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CYRUS: MIND OF A SERIAL KILLER
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Reviewed by: Andre Manseau

Directed by: Mark Vadik

Starring:
Brian Krause
Danielle Harris
Lance Henriksen

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
A  small independent news crew investigates a series of unexplained disappearances in a small Midwestern county. They find themselves interviewing a man who possesses an all too intimate knowledge of the details of "The County Line Cannibal" - Cyrus. Based on a true story.
Is it good movie?
If you've ever watched a horror flick where a journalist ends up working with a criminal of some sort, you know that things are going to go bed. That goes double if you're watching a horror flick where the journalist is interviewing a psychopathic killer.

Anyhoo, some prominent horror folks show up in this flick as Danielle Harris assumes the lead role of Maria, our headstrong but naive journalist working for a trashy tabloid-type show. She picks up her story from Lance Henriksen, who plays a hesitant local named Emmett. As the story goes on, it turns out that this guy knows a lot about Cyrus the killer and old Bishop is her key to meeting him. On top of all this, Cyrus is played by Sleepwalkers alumni Brian Krause! You'll also see some little appearances from Rae Dawn Chong, Doug Jones and even Tiffany Shepis in small parts.

Cyrus isn't a terrible misfire, but doesn't exactly hit on all cylinders. The problem here is that everything feels familiar, and there isn't enough meat here to really go on. I mean, how many times have we seen the whole "normal on the outside, crazy on the inside" gimmick when it comes to these types of serial killer movies? I mean sure, they add a little nasty in when you find out that Cyrus is a gourmet restaurant owner and has a secret ingredient in his 'roadkill burgers', but how could you not see that coming?

There's even a bit of Saw-esque torture porn thrown in as we hear about Cyrus' story. See, as things go on we're treated to stories of the past and get to see a trio of vacationing gals getting chopped up. Henriksen and Krause deserve props for their performances, as they are working their asses off here and it shows. I thought that the dude was best suited for playing a weird cat creature but I was wrong- he takes an underwritten role and plays it well.  I'm always appreciative of Danielle Harris (am I the only one who didn't hate her in Hatchet 2?) and she does a good job here too..although she can be a bit too hard-headed, character wise.

The film starts out well enough, but as I mentioned before it just falls into all the cliches of old horror flicks just like it. You know the ones, the parents are jerks, there's abuse involved,, the wife is mean, etc. Cyrus does boast a bit of beefy gore, but I couldn't help but feel it was a bit excessive for a movie that was trying to take itself as serious and disturbing. I like gore in Hatchet, not necessarily in my Silence of the Lambs.

I don't have much else to say here. The script for this film just isn't strong enough to carry it through to the finish, despite some good performances and a fun cast. The background information isn't interesting enough and I thought that the ending to this movie was absolutely pathetic in some respects. You can see the 'twist' coming from a mile away and it's really ridiculous.
Video / Audio
Video: 1.78:1 widescreen and is fairly sharp, although it is pretty dark and suffers from lighting blur.

Audio: Dolby 5.1 sounds clear, no problems here
The Extras
The only real extra here is Cyrus: Mind of a Serial Killer Behind the Scenes. It runs a little over 20 minutes, features an interview with the director and cast and gives some good background into the special effects too. On the plus side, this movie uses practical effects and that goes a long way in my book!

A trailer rounds out the disc.
Last Call
Cyrus ends up being disposable fluff for us horror fans. It's something to throw on when you can't figure what else to watch to see what some memorable faces are up to. The whole thing feels familiar and isn't overly smart but tries to maintain a dark and creepy tone. It isn't enough to warrant owning, but a once over might be up your alley.
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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