Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer is Back
Based on the horrifying true story of convicted mass-murderer Henry Lee Lucas (portrayed a magnetic Michael Rooker), John McNaughton's Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer is one of the most remarkable films in the serial killer genre. Impressively building to a disquieting and horrific climax, the film provides a sobering and nightmarish glimpse into a deranged and damaged mind. A bona-fide cult classic, it is a startling, morally complex and uncompromising work of genuine daring and vision.
Die-hard fans of this cult classic will have long awaited the arrival of the special edition 'double play' Blu-ray and DVD set. The film made its controversial stamp back in 1986 and remains a haunting, unsettling and ultimately ballsy-as-hell telling of real-life serial killer, Henry Lee Lucas. It also featured a breakout performance from its new star, Michael Rooker, now a recognised star of the big and small screen! The film speaks for itself and is essential viewing for any genre fan or anyone curious who missed out before. More importantly, perhaps, is the quality of this lavish Blu-ray/DVD combo pack... and whether or not it delivers!
To address the film first, unfortunately the Blu-ray transfer doesn't quite live up to expectation and appears somewhat grainy, deteriorated, and not too far removed from the original DVD transfer. It's a bit better, but nothing to shout about. Also, the film is (annoyingly) only presented in 4:3 fullscreen so you'll get heavy black bars on either side of the screen if you try watching on your widescreen TV. This sadly detracts from the cinematic experience of Henry which could have been! In an age of some stunning Blu-ray transfers (even for very old films), this doesn't stand up too well.
On a much more positive note, for the avid fan, the content of the Blu-ray will more than make up for this. Assuming you know the film well, there is a massive selection of extras to enjoy, including deleted scenes, interviews, documentaries, commentaries and more. This validates the film as a modern day horror/psycho-thriller classic and will offer something new - without doubt. In particular, director John McNaughton comes across very well and someone who really should have gone onto much bigger things. In short, The Henry combo pack is a great addition to any fan's collection, and with all this extra content available (and forgiving a disappointing Blu-ray transfer), this will make a nice discovery for new fans as well.