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.
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