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  • A small independent news crew investigates a series of unexplained disappearances in a small Midwestern county.

    This film will be a treat for those who love horror icons. Brian Krause ("Sleepwalkers") stars as Cyrus, with plenty of screen time for Danielle Harris as Maria and Lance Henriksen as Emmett. Even Doug Jones and Tiffany Shepis show up for a while.

    This film has received some criticism for not being very original and following old horror movie, especially slasher, clichés. And yes, it does have some. But I think this was sort of the point... clearly the writer-director is a horror fan based on his casting, so he must have been paying homage to his favorites. This is no different than what Rob Zombie did with "House of 1000 Corpses" (though that one was a little too blatant in my opinion).

    The film claims to be based on true events, which I strongly suspected was completely false. I called out director Mark Vadik on this, and he set the record straight: it is, in fact, based very loosely on the life of serial killer Fritz Haarmann, with some background details of other serial killers thrown in. So, I suppose, we have to let this slide. (I strongly urge you to look into Haarmann's story -- it is pretty graphic, and a closer telling would be an amazingly demented film.)

    Vadik also informed me that the claim of the film being banned in six countries is true. They are ones you might expect -- United Arab Emirates and the Middle Eastern countries -- but this is still a cool claim. While any number of reasons could be behind the ban, there is one sequence involving breast feeding that likely got some people's heckles raised.

    Check this one out. This is a breakout role for Brian Krause, who was already a big star from "Charmed". He spent much time researching killers -- particularly BTK and the Green River Killer -- for this role, and even did much of the second unit directing, picking up important shots of death scenes. His work is subtle, but the reason the film is good rather than forgettable.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    If you let go of the fact that what you're watching isn't going to be a blockbuster, you may actually enjoy yourself with this film. Yes, it's a B-grade horror movie, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's bad (though many usually are). Here goes nothing:

    The story centers around Maria (Danielle Harris), a reporter, and her cameraman, Greg (Corey Gibbons), who are investigating a series of disappearances/killings, tipped to be done by a man named Cyrus (Brian Krause), "The County Line Cannibal". The movie starts off with the two of them traveling to a small, Midwestern county to speak to Cyrus's best friend Emmett (Lance Henriksen) who possesses eerily intimate knowledge of Cyrus's killing methods, and recounts the tales of the County Line Cannibal's final 7 victims to the small crew, explaining the disappearance of three young college girls the reporters were initially investigating.

    I have to admit, I did like this movie - a lot, and I generally don't like B-grade movies at all. The entire reason I hired this movie initially was for Danielle Harris (who's part is significant only at the beginning and in the final moments, but she is scattered about the course of the film) and I didn't expect much from this, but I genuinely enjoyed it. It was bleak and gritty and it was realistic (as it should be, being based on a true story and all).

    People are too caught up in immediately hating horror movies these days they make the premature decision to hate something before they've given it a chance. The acting from Krause, Harris & Henriksen was splendid, and the others (being relative newcomers) didn't do too shabby a job with their parts either. It takes a while for the movie to pick up the pace in the beginning but your patience will be rewarded. If I'm honest, in the last 10 minutes of the film, the 'twist' becomes rather obvious, but rather enjoyable none-the-less.

    If you're being realistic about what you're seeing here, and don't go in expecting it to be something that it's really not, you'll enjoy it. Expecting it to be something exceptional or a new step up in horror, and you'll just go home disappointed. It's nothing new, it's nothing terribly original, but it's entertaining and in a way, thought- provoking: "Who do I feel sorry for, the victims or Cyrus?". The answer's not as cut and dry as you think it is.

    Rating: 7/10
  • laurajanedaniels1 October 2012
    6/10
    Hmmm
    I thought it was good, graphic in all the right places, good cast even though there was only really about 4 main characters but thats usual for a film like this. I found there was good intensity. A good twist at the end but also a bit predictable in places although i'd also say in some places you didn't know what was gonna happen

    I rate it a 6 purely for the gore.. the storyline was good and i like the way it says based on true events not a true story.

