Click here to return to the main site.

Blu-ray Review

DVD cover

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer


Starring: Michael Rooker, Tom Towles and Tracy Arnold
RRP: £24.99
Certificate: 18
Available 24 October 2011

Henry is a serial killer who moves from city to city, leaving behind a string of bodies, killed by various methods. He associates no importance to the process, although he realises it is important to keep on the move. Arriving in Chicago, he moves in with Otis, an ex-con buddy who is soon drawn into his dark world. When Otis’ sister arrives in town looking for work, she is intrigued with Henry and, after hearing about some of his exploits, happily attaches herself to him and his sinister psyche. Henry begins to school them in his way of life, causing them to take a direction from which there is no return...

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer was filmed in 1986 but, due to its bio docudrama approach and certain scenes of violence, it wasn’t seen in its entirety until 1990. I’ve seen the edited version of this film and, to be brutally honest, in terms of the number of scenes there’s not much difference. John McNaughton was a fledgeling director at the time, and undoubtedly wanted to make a big impact on the movie business - although he admits that he had no idea what constituted an unreasonably brutal scene in the eyes of the censors. The opening montage of dead bodies in various locations is one such segment which had to be removed. Now that it’s back in place, it isn’t lengthy but it does somewhat change the structure of the entire film. Rather than have Henry tell his back story to the police in a scene arrangement which starts in the middle - as with the other, frankly awful, Henry Lee Lucas semi-fictional biography - what we get here is a more palatable linear tale of how the key character brings everyone down around him.

Henry is based on the notorious serial killer, Henry Lee Lucas. He is portrayed here as an almost totally emotionless individual, with cold inner rage and sexual frustration. Although acting performances are solid and convincing, this is not the type of film I normally enjoy. However, for anyone who loves this movie, there is a veritable plethora of extra features on this Blu-ray Special Edition. Alongside the expected Making of... documentary, there is a featurette on Henry Lee Lucas, an interview with director John McNaughton (which is so long that I fell asleep watching it), an exploration of the altered scenes, deleted scenes and outtakes with commentary, stills gallery, and original storyboards.


Ty Power

Buy this item online

We compare prices online so you get the cheapest deal
Click on the logo of the desired store below to purchase this item.

£13.99 (
£13.99 (
£13.99 (
£16.97 (

All prices correct at time of going to press.