When presented with the opportunity to review this film, just seeing the name Lance Henriksen on the cast list was enough for me to agree. Ed Harley (Pumpkinhead) and Bishop (Aliens) are my favorite roles of his, and I had just seen his performance of Dr. Lecorpus in In The Spider’s Web a few weeks prior so I was ready for this.
As usual, he does not disappoint and his portrayal of Emmett in Cyrus: Mind Of A Serial Killer is an interesting role. In fact, for the majority of the first half of the film, he does nothing but sit in a chair and narrate the flashback story of Cyrus’ upbringing.
In Cyrus, the films namesake character is played by Brian Krause (Charmed), a young man who has had a rough childhood. Trying to do better for his new wife and upcoming child, he buys a farm which turns out to be the starting point of his fall. Unable to make the farm work and now broke, he catches his wife cheating on him, and in his rage kills them both, including killing his newly born child. With some help from a friend, he decides to open up a roadside stand and start selling “Roadkill” burgers and sausage, made from the ground meat of his victims. His stand is a success, naturally leading to the issue of having to find more and more victims to supply his stand.
Meanwhile, Maria, a reporter played by Danielle Harris, is researching the mysterious disappearance of three women in particular, but also the hundreds of disappearances in the area. Emmett (Henriksen) agrees to give an interview detailing what he knows of his best friend, Cyrus, and how Cyrus killed all those people. Naturally, since the FBI and local police have no leads on the disappearances, this comes as quite a shock to Maria and she feverishly pursues the interview wanting to get all the truth on film.
The ending sneaks up on you quickly and it’s not at all what you would assume at the beginning of the film. One thing is for sure though, Maria and her cameraman, Tom (Tony Yalda), are in for the story of their lives.
Lance’s performance is great here and his voice really makes the story as he narrates it. Danielle Harris (Halloween, Hatchet 2) also gives a good performance, showcasing every emotion from surprise, anger, disgust, and fear, in her search for answers. Brian Krause does a decent job as Cyrus, making you pity and hate him all at the same time, but his character and this film are successful due to his co-stars.
Directed by Mark Vadik, Cyrus has a ton of psychological elements, at a few points even making you feel pity for Cyrus, which was Mark’s intent. Starting off a bit slow for what you are expecting given the term “Serial Killer” in the title, it quickly picks up, explains all, and keeps you enthralled for the rest of the film. If your looking for the next “big thing” in horror this is not it, but if you want a creepy, dark ride through Psychoville, this will definitely fit the bill.
Film Score: 2/5
I took some time to look over all the extras included with the DVD, which are English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired, the official trailer, and a 20 minute behind the scenes featurette. The first two are pretty standard, but the featurette was interesting, even if it was slightly too short. It includes a question and answer with the director, discussions with all eight of the major cast members, as well as a short piece on makeup and effects. It would have been nice to have seen Lance and/or director commentary, as well as more info and video from the actual roadside scene Mark Vadik encountered that inspired the film (talked about in the featurette).
Disc and Extras Score: 2/5