    I'm not sure if i'd recommend this to a friend as i have seen better but its always worth letting them watch it alone. i spent more time trying to find a proper plot synopsis than i did actually following the film
  • It's possible for a film to have a cool title, cover, and even preview, but still be a complete waste of time, enter Cyrus: Mind of A Serial Killer. In a remote Midwestern community, over a hundred women have disappeared over the last twenty years. Not wanting to create a panic, the local authorities have explained away most as accidents and isolated incidents, while they search for the truth. The cover up has worked until a local reported is contacted by a man who claims to not only know the truth, but know who the killer is. The film is laid out in a flashback, as this mysterious man tells the life story of this man, Cyrus, and what created him, what he did, how he did it, and why. Just one problem, it's boring! This film is supposed to be an inside look at a serial killer and what makes him tick, how he operates, but not only does it move as slow as molasses, but you really don't even see much of anything! This is an independent film about a serial killer!? Where's the gore, blood, insanity? It's more like watching a documentary on the History channel. As for the cast, Brian Krause isn't a bad actor, but certainly not someone I would ever think of as a serial killer, he's just very quiet and emotionless throughout, in other words, boring. The old man, Lance Hendriksen, sits in a chair and tells a story the whole time, also boring. The producers of this film built it up to be this huge thing, an inside look at a serial killer the likes of which we've never seen before, and they were right, I've never been so bored watching a horror thriller in my entire life!
  • Superdracula24 April 2010
    Warning: Spoilers
    Yes its based on true events and yes the events were that messed up. But its just not that interesting, the ending was predictable and honestly the story could've been told much better. But in the end I guess they did their best with what they had to work with. I don't recommend you go see this film, there are much better true life serial killer tales, like Helter Skelter for example. This is low budget and quite boring and not that scary. I was never really freaked out or horrified by anything, but that could be my high tolerance level. But if you want to know the story, basically its about a news reporter doing a story on the serial killer, Cyrus, meets a man who tells her the story and yadda yadda yadda, you can guess what happens in the end, and no the story teller is not Cyrus!

    In summary: Avoid 1/5
  • Making the film fest circus-circuit in 2010-11 is this sophomoric attempt at lashing out at...(surprise) mostly sophomore co-eds (with copious, bounteous, bouncing breasts thrown in for TIT-ilation, but hardly good measure-ments, or taste!).

    The slogan should read: "Schocking, Schoddy Schlasher Schlock!" (but vibrantly filmed..."In Color", as they used to say in '60s television shows). And the claim that it is "Based on a True Story"? Really? What "true story" is that?

    A promising if rather predictable start quickly degrades into bloody foot chase scenes with a Sweeney Todd-(un)inspired meat sales counter display (yuck-yuck!...biggest "Raccoon Steak" on a platter that I've ever seen though--that sucker must have come in at 400 lbs!).

    Ten to fifteen minutes (and I'm being Gandhi-like in my generosity here) into this master(bater)piece, however, it it quickly degrades (if that is possible) into a tedious and almost-but-not-quite-nor-intentional comical (or is it insulting?) Karo syrup slopping. My friends and I lost interest and walked out at the 20 minute mark (following the "20 Minute Rule"--if the movie can't stand up in the first 20 minutes, it's likely that it won't redeem itself in the last 20 minutes).

    If it would have been presented in a tongue-in-cheek "Cannibal"-style musical, it might possibly have been at least marginally entertaining (if not another copy of slasher parody/scary movie films). As it stands, however, I'd rather chew aluminum foil than sit through this "schtinker" to the very end!

    SCHKIP IT!!!
  • Dumb and predictable... sums up this indie serial killer feature. Sure even with those descriptions, you could get some sort of entertainment, yet this film wallows in its own stark nastiness. While technically competent, even if it looks like it was shot hand held, what brought "CYRUS MIND OF A SERIAL KILLER" down is that it defies logic and most notably common sense.

