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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An astonishing film, great extras too.
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...
Published on 20 Jun. 2008 by Doc Benway

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Henry-uncut
I first watched this film over 10 years ago, around when it first came out and it was quite possibly the most disturbing film that I ever saw. Anybody that has ever seen the film will no doubt know that it suffered at the hands of the censor afterwards, but when I saw the 'Uncut' version was available again, curiosity got the better of me and I wanted to see it again just...
Published on 23 Mar. 2004


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE BEST SERIAL KILLER FILM FINALLY UNCENSORED IN THE UK, 17 Oct. 2008
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This review is from: Henry - Portrait Of A Serial Killer [Uncut] [DVD] (DVD)
It's a shame the BBFC treated this film that badly and it took so long to be released uncut, just proving that nobody at the BBFC Office understood this film. This is a serious and shocking approach to the genre of serial killer films, but not a mindless slasher film such as the Friday the 13th films. HENRY - PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER reflects more the psychological side of it. Yes, it is violent, but don't expect the typical MANIAC or FRIDAY THE 13TH gore. Actually this isn't even a real horror film. Unlike FRIDAY THE 13TH, SCREAM, and all the others (that passed the BBFC uncut a long time ago) HENRY does not glorify the violence and can no doubt be referred to as a very important film.
Michael Rooker gives a stunningly realistic performance as Henry (even better than Joe Spinell's performance in MANIAC and that is saying a lot). This film portrays sick minds (not only Henry's) but not to show brutal murders but to show thy psychological aspect of it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The most horrifying film ever made about a serial killer's mind., 24 Jun. 2013
This review is from: Henry - Portrait Of A Serial Killer [Uncut] [DVD] (DVD)
Henry Portrait of a Serial Killer was loosely based on the life and killings of real life killer Henry Lee Lucas, famed American serial killer who now resides on death row somewhere in Texas. Director John McNaughton crafted an incredible film given its almost repugnant content and miniscule budget. The low budget look, the pacing, and the almost documentary style of the film really go a long way to making Henry effective. Another plus for the film is the acting of the three main characters.

Michael Rooker gets most of the acclaim, but I think Tracy Arnold and especially Tom Towles give equally strong performances. It's a nice job by three unknowns (at least unknown to many people). Henry (Michael Rooker) is the ordinary looking guy that you might end up meeting in the streets who just can't get that taste for murder out of his mouth. It all started because he was an abused child. His mother was a tramp who made him watch her having sex with other guys. She even made him wear dresses while laughing at him, which really messed him up. No wonder he killed her.

When an animal taste human blood, it's hard to keep it from coming back for more. This could never be truer than with Henry. Henry leaves a trail of bodies behind him (evident in the disturbing opening montage of the film) as he drifts into his new hunting ground. He later shacks up with his partner in crime named Ottis (Tom Towles), whom he met in prison. There he also meets and catches the eye of Otis sister, Becky (Tracy Arnold).

Henry begins to show Ottis his murderous ways and he decides to come along for the ride. The mayhem that follows is some of the most disturbing, yet exhilarating stuff ever shot on celluloid. This film is a definite "must see" for any horror fan. The film is an excellent case study in horror. I won't say that about it's serial killers angle, but its honest approach rather than campy ones of other slasher films put it heads and shoulders above the competition in this arena. Filming the movies from Henry's viewpoint, rather than from the victims' or the cops who are trying to track him down, was very original.

By the way this review is for the region 1 edition by MPI, it's quite old but the picture quality was great. Special features include, Recollections by director John McNaughton where the director talks about the problems he faced whilst making the film and trying to release the film on time and issues revolving censorship ect. We also have trailers for Henry 1 and 2, Behind the scenes notes, filmographies and a director's commentary track. Henry Portrait of a Serial Killer comes highly recommended, no doubt this excellent and highly disturbing film is one of the best horror films of the 80's.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A truly unforgettable experience, 11 April 2013
This review is from: Henry - Portrait Of A Serial Killer [Uncut] [DVD] (DVD)
The tagline to this film is "He's not Freddy. He's not Jason. He's real.", and this is why this notorious little shocker is so good. Henry is real, based on Henry Lee Lucas (although he'd presumably pass as any other serial killer, and when he kills he kills not to showcase special effects or to impress audiences; he kills because it is in his nature to kill, because killing happens every day, because killing is truly awful and it is not something to be relished in.

