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Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer Blu-ray

United States
Dark Sky Films | 1986 | 86 min | Unrated | Sep 29, 2009

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (Blu-ray)

Codec: VC-1 (20.18 Mbps)
Resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 1.33:1
Original aspect ratio: 1.85:1

English: LPCM 2.0 (48kHz, 16-bit)


25GB Blu-ray Disc
Single disc (1 BD)

Region A (locked)

List price: $29.98, Price history
Amazon: $18.96 (Save 37%)
New from: $8.49 (Save 72%)
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Movie rating
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Blu-ray rating
Video 3.5 of 53.5
Audio 3.2 of 53.2
Extras 3.8 of 53.8
Based on 5 user reviews

Movie appeal



Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer


Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer Blu-ray offers solid video and decent audio in this enjoyable Blu-ray release

Michael Rooker is unforgettable as Henry, a soft-spoken loner with a cool exterior masking an inner rage that boils at blast furnace intensity. When fellow ex-con Otis invites Henry to move into his Chicago apartment, he becomes a willing participant in Henry's senseless, random killing sprees. Meanwhile, Otis' unsuspecting sister, Becky (Tracy Arnold) is smitten with Henry, whose broken childhood mirrors her own. Masterfully directed by John McNaughton, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer is a chilling character study of a mass murderer that continues to shock and disturb twenty years after its debut.

For more about Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer and the Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer Blu-ray release, see Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer Blu-ray Review published by on where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.

Starring: Michael Rooker, Tom Towles, Tracy Arnold
Director: John McNaughton

» See full cast & crew

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer Blu-ray, Video Quality

  3.5 of 5

Let's not sugarcoat this. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer is an ugly film. No matter how much you bump the resolution or tweak with the color timing, it will always be an ugly film. In a sense, though, it's perfectly ugly, with form and function, medium and message serving the same gritty, grime-covered ends. Here on Blu-ray, the film receives a 1080p/VC-1 encoded transfer that shows a slight but appreciable upgrade from prior DVD releases. Colors certainly seem stronger, warmer, and more stable, particularly reds, like Henry's coat and the film's ample blood. As Henry was shot on 16mm, an occasionally heavy grain field buzzes over the image and, by extension, the film isn't exactly sharp by modern standards. Close-ups obviously show more detail than the film's DVD counterpart, but some of the medium and longer shots have a softer, unresolved appearance. Black levels prove to be the film's repeat offender, frequently crushing detail during darker scenes. The daylight segments in downtown Chicago tend to look best, but I was also momentarily impressed by the hood-mounted shot of Henry and Otis driving in the rain, a shot that shows a surprising amount of depth. Still, much of the film has a dull, dingy, depressive look that is an inalienable effect of the low-budget source material. Even dressed up in a high definition transfer, Henry is still a grim and dirty affair, but I can't imagine it being any other way.

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer Blu-ray, Audio Quality

  3.0 of 5

Henry's Linear PCM 2.0 stereo track likewise represents the film well, even if the lo-fi audio capture is less than impressive today. As director John McNaughton reveals in his deleted scenes commentary, only two lines of dialogue were dubbed in post-production. All other lines were captured on-set or on-location, and the result is a somewhat uneven vocal mix. For example, you'll notice some discrepancies in ambient volume as the camera cuts back and forth between two actors. The sound quality during the scene in the underpass sounds flat-out horrible—muffled and indistinct—and I also noticed two instances of slight clipping. Still, the rest of the dialogue is intelligible and mostly clean. The dated score sounds as good as it can—with digital drums and buzzing synth lines—and for a 2.0 mix there's a decent amount of bass. I won't hesitate to say that this is the best that Henry has ever sounded, but it is noticeably inferior to other catalog titles from the mid-1980s.

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Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer Blu-ray, News and Updates

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer BD - June 23, 2009

Fangoria magazine has the scoop that Dark Sky Films is set to release John McNaughton's cult film 'Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer' on Blu-ray on September 29. No specifications are available, but you can expect 1.33:1 1080p video and a stereo lossless audio ...

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer Blu-ray, Forum Discussions

Topic Replies Last post
The Killer (John Woo) 475 Sep 14, 2012

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer Blu-ray

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