    I don't know if I've come across such a dense character in a role that you wouldn't expect, as this story hungry investigative TV reporter (played by a spunky Danielle Harris) seems to discard ("Oh there's no way he's a killer") obvious evidence that should be enough of a red flag to be quite weary. Instead the script plays up the stupidity, where the actions become largely questionable to the point of finding it insulting. From this aspect you know where it's going to lead, in what feels like all build-up to its contrived reveal. There's not all that much to figure out and that's within the first 10 minutes.

    Supposedly based upon true facts ("The County Line Cannibal"), this film at times plays out like a semi faux-documentary as it intercuts to unrelated interview footage of doctors, psychologists, authorities, victims and killers giving some sort of pointless insight into the origin of what makes a serial killer tick to truly grasp where they are coming from. Those moments are probably more interesting than Harris' reporter tracking down a local man (an unnerving Lance Henriksen) who claims to have information about the unsolved disappearance of 200 Midwestern University students. He goes on to tell her the killer's name (Cyrus), that they were friends and the horrific details of Cyrus' crimes from how it all began.

    Most of the narrative is about us learning of Cyrus (Brian Krause), from what pushed him over the edge, getting into his disturbed mind (mummy issues) and watching him psychically and mentally torturing his captives. I wasn't particularly sold on the sloppy skin-deep characterization and of Krause's' psychotic performance, but there are a couple moments that have grimy shock value in their attempts to make you uncomfortable. Now the cannibal side of the story barely scrapes the surface, yet that was the most engaging facet, as he butchered his captives alive, feeding them to his grill house customers. How's that for ya?

    Rae Dawn Chong makes a cameo appearance as one of interviewees and Tiffany Shepis shows up in a few flashback scenes as killer's unpleasant mother. After the end credits have rolled, it finishes on another one of those faux-interviews with chilling (if already well-known) info on some of the infamous serial killers of America.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Sometimes a production team starts out to make a decent film and fails. The result is a bad film. Sometimes, it seems, the team sets out deliberately to make a bad film and succeeds. The result is a niche film like this, for which there is a certain audience in social space.

    I understand there's a twist at the end. I didn't see it because I stopped the punishment after half an hour.

    I give this cinematic ovoid cyst a Two because Lance Hendrickson is in it and plays an important part. That's it.

    The rest of the cast cannot act, period. It's embarrassing to watch them try. And the story -- you want the story? A cuckolded farmer kills his wife, her lover, and their child, chops them up, fries them on a grill, and opens a roadside hamburger stand called Roadkill that becomes so popular people flock to it.

    Where does he get his supply? There's nothing in it "but what I kill with my own hands." And it's true. He pursues an endless supply of half-naked ladies, their breasts bobbing, through the fields and shoots them through the head.

    Pfui.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Cinematography: 7/10 Usually fine, but sometimes too dark, or out of focus, or nearly mono color. Perhaps this was for artistic effect, but I find that irritating without any sort of recompense.

    Sound: 8/10 Usually well done.

    Acting: 7/10 Harris, Krause, and Henriksen were credible. The other actors were a full level less skilled. Krause still seems to be trying to break out of typecasting from his long stint on the television series Charmed. I liked his performance here, though, better than in some of his earlier bad guy horror film roles.

    Screenplay: 8/10 Mosaic films can be awfully bad, but this one was well written, even if the content is disgusting. The flashbacks (the mother) and four interview streams (with Emmett, with the two medical experts, with the prison interviewees) are well meshed. The harsh ending makes sense once one gets there.
  • Aside from a few interesting performances from various cast members, CYRUS: MIND OF A SERIAL KILLER has virtually nothing going for it. You'd be better of going with alternative serial killer titles like HENRY LEE LUCAS: SERIAL KILLER or DEAR MR. GACY as at least these are films which attempt to tell a proper story rather than this nonsensical, made-up amateur-hour attempt.

    The film begins with an elderly man being interviewed for a documentary about a serial killer. Kudos on the casting director for getting hold of Scream Queen Danielle Harris to play the reporter, but truth be told her acting isn't up to much. However, the subject of the interview is played by Lance Henriksen, who also narrates the story; he's by far the best thing in the whole film and I could listen to his gravelly voice all day. It's a shame that most of the material is beneath him.

