I saw this pivotal serial killer film when it first came out, at the theater, and was impressed at how if really captured that disassociated feel of how such a killer operates.
Michael Rooker (SLITHER, WALKING DEAD), as Henry, gives an appropriate wooden performance as the psychopathic killer and the characters he interacts with, primarily Otis his roommate and Otis' visiting sister, are suitably strange. It was unsettling how matter of fact the slayings were.
I saw the film several more times in subsequent years and it held up. Well, I was surprised this time around, after not having seen it for twenty-years, how it was, well-disappointing. It's much funnier than I remember, primarily because of the over-the-top sound effects of screaming every time they showed the aftermath of one of his victims.
I think a large part of this has to do with having seen much more graphic and vicious movies in the past few decades, from the SAW FILMS to tv's AMERICAN HORROR STORY.
If you want a bloody, grim movie from the 80's that still holds up check out William Lustig's MANIAC (1980).