Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer (1986)
Horror Movies & Sci-Fi Movies Database
What would you do if you found out that the person living right along side you is really a serial killer, who engages in bizarre acts of sex with people and animals, living and dead, who killed his own mother? Well, meet Henry. He is a typical under-paid bug spray guy who lives amongst you. He is not Freddy or Jason, he's real. Henry was serving time in jail for killing his mother. He cannot seem to keep his story straight in his head, he can't really recall how he killed that one. She was cruel to him. She made him wear a dress to school, and she made him watch her have sex with dirty old men. He couldn't take it anymore, so one day, he just killed her. No remorse. He hooked up with a friend named Otis, and the two are living together. Otis' sister is moving in too, because she doesn't have any money. They are an interesting trio, each with their own set of morals. Otis' sister begins to fall for Henry, who has wonderful manners and seems to look out for her. Otis on the other hand, he just wants to see his sister naked. Henry and Otis go out for beers one night, and Henry introduces him to the act of murder. They kill a few prostitutes, and a "hot" items salesman. There is no limit to what they will do once they get a taste for it. Otis is becoming quickly addicted, and he can't pull himself out of the web Henry has weaved. That poor girl has no idea what is going on with them. She begins to date Henry. The two appear to fall in love. The cops don't have a clue. Henry is too smart for them. If you shoot one, and stab another, they will never make the connection between the two murders. It all becomes so random that it seems normal death to the police. Henry also has transportation on his side. He travels from town to town once the heat gets too heavy. He can pick up a few hitchhikers on the way and kill them. Bingo! A new guitar. This movie is very shocking, because you only see one or two of the fifteen murders happen, the rest you just see the before and after, with no middle. It makes you wonder what the hell was going on in between.
Yeah, I killed my Mama...
Title: Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer
Release Date: September 24, 1986
Runtime: 83 mins
All Genres: Crime, Drama, Horror, Thriller
IMDB Rating: 7.2
Buried.com Rating: 8.2 - (Rate This Horror Movie at Buried.com)
Category: Horror Movies Starting With H
MPAA Rating: X
Mary Demas ...Dead Woman / Dead Prostitute / Hooker #1
Michael Rooker ...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
Tracy Arnold ...Becky
Tom Towles ...Otis
David Katz ...Henry's Boss
John Scafidi ...Kid with Football #1
Benjamen Passman ...Kid with Football #2
Flo Spink ...Woman in Cadillac
Kurt Naebig ...High School Jock
Kristin Finger ...Hooker #2
Lily Monkus ...Woman in Beauty Shop
Ray Atherton ...Fence
Eric young ...Parole Officer
Rick Paul ...Shooting Victim
Peter Van Wagner ...Bum #1
Tom McKearn ...Bum #2
Frank Coronado ...Bum #3 (as Frank Coranado)
Lisa Temple ...Murdered Family - Wife
Brian Graham ...Murdered Family - Husband
Sean Ores ...Murdered Family - Son
» [more cast members]
Malik B. Ali
Waleed B. Ali
Steven A. Jones
Steven A. Jones
Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer Horror Film Trailer 1
"Too Old for These Blues"
"Waiting in the Garden"
"Fingers on It"
"Don't You Know"
"There's Another Girl"
More Movie Taglines:
- Yeah, I killed my Mama...
- He's not Freddy. He's not Jason. He's real.
- before "The Silence of the Lambs" comes the most highly acclaimed and controversial film of the year."
- Store clerk: How about those Bears? Henry: Fuck the Bears.
Becky: I don't want to talk about Leroy! Otis: Okay, we don't have to talk about him! You hungry? Becky: Yeah. Otis: Good, I'm hungry too. I wonder if Leroy's hungry. (laughs)
Becky: I love you, Henry. Henry: I guess I love you too.