    After a mildly promising set-up in the first half-hour, this turns into a very silly gore flick with one grisly murder after another. It all feels very ho hum and uninteresting, repellent but not disturbing; just a waste of time and effort. Tiffany Shepis and Doug Jones both pop up to offer cameo appearances and lessen the boredom, but this is still one of the worst serial killer movies I've sat through. The most amusing thing about the film is that the whole thing seems to hinge around a final twist that will be obvious from the very first scene.
  • trashgang16 September 2014
    This flick isn't that bad but on the other hand isn't that good too. The good part lays in the way the killings were presented, the blood do run often and there are gory moments even as they are mostly done off-camera. The bad part is the way the film is presented. We do follow some reporters who wants to make a short on serial killers. By doing so they also interview specialists and it's that part that doesn't bring anything towards this flick.

    It's even so that once another serial killer is being interviewed and one survivor this tears the believability of this flick down. You just want to know what is going on with the 3 girls and Cyrus the killer.

    It do has two icons in the lead, Danielle Hariss as the reporter and Lance Henrikson as the person who wants to tell the story about Cyrus. It's rather weird to see Danielle playing a role being dressed up. Nevertheless, it do has Tiffany Shepis in it and that means nudity and I was rather surprised that it contained a few boob shots from almost all girls involved.

    It's never frightening but it's worth picking up if you won't be bothered with the interference of the interviews.

    Gore 1/5 Nudity 1,5/5 Effects 3/5 Story 2,5/5 Comedy 0/5
  • Warning: Spoilers
    ...no matter how many genre names are attached to it, but especially when they're helmed by an unknown auteur. "Cyrus..." is uninspired and uninspiring, derivative junk, plain and simple. Presented as the tale of a documentary in the making, it offers nothing in the way of surprises or trenchant commentary on either its ostensible subject or anything else.

    The participation of genre actors like Brian "Charmed" Krause, Danielle "Halloween" Harris, and most pointedly, Lance "Pumpkinhead" Henriksen (never mind bit parts from the likes of Doug "Pan's Labyrinth" Jones, Rae Dawn "Tales From the Darkside: The Movie" Chong, and Tiffany "Night of the Demons" Shepis) is no guarantee of genuine appeal to fandom; in fact, it seems almost as crass as the blatant cribbing of the title from the far, far better "Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer." The making-of feature on the DVD is revealing, as the auteur and various actors prattle on about the film as if it were something out of the unextraordinary. I couldn't help but snicker as I observed that theater prowess does not a filmmaker make.

    Really, the less said about this one the better. It's make-work and paycheck-taking, nothing more. That it went straight to video is telling enough. I'm glad I lost nothing more than a smidgen of time watching it, even if those are brain cells I'll never recover.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Yes, apparently people in Hollywood think that "flyover country" is entirely inhabited by redneck cannibals. I think they've been milking that meme since "Texas Chainsaw Massacre", and it was tired then.

    So the plot is a dumber than dirt film crew interviews a guy who knows the identity of a notorious serial killer. And he relates in disjointed narrative about how this guy became a serial killer who kills people and then serves them up at a roadside butcher shop.

    The film treats you to about two hours of misogynistic violence and really, nothing to redeem it.

    Should have retitled this "Lance Henrickson needs Booze Money", because it's the only explanation for his participation I can understand. I think Rae Dawn Chong was in this, but I couldn't see where. (I think she played one of the interview subjects.)
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Cyrus is a sadistic serial killer. A cute girl investigative reporter is looking into his story. Good things are unlikely to follow.

    It strikes me that good horror films about slasher killers fall into one of two categories: either attempts to tell a serious story about something which doesn't need sensationalising, or else blood-soaked romps which revel in blood-soaked slaughter but don't take themselves seriously.

    Cyrus, unfortunately, is a romp which takes itself seriously and accordingly comes across as sensationalised sadistic unpleasantness without the saving graces of either taking its subject seriously or having a sense of humour.

    And it's a shame, because it has some good performances, particularly from Brian Krause, laying to rest his good guy image from TV's Charmed.