otis smiling through the deed as they record it for their continued pleasure. Henry straddles the line between True Crime (though fictional, the story was inspired by the confessions of real-life serial killer Henry Lee Lucas) and horror, a bleak, brutal kind of terror for a generation deadened by the escalating outrageousness of movie murders and nightly news crime scene clips. --Sean Axmaker, Amazon.com --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 13 Nov 2000
Format: DVD
I am refering to the VHS version and also I must point out to you that I have the UNCUT version which I bought from Amsterdam. The BBFC here cut out a very crucial scene that the director of the movie, John McNaughton was mystified by, due to the fact it explains so much about Henry and you the viewer, we all become voyeurs in Henry's twisted world. Anyway I am hoping that as it comes closer to the time we will find out if this DVD version is the same as the one in Europe and the US, I do hope so, being that I am totally opposed to censorship. First let me say that this movie is not for everyone, it's like no other serial killer movie you've seen. You are placed along side Henry and Ottis on a relentless murder spree, killing anyone, with anything. There are no heroic police detectives on there tail, no Denzal Washingtons or Jodie Fosters and above all NO HOLLYWOOD ENDING! This was the point of this movie, to show that it can happen to anyone, from any background or lifestyle. Henry is relentless, disturbing, frightning and just plain nasty. Serial Killer movies should have stopped here... The Oscar goes to Mr McNaughton. Watch it and be DISTURBED!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Simon McMahon VINE VOICE on 8 Nov 2005
Format: DVD
In reply to a previous reviewer who claimed this film was based on "a couple of dubious" charcters, I have to correct this. The film is loosely based on the acts of Henry Lee Lucas, a man who may or may not have been one of the world's worst serial killers (his confessions were rather confusing). He was definitely guilty of murder, and may be guilty of much worse. Whatever, dubious doesn't do this guy justice.
As to teh film, it is an excellent study of violence in films. The viewer is treated to a murder which is done in the "Hollywood" style. Henry and his cohort are set up as the heroes of the piece and kill a Bond-like villain. It is a comedic scene. Which makes the following murders all the more brutal as they are shot in a realistic and unpleasant way. The viewer is made to feel uncomfortable, we laughed at these guys before as they killed, now we want to look away.
Recommended.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Litania on 27 Jan 2007
Format: DVD
This is a disturbing film. Yes it has the blood and gore elements but they are quite redundant. What makes this movie so horrible is partly the fact that these people could your neighbours or relatives and you wouldn't have a clue, and partly their indifference to what is going on. The acting is good considering what they must have shooting some of the scenes. The overall atmosphere of the film is very fascinating - apathetic, deranged, careless. Even if you don't sympathize with what they do or why they do it, you cannot help being dragged into their twisted minds. It's all the more disturbing to find out that the real life of Henry Lee Lucas was even worse than the events of the film.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 23 Sep 2004
Format: DVD
"Henry" has a well deserved cult reputation. The films ability to shock and numb audiences is spoken in tones everytime its talked about. The film centres on a loner called Henry,who has murderous impulses. He lives with former prison mate, Otis, who sells drugs to young boys. Otis brings his sister, Becky, as she has left her abusive husband. This makes things complicated ans Otis feels neglected as he thinks Henry and her are getting close. Near the end, everything comes to a head and i wont give away the ending. This is loosely based on a real life killer named Henry Lee Lucas, who claimed to have killed 300 people. Despite its grim subject, this is essential yet disturbing viewing. Killers in other films like Hannibal Lecter are portrayed as anti heroic and quite comic at times. Henry, on the other hand, there is absolutley nothing to like about him. He kills with no remorse and it doesnt matter who dies either (even though they are mostly women). What makes this film effective is not the deaths we see, its the aftermath of some of them and the only thing we hear are the sounds of them dying. Its the power of using the imagination what makes it scary. This is not for everyone. But if you have a strong stomach or are curious, this is definitley something that you will not forget
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Doc Benway on 20 Jun 2008
Format: DVD
It has been years since I watched Henry on its initial theatrical release. I'm glad that I waited for an uncut release courtesy of the increasingly liberal BBFC to view it again.
Henry has lost none of it's power or intelligence over the years. As with "Peeping Tom" it raises questions of the viewer as to their motivations for watching, and responses to, the violence on show. The film has a grainy lo-fi edge that only adds to it's realism, but the cinematography is never less than stunning, as is the acting.
As it unfolds, the film becomes perhaps the definitive exploration of violence in American society. Henry's motivations as an extremely damaged product of a horrendous childhood are unflinchingly revealed in the intelligent and unsensational script, and we learn more than is comfortable about Ottis and Becky's family life. Dysfunctional families' roles in creating such warped humans has never been more brutally conveyed.
From a directorial point of view the variety of methods of depicting violence (from exploitative, almost comedic, gritty close-quarters grappling and gouging and ultimately horribly and skin-crawlingly sadistic in the infamous 'home invasion' sequence) is masterful, implicating the viewer in deeply uncomfortable ways in the mayhem, and it is a testament to McNaughton's skill that the whole holds together as well as it does.
This film is unlikely to please those seeking a slasher flick with a mounting bodycount, but is a fascinating study of repellent human beings (who have real emotional lives and interactions) for those seeking a cinema-verite journey to the heart of urban darkness. Henry is at once savage, frightening and deeply sad as an unflinching depiction of the lowest level of American society, the adult children of brutal messed-up families.
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