Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer

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Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer is a 1986 American crime psychological thriller film directed and co-written by John McNaughton about the random crime spree of a serial killer who seemingly operates with impunity. It stars Micheal Rooker as the nomadic killer Henry, Tom Towles as Otis, a prison buddy with whom Henry is living, and Tracey Arnold as Becky, Otis's sister. The characters of Henry and Otis are loosely based on real life serial killers Henry Lee Lucas and Otis Toole.

The shocking true story of Henry Lee Lucas. (taglines)


  • Don't do that Otis, she's your sister!
  • Otis, plug it in.
  • It's always the same and it's always different.
  • Guns are easy to get...I can make a phone call and get a gun. Anybody can get a gun, Otis. My dog can get a gun!


Store clerk: How about those Bears?
Henry: Fuck the Bears.

Becky: I don't want to talk about Leroy!
Otis: Okay, we don't have to talk about him! You hungry?
Becky: Yeah.
Otis: Good, I'm hungry too. I wonder if Leroy's hungry. (laughs)

[Back at the house after he helped Henry break the necks of two prostitutes, Otis is visibly shaken.]
Henry: You tellin' me you never killed anybody before?
Otis: I didn't say that! There've been times when I've had to. But that was different from tonight. Tonight just seemed...wrong.
Henry: Open your eyes, Otis! Look at the world! It's either you...or them...you know what I mean.

Becky: I love you, Henry.
Henry: I guess I love you too.

[Otis is tending to a broken nose that a kid he tried to make sexual advances on gave him.]
Otis: That little fucking bastard. I oughta kill him. I oughta cut his fucking head off.
Henry: That'd be a mistake.
Otis: Look who's talking.
Henry: (forcefully) Watch your mouth, Otis.
Otis: I'm sorry, Henry.
Henry: You kill that high school boy, they're gonna slap your ass right back in jail, Otis. That's a promise. I mean, people have seen you together.
Otis: I'd still like to kill him, though
Henry: I bet you would.
Otis: I'd like to kill somebody.
Henry: Say that again.
Otis: I'd like to kill somebody.
Henry: Let's me and you go for a ride, Otis.

Henry: If you shoot someone in the head with a .45 every time you kill somebody, it becomes like your fingerprint, see? But if you strangle one, stab another, and one you cut up, and one you don't, then the police don't know what to do. They think you're four different people. What they really want, what makes their job so much easier, is pattern. What they call a modus operandi. That's Latin. Bet you didn't know any Latin, did you kid?
Otis: Big fucking deal.
Henry: What?
Otis: Nothing.
Henry: It's like a trail of shit, Otis. It's like the blood droppings from a deer you shot, and all they've got to do is follow those droppings, and pretty soon, they're going to find their deer.
Otis: So why did we use a gun?
Henry: You can use a gun. I'm not saying you can't use a gun. Just don't use the same gun twice.

Otis: Where you going?
Henry: Nowhere - you wanna come?

Becky: Did you really kill your mama?
Henry: Huh?
Becky: Did you really kill your mama?
Henry: I guess I did.
Becky: How'd it happen?
Henry: I stabbed her.
Becky: Otis said you hit her with a baseball bat.
Henry: Otis said that?
Becky: Yeah.
Henry: Well, he's mistaken.
Becky: Well don't tell him I told you. He made me promise...she must have treated you real bad.
Henry: She was a whore. My mama was a whore. But I don't fault her for that. It ain't what she done, but how she done it. Long as I can remember, she'd bring men up to the house. My daddy was there too, but it didn't matter none to her. She'd make me watch.
Becky: That's creepy.
Henry: She'd beat me too. A lot. She'd beat me when I wouldn't watch it. And sometimes she'd beat me, and make me wear a dress, and watch her doin' it. Then they'd laugh at me.
Becky: She made you wear a dress?
Henry: You think I'm lyin?
Becky: I feel like I know you, like I've known you for a long time. I feel like I've known you forever and ever.
Henry: Yeah. I killed my mama. One night. It was my 14th birthday. She was drunk, and we had an argument. She hit me with a whiskey bottle. I shot her. I shot her dead.
Becky: I thought you said you stabbed her.
Henry: Oh yeah, that's right, I stabbed her.

[Otis begins to rewind a tape that Henry shot of them murdering an entire family]
Henry: What're you doing?
Otis: I wanna see it again!


  • The shocking true story of Henry Lee Lucas.
  • Yeah, I killed my Mama...
  • He's not Freddy. He's not Jason. He's real.
  • before "The Silence of the Lambs" comes the most highly acclaimed and controversial film of the year."


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