Controversial horror classic Henry: Portrait of Serial Killer gets 4K restoration and theatrical re-release
John McNaughton’s sorta-true 1986 crime drama Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer was so shocking to the MPAA, they literally did not want you to see it. Because of this, the film was hotly debated and the notorious ratings board endlessly taken to task about their attacks on a movie that, while monumentally disturbing, really reveals very little on-screen gore. The film got an X and it took four years before it found a distributor bold enough to release it.
Now, on the 30th anniversary of its momentous debut, Henry is back with a 4K restoration re-release nationwide via Dark Sky Films, with major theatrical engagements to begin on October 21, 2016.
The film will come “home” on October 14, 2016, as Dark Sky partners with the Chicago International Film Festival for a large-scale event, including a festival red-carpet premiere and a Q&A with star Michael Rooker (Merle on The Walking Dead) and director John McNaughton in attendance.
Henry is loosely based on a true story and charts the adventures of the titular heavy (Rooker), a psychopathic drifter who has coldly murdered a number of people for no particular reason and without any remorse. Leaving bodies in his wake, Henry makes his way to Chicago, where he settles into the run-down apartment of his drug-dealing former prison friend and occasional roommate Otis (Tom Towles).
Also moving into the space is Otis’s younger sister Becky (Tracy Arnold), who is fleeing her abusive husband. As she fends off her brother’s incestuous advances, Becky finds herself attracted to Henry – unaware that he, along with Otis, are continuing their murderous rampage.
Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer opens in New York on October 21. McNaughton will attend the film’s New York premiere, at the Landmark Sunshine Cinema and on October 28, McNaughton will present it at the Laemmle NoHo in Los Angeles.
What are your thoughts on this vital piece of horror history?