CYRUS: MIND OF A SERIAL KILLER is a relentless descent into a monster’s psyche and offers an unflinching view of abduction, torture, rape, insanity, and murder through the eyes of a bona fide madman. A naïve and ambitious reporter (Danielle Harris, HALLOWEEN) seeks out the one story that will give her a big break and she thinks she’s found it when a man (Lance Henriksen) contacts her and tells her he has information about the County Line Cannibal. Intrigued, she sets out to the countryside to interview the crusty stranger, who knows a little too much about a serial killer with a taste for flesh and an affinity for hunting human prey.
CYRUS’ most impressive feature is that it is filled with enough genre actors for ten horror films. Seeing Harris and Henriksen share the same film (they also worked together in the illustrated film GODKILLER) is tops. Both have starred in enough horror films to be pros at this type of picture by now, but their performances (especially Henriksen’s gruff delivery in the role as narrator of this film) feel fresh and real. It was also cool seeing Doug Jones without being covered in makeup as a doctor talking about serial killers and scream queen Tiffany Shepis does a great job as Cyrus’ sleazy mom. Brian Krause (of CHARMED & SLEEPWALKERS fame) plays the title character and does a phenomenally creepy job at it. His subtle mannerisms flesh out this deeply disturbed man.
The creepiest part of CYRUS is that it is being played as fact. Though it’s filled with genre stars, the expert and witness testimony interspersed between Henriksen’s stories of Cyrus are chilling in that writer/director Mark Vadik makes it feel like you’re watching a documentary. Though the budget is modest and the script is a tad clunky in spots, the star power and mock authenticity in CYRUS makes it play as so much more. Those who adored the mock verite style of BEHIND THE MASK and MAN BITES DOG and scour the True Crime section of book stores will want to put CYRUS: MIND OF A KILLER on their list of flicks worth stalking.