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John's Horror Banana-nanza Episode Fifty-One : Henry Portrait of a Serial Killer
Michael Rooker takes a script written by John McNaughton and Richard Fire and goes to a whole
new level of dark, grimy sickness. But, in the process, creates one of the most frightening villains
ever on screen.
Directed by McNaughton, this is a movie that a lot of other films tried to be, including "The Ugly", but
couldn't match. It is based loosely on Henry Lee Lucas's real life crimes, which since have been found
to be not completely true. It was rated X, but the amount of on screen violence is very little. A man
has a TV set smashed on his head, a family is killed in front of a camera, and Otis, Henry's partner
in crime, is killed in gruesome fashion. But really, the atmosphere is what sets this movie apart and
gives it the X rating.
There isn't much of a plot. It almost seems like a documentary, as we follow Henry from kill to kill,
watch as he meets up with his partner Otis, and becomes a companion with his sister. There are a lot
of strange moments in the movie. At times, Henry seems like a damaged mind, who is more than one
dimensional. He tells the story of what his mother did to him as a child, making him dress like a girl
in front of guests she'd have sex with. But still, it's hard to sympathize with the character. He kills
without reason. There's no revenge, no real motive at all.
And the darkness of this movie really makes you feel dirty after watching it, like you're viewing something you shouldn't be. It's hard to shake the movie after you see it.
If you want an effectively creepy, disturbing movie, than this is perfect for you. But if you like any sign of humanity in a movie, any humor, any gratuitous nudity, forget it.