Last night we saw the return of Michael Rooker as Merle Dixon in season 3 of AMC’s The Walking Dead. He’s been one of those actors who has made a living in genre film and projects and for this he has gained quite a loyal and zealous fan-base which includes myself. Not many people actually know that he starred in one of the most disturbing piece of filmmaking in the last quarter-century. Many people will throw the word “most disturbing” all the time, but with the film I’m taking the latest “Scenes I Love” entry it’s been a consensus amongst genre fans and just film-lovers in general that it’s a film that deserves all the praise thrown it’s way.
It’s not a film that’s really enjoyable. In fact, it’s a film that’s made to elicit a reaction that ranges from disgust to plain creepiness. The film I’m talking about is John McNaughton’s classic horror film simply titled Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer.
The film has so many sequences that has become etched in the minds of those who have seen the film. Whether it’s the opening of the film where we see Henry going about his business like some average joe interspersed with scenes of violence and degradation left behind. Another infamous scene that many has decried the film for being tasteless and is the home invasion scene. Even the final scene of the film is disturbing for the fact that we don’t see the redemption we thought the end of the film was going for, but instead just another start in a new cycle of violence and death for the title character.
The one scene I picked and saying I love this scene is pushing it. Let’s just say that this is the scene that really solidified the film to me as a horror classic. It’s a scene between Henry and his old pal Otis on a double date and it’s a date that horrible goes awry. The horror of Henry killing people is enough for some, but the reaction afterwards of both Henry and Otis just shows that these events do happen in real-life and that the banality of evil in everyday life is more horrifying and disturbing than any horror fiction people can come up with.