Otis: I'd like to kill somebody. Henry: Say that again. Otis: I'd like to kill somebody. Henry: Let's me and you go for a ride, Otis
Henry: If you shoot someone in the head with a .45 every time you kill somebody, it becomes like your fingerprint, see? But if you strangle one, stab another, and one you cut up, and one you don't, then the police don't know what to do. They think you're four different people. What they really want, what makes their job so much easier, is pattern. What they call a modus operandi. That's Latin. Bet you didn't know any Latin, did you kid? Otis: Big fucking deal. Henry: What? Otis: Nothing. Henry: It's like a trail of shit, Otis. It's like the blood droppings from a deer you shot, and all they've got to do is follow those droppings, and pretty soon, they're going to find their deer. Otis: Why don't you use a gun? Henry: You can use a gun. I'm not saying you can't use a gun. Just don't use the same gun twice.
- After filming the family massacre scene, actor Tom Towles (Otis) insisted that actress Lisa Temple (who plays the mother) go to the casualty department because he was convinced he had injured her neck for real when he snapped it. Temple herself was confidant that no damage had been done, but for Towles' piece of mind, she did go to casualty, where she received a clean bill of health. Over time, this story has evolved into an urban myth that Temple had to go to hospital because she was so traumatized by shooting the scene, the content of which the filmmakers had concealed from her prior to shooting. As she herself tells it in Portrait: The Making of 'Henry' (2005) (V), there is no truth in this story whatsoever. She went to the hospital purely as a precaution.
The character of Henry is loosely based upon the real life serial killer Henry Lee Lucas. As in the film, Lucas was acquainted with a fellow convict named Ottis Toole (although in the film, the character's name is only given as Otis). Additionally, Lucas became the lover of Toole's 11 year old niece, Frieda Powell, who lived with Lucas and Toole for a time and often went under the pseudonym of "Becky" (although in the film, Becky is Otis' sister, rather than his niece, and is considerably older than Powell was). Also as in the film, Lucas ultimately killed Becky. Furthermore, like the fictional Henry, the real Henry's mother worked as a prostitute from her house, often forcing him to watch her whilst she had sex, and occasionally making him wear a dress. The real Henry's father had also lost both his legs in an accident, prior to which he had been a truck driver, just like the fictional character. However, the actions of the fictional Henry are inspired not by Lucas' real crimes, but by his fabricated ones. In prison, Lucas confessed to over 600 murders, claiming he committed roughly one murder a week from 1975 to 1983. Ultimately however, the vast majority of these claims turned out to be false, whilst many of the rest could not be substantiated one way or the other. Lucas was simply confessing to every unsolved murder brought before him because doing so ensured better conditions for him, as law enforcement officers would offer him incentives to 'confess'. Such confessions also increased his fame with the public. In the end, Lucas was convicted of eleven murders, and sentenced to death for the murder of Frieda Powell, although his death sentence was later commuted to life in prison by the then governor of Texas George W. Bush.
The movie playing on the television set, just before Otis breaks it, is Becket (1964), starring Richard Burton and Peter O'Toole.
Although completed in 1986, the film didn't get a theatrical release until 1989. It is often mistakenly claimed that this was due to it's being tied up in censorship issues with the MPAA, and although this is true to a degree, the majority of the delay occurred because the executive producers, Malik B. Ali and Waleed B. Ali were somewhat underwhelmed by the film turned in by director John McNaughton, and weren't sure it was even worth their time releasing it on VHS, let alone releasing theatrically. As McNaughton himself says, "they just put it on the self". Several years later, Chuck Parello (who would go on to direct Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, Part 2 (1996)) saw the film and was deeply impressed. Parello was working for the Ali brothers at the time, and he began to lobby them to do something with it. He convinced them to let it be screened at the Chicago Film Festival in 1989, where, after getting a glowing review from the Chicago Tribune's Rick Kogan, the film was accepted into the 1989 Telluride Festival and subsequently the 1990 Splatterfest Festival, becoming the sensation of both festivals. At this point, the Ali brothers realized they had something unique on their hands and set about promoting the film for theatrical release.
During its release limbo, tapes circulated around Hollywood which won many roles for Michael Rooker including one in Eight Men Out (1988).
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Murder, Serial Killer, Prostitute, Graphic Violence, Video Footage ...[more]
Rating: 8.2 out of 10.0 - 64 votes cast total