John McNaughton's debut film about real-life serial killer Henry Lee Lucas remains consistently powerful. It has a reputation of extreme violence but the sum total of these scenes is quite short in comparison to many commercial slasher flicks out there. The new UK DVD release offers the fullest version of the film yet, thanks to ever-softening attitudes at the BBFC.
The low budget roots of this film are always apparent in the grainy cinematography. Unfortunately the DVD transfer seems to add extra grain that's really not wanted. It's a fullscreen version, just as with the US DVD, which also suffers from the same low quality image.
In terms of sound, the disc is fine. A low-key stereo mix offers little in the way of effects, but it's clear and strong.
A 20-minute interview with John McNaughton is the main extra feature on this disc. He spends some time detailing the many years that it took him to break into film, and of his intention to make "Henry" as "a horror film shot in an art house style." He has a lot of praise for leading man Michael Rooker, and reveals that he wore his own clothes for the part of the charming serial killer.
Accompanying the DVD is an eight-page booklet which details the cuts previously made to the film and lists what has been restored. The last video release of the movie (on Polygram Video in 1993) totalled cuts of one minute, 53 seconds. This new release is cut by only 48 seconds but scenes of a victim's breasts being mauled and the toilet corpse shot are still missing as with previous cuts.
Sound: Dolby Digital 2.0
Extra Features: Scene selection, interview with director John McNaughton, McNaughton filmography, trailer, subtitles, supplementary eight-page booklet.