Horror 101 Podcast – Episode 23: Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer

Episode XXIII: “Yeah…..I killed my Mama.” July 16th, 2013

“He’s not Freddy. He’s not Jason. He’s real…”

In the same vein as our last show, we delve deep into the mind of another twisted real life killer. In 1986, with a meager $100,000 to play with John McNaughton made his first feature film a true story horror movie about a pair of notorious killers that plagued the United States in the 70s and 80s. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer is a low key, savage snapshot of the lives of two dangerous men. Walking Dead fans should not let this movie pass. It’s Michael Rooker‘s first performance and you will never look at him the same way again. Mr. Rooker, along with Tom Towles deliver strong, vicious performances that will leave you cold. Join us as we discuss this hidden gem that almost never saw the light of day. Henry was so ahead of it’s time that it helped influence the MPAA to create an NC-17 rating, finally rescuing artistic adult films from the dreaded X rating. It’s a bleak and well crafted road of violence and mayhem.


01:00 Buckle up!! We’re going down that road again…

02:10 The real Henry Lee Lucas (and Ottis Tool)

04:50 The Genesis of Henry…

07:09 An opening of death…

08:53 “Yeah…..I killed my mama.”

10:30 Teaching the fine art of murder…

12:30 The family holocaust

15:25 “Adios mother fucker!” (bravo to Tom Towles)

17:35 Poor Becky…

19:56 There is ZERO glamour…(the curse of playing crazies well)

21:55 Helping to conjure NC-17 films…(final thoughts)

23:12 Roger Ebert praises Henry…

24:05 Conclusion….facts of the REAL Henry and get ready for Maniac!!

Thanks for listening!!

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
Directed by: John McNaughton
Written by: Richard Fire and John McNaughton


Michael Rooker as Henry
Tom Towles as Otis
Tracy Arnold as Becky

Producers Malik Ali and Waleed Ali
Charlie Lieberman – Director of photography

All video, pictures and audio used from Henry is copyright© 1986 by Maljack Productions All media used for educational and review purposes. No reproductions please.

1 comment

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  1. Dave Girod

    I wasn’t a big fan of “Henry” but always liked Michael Rooker. I’ve met him at a couple different conventions and I’m always amazed at how small he is? He looks so big and imposing on screen, and comes across as such a bad-ass, that I was kind of taken aback when meeting him. Very nice guy though, loved meeting his fans.

    I think the reason I never really connected with the film “Henry” was that I saw “Confessions of a Serial Killer” first. The 1985 film by Mark Blair, starring Robert Burns who was in a couple films, but was Art Director on a bunch of great horror films. Also based on Henry Lee Lucas, “Confessions” was another low budget, gritty flick, that left me very uncomfortable after viewing. When I finally got around to viewing “Henry”, I couldn’t help but feel that I had been there and done that with “Confessions” which I liked much better. If you haven’t seen it, I recommend you give it a try, and don’t be put off by the “Hannibal” like cover art.

  1. Episode 23 – Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer » Horror 101

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