Psychologically Disturbing, Round One: Maniac vs. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer

Discussion in 'Horror Film Mini-Tournament (2010)' started by Cena's Little Helper, Oct 13, 2010.


Which Film Is More Disturbing?

  1. Maniac

  2. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer

Multiple votes are allowed.
Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. Cena's Little Helper

    Cena's Little Helper Mid-Card Championship Winner

    Jul 1, 2008
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    Maniac (1980, Directed by William Lustig)


    Synopsis: A schizoid loner in New York City kills random, young woman while brooding over his unsettling and abusive upbringing.

    Why This Film Was Chosen: It was either this or Angst. Angst has never been released in America or (to the best of my knowledge) the UK and Australia, so I went with the one people were more likely to have seen.

    Key Disturbing Moment: Although relatively tame by today's standards, Maniac's unmatched tone and atmosphere still makes it a must-see for those who like films that force them to a take long, hot, morally cleansing showers afterwards.


    Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986, Directed by John McNaughton)


    Synopsis: A fictional account of American serial killer Henry Lee Lucas.

    Why This Film Was Chosen: Because it remains the go-to gateway film for those who strive to be disturbed.

    Key Disturbing Moment: Like Maniac, Henry's disturbing nature comes not so much from what it depicts but from how it depicts. ​
  2. Kenny Powers

    Kenny Powers Bulletproof Tiger

    Jul 15, 2009
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    Got to go with Henry: Portrait of Serial Killer on this one. Maniac had some disturbing scenes, but it was all so cheesy though. With Henry, it takes you into the mind of a Serial Killer and doesn't try to make the character over the top like it does in Maniac. Henry is an average man who recruits a friend to do is bidding with him. The scenes where they filmed a family being tortured and killed while laughing at it and watching it over and over gain on their VCR was pretty disturbing. Maniac was more of a slasher flick and less like a psychological thriller. Henry gets my vote.
  3. INDYjon22

    INDYjon22 Nome is where your heart is

    Mar 29, 2009
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    I love Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer. It is such a haunting view. You have a man who is clearly a sick individual, and he is actually paired up with another, even worse person. In a way, Henry is the perfect anti-hero. He is Dexter before Dexter was even conceived, except not really. He only kills one "bad" person, and the rest are relatively innocent. I especially feel bad for the girl in the end. Henry goes out of his way to protect her from her scum, piece of shit brother, just to turn around and kill her himself. There is just so much tenseness in this film, it makes it great.

    I haven't seen Maniac yet, but I have seen the shotgun, head explosion scene. Good stuff. But, my vote has to go to Henry.
  4. jmt225

    jmt225 Global Moderator

    Feb 6, 2008
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    Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer... I couldn't get past the 30 minute mark. Not because it was disturbing, but because I thought it was boring as hell. Now, I've been meaning to give the film a 2nd chance since when I first saw I was pretty young (17, I think) and didn't have the patience then that I have today, but regardless, that's the taste I have in my mouth about the film at this point in time.

    Maniac, however, is a classic in my book. As Tdigs said, it's pretty tamed for today's standards, but man... when you think about it, what this film was able to pull off in fucking 1980, well that's just incredible. And there's no doubt if you were around at the time and old enough to see it.. it would have disturbed the ever living shit out of you.

    So, yeah... I have to give Maniac my vote here.

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