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Henry

Posted 23 January 2002, 7.12 pm by Alexander

Henry - Portrait of a Serial Killer is probably one of the best, and most unsettling, horror films I've yet seen. Not a horror in the traditional sense, it takes a very matter-of-fact, unflinching look into the disturbed world of serial killer Henry Lee Lucas and his sidekick Otis Toole.

Filmed excellently by John McNaughton in a film-verite style, we are offered little in the way of history or explaination. It sometimes feels like the Belgian classic Man Bites Dog, in the respect that we follow the protagonists from one bloody, motiveless killing to the next. Often the viewer is made to feel like a voyeur or at worst participant in the crimes being committed, through clever techniques such as when the pair video the rape and murder of a young woman in her home, we are shown Henry and Otis viewing the resulting video. We are watching them watching themselves.

Very bloody, but never particularly gratuitous (the uncut version has a rather nasty opening pan through a motel washroom, in which a hooker is slumped, a broken bottle stuck in her face) this is a tremendously powerful film. Very strongly recommended for those of you with a strong stomach.

Buy it at amazon
Scab
on 26 January 2002, 1.07 pm
I think a particularly noteworthy detail is the Henry's relationship with his mother. When we first hear of him killing his mother, it just seems obvious, but when later, he i s unable to remember how he killed her, we see an important part of his personality. Exactly what this suggests of his having murdered his mother, I'm not sure, but it would seem that the incident might not be as self-explanatpry as you would first think. It somehow adds another dimension to the whole "seril killer who's killed his mother" thing, and helps lift the movie to the next level.


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This is in response to the poem 'Business Girls' by John Betjeman. It's ink washes. I was attempting to depict the grime and toil of the subject matter by using a widely recognised symbol of business life - the train.


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Props to Green Mamba for bringing the weirdness

Hmph

80s candy bars were pretty good

only because i traded it for a candy bar in the 80's.

lol we all know you don't have a soul ghoti

my soul for some carbs...

But of course!

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