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Plot: The true story of serial killer Henry Lee Lucas.
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Surprisingly mature biopic of the serial killer
HENRY LEE LUCAS: SERIAL KILLER is a modern B-movie retelling of the life of the infamous killer, originally played (to the hilt) by Michael Rooker in the unforgettable ’80s movie HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A KILLER. Of course, this isn’t on a par with that movie, but at least it does something entirely different. While the Rooker flick provided a realistic, slice-of-life portrayal of the killer at the peak of his infamous crimes, HENRY LEE LUCAS: SERIAL KILLER is a biopic told via annoying flashbacks (and forwards) that covers his entire life.
First off, the most surprising thing about this film is that Antonio Sabato Jr. (CRASH LANDING), a notable B-movie actor, actually gives a fine performance in the titular role. He plays Lucas as a hulking, scarred brute, who seems permanently stoned and given to unpredictable violence. At the same time he’s charismatic to boot and certainly Sabato’s performance outshines everyone else in the production.
For a low budget film, the production values for this are pretty decent, and I particularly enjoyed the exploration of Henry’s childhood which sows the seeds for his latter day crimes. The best thing about the movie is that it doesn’t dwell on the brutality of the crimes; the temptation for modern film-makers would surely be to sicken the viewer at every opportunity but this is surprisingly restrained, giving the production a mature feel as a whole.
So How Many People Did He Really Kill ?
A man called Henry Lee Lucas is arrested for murder in Texas . As he’s interrogated by the police department he confesses to another murder . Then another . Before very long Lucas has been confessing to an unprecedented number of murders
I’m not really an aficionado of serial killers / spree killers and so consulted wiki as to this true life mass murderer . Henry Lee Lucas isn’t going to win any humanitarian awards . He eventually confessed to 60 murders while in police custody . When he went to court he said he committed 100 murders then before long he was confessing to 3000 murders .. He was found guilty of the murder of an unidentified woman in Texas woman and sentenced to death but this was commuted to life imprisonment on the grounds that he was almost certainly in Florida at the time of this murder
” Hold on Theo . If he was in Florida that almost certainly means that he didn’t commit the murder so why did the court do something resembling a strange compromise where’s imprisoned instead of being executed ? Surely he’s innocent or guilty and no compromise involving punishment is required ? ”
Yeah that’s what I don’t understand either and things don’t make a lot of sense . There’s a massive difference between 3,000 murders and 1 murder . Most importantly from a legal point of view there’s a massive difference between 3,000 murders and zero murders . If you don’t kill anyone then no crime has been committed therefore the state has no right to imprison anyone . Lucas continually kept changing figures as to the numbers he supposedly murdered and that leads to a limited number of possible scenarios
1 ) He was guilty of at least one or more murders and seeing the resultant publicity decided to up the numbers to gain even more infamy . The good a man does while he is alive dies after him but the evil he does live long after him
2 ) The police deciding he’s guilty of one or more murder decide to stitch him up for a few unsolved cold cases and Lucas went along with it and it kind of snowballed from there
3 ) Lucas was entirely deluded and committed no murders at all but the cops thought he was guilty of at least something so decided to stitch him up
What is certain is Lucas was found guilty of killing his mother and served ten years for her killing . Apart from that the film is unsure as to how it should play its hand . Lucas doesn’t come across as the most pleasant or intelligent of men . He is from a background of to use a derogatory term ” trailer trash ” but this doesn’t necessarily make him a murderer of one individual or many and the film does seem to be a bit to willingly say he was a serial killer without going in to any specifics as to the amount of people he murdered . It feels the need to be a a compromise . I’m not saying Lucas was in any way innocent of murder but you’re painfully aware that the film isn’t trying to make out what the truth may be and stick to its opinion of that possible truth and for what might have been a very impressive well made indie film featuring an outsider from society ends up sinking to a degree
Original Language en
Runtime 1 hr 31 min (91 min)
Genre Crime, Horror, Thriller
Director Michael Feifer
Writer Wood Dickinson, Michael Feifer, Christopher Ryan
Actors Antonio Sabato Jr., John Burke, Kelly Curran
Country United States
Awards 3 wins
Production Company N/A
Sound Mix N/A
Aspect Ratio 1.85 : 1
Film Length N/A
Negative Format N/A
Cinematographic Process N/A
Printed Film Format N/A