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  • Henry - Portrait Of A Serial Killer [Uncut] [DVD]
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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: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000089ARP
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 11,094 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

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 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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12 of 13 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By wolfenstein on 10 Jan. 2008
Format: DVD
There's only a handful of movies out there that you watch them and after wards you are left with this look of shock in your face. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer is one of them. Based on the real life exploits of serial killer Henry Lee Lucas, this films achieves a thing rare in todays horror films. It scares you.

Henry appears to be a regular guy. He works as an exterminator and lives in a little apartment in Chicago with his roommate Otis. They were both inmates in jail and now that they are both out, they decide to live in the same apartment. Things get complicated when Otis's sister Becky decides to move in with them because shes had some problems back home and because of her extreme loneliness she falls in love with Henry. Of course she doesn't know about his part time job as a vicious serial killer.

This movie really surprised me. As I watched it I couldn't help but think why the hell I had not seen this before. The reason is the film was made in 1986 and no studios were interested in it because of its graphic and realistic nature. Therefore it went straight to video in 1990. Well, it took me a while but I finally got around to watching this film and let me tell you, if you haven't seen this film and you call yourself a horror fan, well, get your ass off your couch and go and get it like right now! Its essential viewing my friends.

Now, some people might think that this film is all about gore and blood and the murders, and yes there's lots of that. But to me what really stood out were the performances. Michael Rooker does an incredible career making performance with Henry. Its strange but the way the character is portrayed he seems almost like a good guy when compared to for example his roommate Otis.
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11 of 12 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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