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  • This movie is not a classical low budget blunder trying to cash in on the fact that it's about serial killer. Granted, the budget was small, but that did not made a big impact on the movie. Script is well written, and constructed. Realistically portraying the torture in his childhood years, that later on led to his twisted personality, movie is not afraid to make a bit longer scenes, just to make you a bit more uncomfortable.

    Henry Lee Lucas was a serial killer that, imprisoned, confessed to over 600 murders. Truth is that we really do not know how many victims he killed, due to his false confessions that were rewarded by the police by better treatment.

    Overall, do not expect a masterpiece, or some innovative and strange things in it, but more of familiar style of directing with the focus on the story. If you want to go further than that, you can start analyzing events in his childhood and their impact on his killing urges. Was it all his fault, or were there other culprits?

    Movie did manage to stick to the actual story of Henry, so it's not all dramatization and imagined events, like some of the recent movies. They slap a "based on a true events" sticker on it, and hope that it will sell better. This is not the case here.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Director Michael Feifer has also worked on movies about Richard Speck, Ted Bundy, BTK, Ed Gein and the Boston Strangler; this time he makes the effort to be more factual. Antonio Sabato Jr. is pretty convincing as Henry Lee Lucas, who confessed to committing any where from 350 to 600 murders. Many of these meaningless murders were with companion Otis Toole(Kostas Sommer). This film has Lucas making confessions to a Sheriff with the Texas Rangers(John Diehl)and a District Attorney(John Burke). One believes all of the confessions, while the other claims most of Lucas' tales are just that...tales. Either way; Henry Lee Lucas was driven to his devious and murderous ways my an abusive mother(Cala Coley). Kelly Curran portrays Toole's 14-year old niece and Lucas' lover...and one of his victims. This movie appears to have had a limited budget, but is very watchable. A crime story fiend's delight.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Horrible acting, script, music,,, unrealistic,, boring. Couldn't finish watching. Everything in place for a good movie, but it FAILS. One scene, he's supposed to be strangling a lady, looks like he's giving her a neck massage from behind. Hands don't even go near her throat. Music is just ridiculous 70ish. No suspense at all. Some lines were just nonsense. Main character isn't even scary, too far from the appearance of the real Henry Lucas, who was a small man, creepy, bad teeth. Characters didn't fit the period, hair styles, beards, clothing. I saw a better movie 15 years ago, not great, but much better than this. Could've been done so much better with just some basic changes. A documentary would've been cheaper, scarier, and more enjoyable than this movie.
  • Not a perfect movie by any means...but well worth a look if you have even a passing interest in the murderous exploits of Henry Lee Lucas.

    In response to Ted's 'review'...if it could be called that, please don't identify yourself as Australian again. I too am Australian and your childish observations give us all a bad name. And claiming that your location means you couldn't possibly have heard of Henry Lee Lucas is embarrassing...you have a computer...have you ever tried to use it for researching something and perhaps adding to your limited knowledge of the world? Sure you may not have enjoyed the film you 'reviewed', but you base your opinions on the fact you felt the film was 'horrible'. How enlightening for us all! You should stick to films in your age bracket and leave the reviewing to us adults in future who actually have some knowledge of the medium and who are able to construct a sentence that is coherent.
  • 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
  • Serial killer movies have become two a penny, it feels like at least a couple come out each year. This one, directed by Michael Feifer, just feels like old hat, like it is treading water to make a point that has been made a hundred times before. It doesn't help that Henry Lee Lucas has already been covered in brilliantly grainy fashion previously with John McNaughton's 1990 skin itcher Henry: Portrait OF A Serial Killer, which quite frankly is superior to this in every department. On the plus side are the performances of Antonio Sabato Jr. (Henry) and Kostas Sommer (Ottis), where the former is broody and twitchy, the latter hyper insane, but ultimately it achieves nothing. Kudos, however, is due for at least cleaving close to what facts of the case are known to be true. 4/10
  • While the infamous "Henry: Portrait of A Serial Killer" is considered the definitive movie about Lucas, it does leave out a ton of facts and information. "Drifter" certainly helps to fill in the blanks, with it's disturbing account of young Henry Lee's childhood, and the mental and physical abuse inflicted upon him by his mother. Here we are shown Lucas in three different stages of his life, child, teenager, and full grown psycho killer. All three actors to portray him are very believable in their roles, and I must say this is Antonio Sabato's film, and his depiction of Henry Lee Lucas is cold and charismatic at the same time; unfortunately in this case, Sabato's good looks are something that needs to be overcome in order for him to come across as believable. Watching the film from start to finish, I found myself looking for any flaws or weaknesses that would cause the pathetically low rating for the movie on this site. I found none. The murky cinematography perfectly captures the mood as well as the time that the story is supposed to take place in, and the script, although leaving many of the murders out due to time and budget limitations, (Lucas murdered over 100 people) never loses focus. This is a lean and mean production that ditches big budget Hollywood sheen for a low key, factual approach. I can only assume the low rating was given because of Sabato's extreme good looks, as most negative reviews mention that and consider it a problem. Those interested in one of America's most notorious mass murderers should ignore those silly criticisms and give this a watch.
  • By far the most accurate film about Henry, documenting his troubled life from a child/teenager, in a series of flashbacks. Some of the details are bang on and the actor who plays Otis (complete with hat), is also very realistic and convincing. The one problem about the 4th movie (dealing with Henry), is that it's a bit one paced and at times methodical. Sometimes playing with artistic licence is not such a bad thing in the movies.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Henry ( Antonio Sabato Jr.) is in custody of the Texas Rangers and is treated like royalty as he confesses to many crimes seen as flashbacks. Raised by an abusive mother and living dirt poor all his life, Henry embarks on a killing spree unlike anything in history. Henry teams up with Ottis (Kostas Sommer) as they are a natural pair. Henry is a necrophilia, because women talk too much. Ottis is a cannibal. He has sex with the women while they are alive. They kill the girl, then it is Henry's turn. Ottis then eats her..."She ain't a girl, she's just juicy white meat."

