Saturday 29 October 2011

DVD Reviews

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
Starring: Michael Rooker, Tom Towles, Tracy Arnold
Director: John McNaughton
Studio Canal
Available now on Blu-Ray, also available on DVD
Review by Blake Harmer

Based on the confessions of serial killer Henry Lee Lucas, Henry is the chilling account of a man whose vocation is murder. Michael Rooker stars as Henry, the solitary drifter who leads his dim ex-jailmate friend, Otis (Tom Towles), on a senseless killing spree. Picking their victims at random, their methods of execution are always different. However, when Otis' sister Becky (Tracy Arnold) goes to Chicago to visit, and unsuspectingly falls in love with Henry...

25 years on, and this film still manages to capture and deliver the disturbing nature of Henry and Otis as they kill on a whim, as well as how perverted and depraved they are. The main reason for the horror is that they do it for what seems like no reason apart from that they enjoy it (although there is definitely an anti-sex undercurrent to the way Henry kills). Whilst the film doesn’t have any scares or jumpy bits, the atrocities on show hear gives a whole different disturbing vibe of fear, which is refreshing.

The main downside with this release is that practically nothing seems to have been done for cleaning it up for Blu-Ray release. The sound is murky and only stereo is available (nothing has been done to try and make it 5.1 surround), the picture is still a bit grainy and there are still some pops and scratches visible throughout. Granted, this is an old and low budget horror movie, but why release something on Blu-Ray if you are going to do very little with it? That said, due to the age and budget of the film, it hasn’t aged very well. The prosthetics are pretty bad and the dialogue, whilst limited, is never very inspiring.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating:
: Lots of quick and gory death scenes, including gouging eyes, snapping necks and shootings.
Sex/Nudity: Lots of boobs and a rape scene, there are also lots of references to rape as well.
Swearing: Lots like all horror movies should.
Summary: A cult classic that hasn’t aged well, and the transition to Blu-Ray is pretty much pointless, stick to the DVD release if you are a fan, unless you want the extras. 5/10


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