As you can imagine, this is a very hard film to watch, and to date remains the only film that has genuinely depressed me. But that's part of the strength of the film, and is in fact why I think it's a truly great film; it doesn't shy away from the very harsh truths. It has a persistent and undeniable honesty with regards to the subject matter that means that this is never just exploitation; there is a genuine message being made here, and whilst it is not a nice one, it is a true one and this film can be admired for making it in the way that it does.

Michael Rooker puts in a bland, passive performance as a bland, passive man, aside from when he's killing, when he develops a blind rage. The moment when him and Otis watch the "home video" (the film's most powerful moment, matched only by the clear homage in Man Bites Dog) is a moment of chilling joy; their laughs will stay with you for days...

The whole film, in fact, takes on the qualities of an unwanted guest at a party; it refuses to leave you and becomes genuinely unpleasant. This sounds like a damning criticism, but in reality the film could not be told any other way.

In an age when films are content to shock and awe and little substance, this film is something to treasure; a film that uses the violence to convey the ideas, ála Funny Games, Martyrs and Man Bites Dog. Those films are masterpieces in this reviewers opinion, and so is this.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dark and Disturbing but Not Really a Horror, 23 Jan. 2013
By 
Leven1 (West Lothian) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Henry - Portrait Of A Serial Killer [Uncut] [DVD] (DVD)
First of this film is not about Henry Lee Lucas. If anything it is an imagining based on the general story of Mr Lucas. The names may be used but that is about all that is true (although it is likely that he murdered Becky). The real Henry Lee Lucas was a small ugly, dirty looking little man (brilliant though Rooker's perfomance is, it is not Henry. Rooker portrays him more as the strong silent loner type).

He was an alcoholic, transient, thief and sexual deviant. His friendship with Otis was also sexual at times and the Becky he married was a cousin or niece of Otis not a sister. She was also much younger around 13/14 not a grown woman. However, Lucas also wasn't as terrible as is often thought. Yes he killed at least 3 people (Becky, his mother and an eldery lady who was helping him by giving him work) but it is likely that that is all he killed. The rest were mostly just stories he made up or confessions he made to Police looking to clear up unsolved crimes.

This film was marketed as a horror and that was a mistake. Yes horrifc things happen in it but it is more a study of a man on the edge of society, who happens to be a serial killer. The film makes no attempt to fully explain Henry's reasons for doing what he does but it does hint at them and leaves you to fill in the blanks. This is the sort of film that is as good as a book as you need to interpret and use your imagination. It was also one of the most disturbing films I have seen.

It is not filled with gore (is fake blood and brains really that scary?) but it shows the depressingly awful lives of those on the margins of society, those without the moral compasses that most of us possess. The film is slow moving, graphic, depressing, dark and very bleak and to me that is scarier than the SAW type bloodfests and more interesting than a 100 miles an hour thrill ride of a film.

If you are looking for a horror in the traditional sense then stay clear of this you will most likely find it too slow and not gory or exciting enough. But if you like atmospheric dark films then you should love this.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Be careful, you will remember it..., 24 April 2013
By 
Pete Johnson "Pete Johnson" (Norfolk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Henry - Portrait Of A Serial Killer [Uncut] [DVD] (DVD)
This 1986 film deals with the very American subject, of the man-next-door serial killer. Henry is not raving mad, and holds down a regular job at times. He and his friend Otis like to go out for a few beers, pick up prostitutes or hitch-hikers, and kill them.
Henry likes to consider his crimes, and to think through them, and in this manner, avoids detection. Otis becomes addicted to this life of murder, robbery, and rape; he eventually introduces his sister to his friend, and her and Henry become involved. The lead part is played by Michael Rooker, not famous by name, though recognisable from numerous film and TV roles. He brings a worrying normality to the role, often charming and completely reasonable, then chillingly sadistic, without remorse, or morals.
This film has its say on a part of society that, thankfully, we can only imagine; but a part that is with us, and around us, unseen but ever present. Most of the killings in the film are portrayed in the before and after, with what actually occurred, best left to the imagination. There is one very disturbing scene, where the friends terrorise a married couple, and it is viewed through the viewfinder of a camcorder, as the pair film their terrible deeds.
I could only watch this film once, and although it sounds like a strange thing to say, I am glad that I have seen it.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A VERY GOOD AND BRUTAL FILM !! !! !! !!, 6 July 2006
By 
M. Western "Zombie" (Wakefield, West yorkshire, Enagland, Eurpoe, Earth, Some random 'milky way') - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Henry - Portrait Of A Serial Killer [Uncut] [DVD] (DVD)
This is a great film!

