Drifter: Henry Lee Lucas

Director: Michael Feifer
Stars: Antonio Sabato Jr., John Diehl and Kostas Sommer
Writer: Michael Feifer, Christopher Ryan
Release Date: 1 April 2009 (USA)
Our Rating: 3/10

One of those “adapted from real life” movies, this is the story of the serial killer Henry Lee Lucas.

Drifter: Henry Lee Lucas

Drifter: Henry Lee Lucas

Written and directed by Michael Fiefer, it is an absorbing tale of the darkness that exists in the mind of man and how it can bubble to the surface with horrifying consequences. Staring Antonio Sabato Jr as Henry, a man who on real life confessed to over 600 murders. It was never discovered how many of them were deaths at his hands and how much of his confession was narcissistic invention and this movie explores the man’s mind beautifully. This isn’t one of those run of the mill cash in pictures, it is a thought provoking piece and is intelligently made, belying its low budget, which is nevertheless put to effective use here. The movie doesn’t skimp on the horrific details of Henry’s childhood, with a mother who beat him every day. It’s really no wonder he turned out as he did but fortunately, the movie doesn’t descend into the trap of using his background as an excuse for his behaviour, merely a reason, one piece in the tapestry of events that conspired to send him over the edge.

Sabato is good as Henry, convincingly portraying a very twisted individual who takes a strange delight in keeping the facts of his activities uncertain. A peculiar power trip and he plays well against the guest cast of whom Kostas Sommer and Kelly Curran really stand out. Sabato is given a lot to get his teeth into in the movie and the director isn’t afraid to linger on scenes a little longer than normal, just to make sure that they have the required impact. This is a very confident style of filmmaking And it’s good to see it on display in such a low budget piece. The cinematography is unexceptional visually but is well judged for the tone of the movie, giving the actors all the space they need to portray their roles, which again benefits Sabato. It’s tightly scripted with not a moment of screen time wasted and although hardly a masterpiece, it is nevertheless a very watchable and in it’s way entertaining film. Fans of the slasher genre will enjoy it as there are plenty of on screen murders and followers of serial killers will get a kick out of the fact that it is a very true to life retelling of Henry’s story. Not the most demanding movie in the world either, this is very good for curling up with a loved one for a late night chill, and of course, there’s always that strange pleasure to be had from exploring the darkest side of human nature. Though at a distance!