Henry Lee Lucas: Serial Killer (2009) |Antonio Sabato Jr’s psycho flick is sick, slick and perversely entertaining


An almost unrecognisable Antonio Sabato Jr plays against type as one of America’s most infamous serial killers in this true-crime drama from genre director Michael Feifer.

After drifter Henry Lee Lucas is arrested in 1983 for unlawfully possessing a firearm, he confesses to the murder of an elderly woman in a bid to get his treatment in police custody improved. More confessions follows – around 3000 – resulting in a journey from state to state under the watchful eye of a couple of Texas Rangers. But how can anyone tell truth from lie from a man as damaged as Henry Lee?

Director Feifer (who has made a career out of serial killer biopics and helmed the late Brittany Murphy’s final film, Abandoned) stops himself from overly dramatising Henry Lee’s life (1986’s Henry: A Portrait of a Serial Killer was a fictional account of the Lucas legend) and tries to stick with the facts.

But the director can’t help using a bludgeon to recount Henry Lee’s traumatised childhood at the hands of his abusive, alcoholic mother who he ends up killing (quite rightly so given the pain she inflicts on him); and Lucas’ years drifting through the Southwestern states with his necrophile confidante Ottis Toole (Kostas Sommer), raping and killing young hitchhikers along the way.

Sick, slick and perversely entertaining, true crime fans will lap this release up, while those looking for something more cerebral should look elsewhere. This goes into my Might See list.

Available on DVD (Cert 18)


About Peter Fuller

Peter Fuller is an award-winning print, radio and television journalist and producer, with over 30 years experience covering film and television, with a special interest in world cinema and popular culture. He is a leading expert on the life and career of Vincent Price and actively promotes the actor's legacy through publications, websites and special events.

Posted on November 25, 2013, in American Indie, Might See, Might-See, Psychological thriller, Thriller, True Crime and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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