    I enjoyed the 50's style soundtrack and theme song. The movie is not extremely graphic. The acting was fairly decent with Becky (Kelly Curran) having an accent and lines bordering on camp. The plot moves slow so as to develop Henry's character. Think of this slasher film as "Natural Born Killers" light.

    F-bomb, sex, rape-like scenes, necrophilia, no nudity.
  • 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.
  • dbborroughs15 September 2009
    Warning: Spoilers
    I'm not sure if this film was supposed to be serious or funny. This is suppose to be the story of serial killer Henry Lee Lucas, but it didn't strike me as much of anything. Actually the tone makes it seem as though everything is a joke, which may have been how Lucas was but at the same time you really can't know which way you're suppose to feel, laughing at or laughing with the film. It doesn't help that Antonio SabatoJr who plays Henry is one note. he has his face scrunched up in what seems to be an Elvis Presley impersonation for a good part of the film and it never changes. Give the film points for trying to do something with its limited budget, the film really looks like they actually had money at times, but outside of that the film never comes together. Its another disappointing horror film based on true events that isn't as compelling as the source material. I'd skip it
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I've read some of the (few) reviews here that offer different defenses for this low-budget attempt to cash in on the story of self-proclaimed serial killer, Henry Lee Lucas.

    Did he kill anyone? Even the most critical of the investigation and described preferential treatment Lucas received for confessing feel confident he murdered. How many? Well according to Lucas, that would change daily.

    Even a low budget film can get simple facts correct - there is no cost associated with correctly identifying the law enforcement - There are no "Sheriffs" in the Rangers, nor would one refer to a Ranger as "Officer", if for no other reason than the lowest rank in the Rangers is Sergeant. There was a Sheriff involved in the Task Force, but it's not made clear that this is who they are referring to. Casting note- he would have made a better HL Lucas! And the movie theater scene. Is someone suggesting this actually happened? Free details. The sort of thing you get right when you don't have the budget to do other things. Some have suggested that this or that portrayal of this or that crime is an accurate depiction - hard to subscribe to when Lucas recanted on virtually every confession. It just depends on whose ear he was trying to hold.

    The filming, story, dialog, casting (did they see a picture of Lucas?!!) are all failures. Cheap doesn't have to equal bad. It just does in this movie. Nothing for the crime true-story fan, the slasher fan, the gore fan - nothing for anybody except the people paid to be in this atrocity.

    I saw it on Netflicks - free except for time wasted. Don't waste yours.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I'm a big supporter of the indie-film, but movies like "drifter" make me despair. There's very little to like here. You have two very attractive male actors playing the two grossest, most inbred serial killers in the murder encyclopedia, weak production values (including a hysterical movie theatre set replete with folding chairs (!) ), a meandering script that ineffectively cuts back and forth between henry's upbringing and his adult killing spree, and kill scenes that wouldn't rival your garden variety lifetime network film.

    The director comments on the ac track that the film was written and filmed on an extremely tight schedule. It shows. "Drifter" is little more than video store shelf filler.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I'm going to waste very little time on this particular take on the Henry Lee Lucas story.

    The film is based on the life and of some of the supposed killings of disputably proficient serial-killer Henry Lee Lucas.

    Virtually everything is wrong with this film. The casting is f!cking horrible. Sabato is neither creepy or in any way believable as a serial killer. The guy that plays Otis sucks too. And the woman who plays Otis' niece and Lucas' teenage female lover is ridiculously unbelievable and looks like exactly what she is-a 30ish year-old woman playing a 14 year-old. Even the soundtrack/score blew. I honestly couldn't tell if this film was supposed to be a comedy half the time. Avoid by all means, and watch either of the far superior HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER or CONFESSIONS OF A SERIAL KILLER for far more interesting and competent takes on the story. 2/10
  • Not only horror is my cup of tea but the story behind serial killers does interest me too. But being in the biz for over 15 years I'm mostly not into movies about serial killers. Oh yes, there are some great ones, The Deliberate Stranger (Mark Harmon playing Ted Bundy) for example, still OOP and the other OOP To Catch A Killer (Brian Dennehy playing John Wayne Gacy), and of course Henry:Portrait Of A Serial Killer concerning Henry Lee Lucas (played by Michael Rooker). The movie I just saw also told the story of Henry. But here it's boredom all the way. Were Portrait gives some nasty disturbing scene's (remember the television) this flick just is about, did he kill 3000 persons or not. We see some killings but the blood never flows. We see stabbings in the back, in the neck but the victims never bled. The best part is when Henry and his friend Otis picks up a hitchhiker. What happens next isn't disturbing but is really the best part. The only fact I could agree with is the truth about Henry having an affair with his niece Betty. He did kill his mother but not as stated in this flick. It's sad to see that a flick about two weirdo's doesn't deliver fear.