Monday, February 22, 2010

My Year in Disturbing Film: Week 8 - Already?

My year in disturbing film is my weekly column where I devote a few paragraphs to the most fucked up films ever made. Each week I plan on subjecting myself to the most horrific and mentally damaging imagery my mind can handle. I can't promise you this won't be the week I wind up in the hospital...

HERE is a reminder about my rating system for these films

Let's see what we pull out of our bag o'tricks this week...

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer – Unrepentant

What is the movie about?
Henry takes a very minimalist approach to its filmmaking. The main cast is only three or four people and several extras playing corpses. Henry (Michael Rooker) is a serial killer, as the name implies. He has a system for not getting caught. We’re introduced to his work very early in the film and essentially the entire film is Henry living life as a serial killer. He makes a few personal relationships that all go to hell. It’s one of the few movies I’ve ever seen where only one person survives the entire thing. I’ll leave it to you to find out who.

Was the film disturbing?
There isn’t much to Henry: Portrait of a serial killer so this will be a pretty short write up. Yes, Henry is a very disturbing film. Not in the traditional sense though. It’s disturbing in the sense that it gives you an unprecedented view into the mind of a serial killer. Henry tries to make friends, he even tries to take one under his wing and make him like Henry. That man’s name is Otis. Otis in many ways is more insane that Henry, this is one of the reasons why Henry is so disturbing. It shows one man murdering for no discernable reason with no remorse and no conscience.

Let’s get back to Otis for a second. Otis is the character in Henry that you will cheer when he dies. He is scum and aside from his awesome hat there are no redeemable qualities to the man. The scenes where Henry is trying to bring Otis into the fold are the most disturbing. Otis and Henry attack a family in their home and videotape it. They kill the family; But Otis isn’t just interested in murder like Henry. He wants a piece of the action and he doesn’t care who it’s from. It takes Henry pulling him off to stop Otis from having himself a little necrophilia party. Otis also on several occasions tries to kiss, touch and eventually rape his sister, the latter being the scene of his eventual demise. Otis is the most terrifying character in the film because he shows us true human nature. Henry doesn’t suffer from this because the only thing urging him on is the will to kill. Otis on the other hand is interested in greed and in sex.

Otis and Henry, uh, sitting in a tree? K-I-S-S-I-N-G?

Henry: Portrait of a serial kill is one of those classics of the genre that you really need to do yourself a favor and watch it. It’s a great movie even if it’ll make you feel a little less towards your fellow man after you’re done with it.


5 incestuous rapes out of 5

Disturbitude: 7, There are some pretty brutal deaths in this and despite it’s age, it still manages to get into your head. You’re never going to be the same person after you watch this, but the damage should be minimal. No therapy for me yet, though I have a feel about what’s…

Next up: Martyrs – Bear witness

P.S. You’ll understand why I say unrepentant after you watch the movie

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