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Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986) (released in 1990)

In John McNaughton's disturbing "fictional dramatization," based upon the account of real-life convicted serial killer Henry Lee Lucas:

  • the realistic, detached cinema-verite documentary style filming that enhanced each brutal, gory and violent killing by serial killer Henry (Michael Rooker) and his dim-witted, paroled, roommate-prison buddy Otis (Tom Towles)
Still Images of Murder Victims
  • the numerous sickening, brutally-violent, off-screen and on-screen murders by the pair of psychotic killers - seen as still shots of Henry's trail of carnage in Illinois - they were the death poses of many of the murder victims (killed off-screen), sometimes with accompanying sounds of their screams or death struggle: the death of a young woman left in a grassy field, shots-to-the-heads of a storeowner couple (Elizabeth and Ted Kaden), a prostitute (Mary Demas) killed in a bathroom with a broken soda bottle in her face, a partially-clothed female corpse (Denise Sullivan) lying face-down and floating in a body of water, and a female murdered in her living room - strangled with a power cord wrapped around her throat and cigarette burns on her chest and face
  • the repeated stabbing of smart-alec TV salesman/fence (Ray Atherton) with a soldering iron (first in the hand) and smashing of a cheap $50 B/W TV over his head, after which Otis plugged in the set to end his life by electrocution
  • after Otis' frustrated statement, "I'd like to kill somebody," he randomly shot a 'Good Samaritan' (Rick Paul) in an overpass tunnel on the side of the downtown freeway, to make himself "feel better"
  • the disturbing killings of a helpless family (a couple and their son) (Lisa Temple, Brian Graham, and Sean Ores) in their suburban home, poorly-videotaped for repeated viewings by both Henry and partner-in-crime Otis on their sofa
  • the conclusion which documented the eventual killing of Otis (and his beheading in a bathtub) when Henry found him strangling and raping his sister Becky (Tracy Arnold) - Henry's 'girlfriend' - and then fled with her, only to dump her body the very next day in her heavy blood-stained suitcase by the roadside
Otis Stabbed in Chest by Henry and Then Beheaded
Becky in Suitcase?

Henry Lee Lucas
(Michael Rooker)

Smashed TV Set Into Head of Salesman

Killing of Good Samaritan

Videotaped Murder of Family


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