'Henry' is a gory and unnecessary portrait

November 01, 1990|By Lou Cedrone

''Henry, the Portrait of a Serial Killer'' is said to be loosely based on the life of Henry Lee Lucas, who has been sentenced to death for several killings. He brags of more killings, some 150.

John McNaughton did the film, one that was released without a rating after the MPAA mentioned something about giving it an NC-17.

''Henry'' is well made, but why was it made? Who needs it? The film ranks down there with movies like ''In Cold Blood'' and ''Murder One,'' re-enactments of actual crimes.

''Henry'' gives us little that is new, save for the elimination of an entire family by Henry and his friend, Otis. We see this on tape. Henry and Otis make use of camcorders when they kill.

Most of the victims are incredibly stupid. One is a girl hitchhiker. Another allows a man into her home when he poses as an exterminator. Another potential victim is a woman who walks her dog in dark alleys. The movie may say more about the victims than the killers.

''Henry, Portrait of a Serial Killer'' plays today at the Charles. If you want a gore fix, this is it. If you're looking for a film with purpose, better wait until the bill changes.

Michael Rooker is Henry. He is completely believable.

''Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer''

* The story of a serial killer

CAST: Michael Rooker, Tracy Arnold, Tom Towles

DIRECTOR: John McNaughton

RATING: No rating (Sex, violence, language, nudity)

RUNNING TIME: 80 minutes

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