Not only is it a more than good film for slasher fans, its a brilliant documantary style film that has a brilliant effect on the viewer and shows you how henry lived. How he changed and what its like in his mind. Hs insanity is expressed and shown amazoingly by the great acting, surprisingly good for a film of such unpopularity. And although of its low budget this film doesnt seem to look that bad and is of a decent quality.

And as you may know, this is a very violent film, not partivulary bloody, but rather sadistic and disturbing for some people of a weak disposition. And there is quiet alot of killing in this film, giving it a large bodycount. Although it never really turns into a slasher film, it still remains in its origonal form, which is a brillinat film about the true events that happend to Henrya nd because of Henry. And although most of the film is fictonal it was based on true events.

This is a great film that anyoen should watch, just because of what it is. A fantastic but brutal film...
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Henry-uncut, 23 Mar. 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Henry - Portrait Of A Serial Killer [Uncut] [DVD] (DVD)
I first watched this film over 10 years ago, around when it first came out and it was quite possibly the most disturbing film that I ever saw. Anybody that has ever seen the film will no doubt know that it suffered at the hands of the censor afterwards, but when I saw the 'Uncut' version was available again, curiosity got the better of me and I wanted to see it again just to see if it was as bad as what I remember all those years ago.
I have to say that it was extremely disappointing, most of the infamous scenes of this film are gone and in some places seem to have been cut or even completely reworked, leaving the film almost hollow inside. To say that this film is uncut is a complete lie as the director John Macnaughton actually talks about the cut scenes and why he had to cut them in one of the extras on the DVD.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hooked until the very end!!, 20 July 2009
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This review is from: Henry - Portrait Of A Serial Killer [Uncut] [DVD] (DVD)
This film is incredible!! I watched it for the first time last night, being 25, I wasn't around when this was first created.
What a masterpiece!! Gripping and shocking from the very first scenes of the aftermath Henry left.

I disagree with those who couldn't warm to Henrys character at all. Yes, he was chilling, but now having read his background (accurately represented by the film makers) it's easy to see that his upbringing made him who he was and I almost felt empathy for him. He was shy, uncomfortable with people showing him affection, unsure of himself and detatched from the 'real world'. Yes, he was messed up in the head beyond words, but the film showed that vunerabilty in him.

Excellent directing for that era and better scripting than any modern day CGI filled re makes you get now!

A truly epic film which gave me freaky dreams, couldn't keep my eyes off the screen or keep my jaw off the floor. Even made me giggle at times, Henry and Otis sure are a crazy pair! Haha!

P.s. Poor Becky! :P
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wasn't a massive fan but its watchable, 3 Dec. 2010
This review is from: Henry - Portrait Of A Serial Killer [Uncut] [DVD] (DVD)
I can't say this is easy to watch, in that its a bit slow and dated now, however it is very frightening at the ease of which the murders take place. The fact this is based on true life events is also a disturbing thought. Michael Rooker is brilliant in his role, worth a watch for his abilities to engage and horrify the audience.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most disturbing movies!, 8 July 2009
This review is from: Henry - Portrait Of A Serial Killer [Uncut] [DVD] (DVD)
Henry is based on confessions of a serial killer named Henry Lee Lucas.The film is sort of a docmentary of a couple of days in his life.This version is totally uncut and will have you sick to your stomach.There is a home invasion scene where a family is brutalised.I think this will sicken even the hardest horror fans!
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