Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer

X, 83 minutes

Special intro by Chuck Koplinski (The News-Gazette)

One of the first movies to really explore the inner mind of a serial killer, John McNaughton’s 1986 Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer is a film that isn’t easy to shake, even thirty years and countless serial killer films later. Based on the real-life story of Henry Lee Lucas, the film stars Michael Rooker in a career-defining performance as the titular Henry, a serial killer who is spurned on to a murder rampage by his ex-con roommate when his sister comes to town. Tom Towles puts in an indelibly slimy performance as Otis, Henry’s roommate and Tracy Arnold is pitch-perfect as Tracy, the sister who drives a sexually charged wedge between these already volatile men. A triumph of indie cinema, the film cost a measly $100,000 and, after an extensive battle with the MPAA, would go on to gross several millions through theatrical re-release and home video. Today it is rightly regarded as a classic and a pioneer in the serial killer subgenre, its documentary feel and 16mm grit often imitated but never replicated.

Dark Sky Films proudly presents Henry in a brand new 4K scan and restoration from the 16mm original camera negatives, and featuring a new 5.1 audio mix from the stereo 35mm mag reels, all approved by director John McNaughton. Sure to send shivers of mortal dread through a whole new generation of filmgoers, this amazing new transfer puts Henry firmly back into the vanguard of contemporary cinematic horror. (1986, John McNaughton, US, 83 min, R, restored DCP)

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