We have this reporter, Maria Sanchez I believe she called herself as played by actress Danielle Harris, an actress who has been spending an awful lot of time on my television as of late… girlfriend’s agent is doing bang up work… and she has one of those schlock television shows that investigates all kinds of atrocities and the like. Today’s atrocity is the Highway Butcher or the Freeway Cannibal, I can’t rightly remember, but along this stretch of California Highway, even though this movie was shot in Michigan, an awful lot of people have turned up missing, never to be found again. Whose doing this terrible thing? Uh… Cyrus. That’s who. Now nobody knew Cyrus was doing this until Maria and her cameraman Tom (Tony Yalda) were granted an interview with old man Emmitt (Lance Henriksen) who has explicit details, including hard proof on Cyrus, his good friend, and why he did what he did. Should Maria and Tom have run out of Emmitt’s house screaming and called the proper authorities? Of course they should have. Are they going to do this… at anytime during this movie ‘Cyrus: Mind of a Serial Killer’? Probably not.
So Emmitt settles into his easy chair and begins weaving the tale of his good friend Cyrus (Brian Krause) who has killed a couple hundred people. He used to be a good man, a hard working man, a former POW… in what war we can’t tell you… who had to eat rats to survive, and had a whore of a mom (Tiffany Shepis) who liked to snap the necks of puppies right in front of him. Mom… I tell you. Cyrus went from this whore of a mother, to the POW camp, to this whore of a wife of his who promptly sleeps with a traveling salesman, which pushes Cyrus over the edge. What to do with those bodies? How about grinding them up, and selling the meat at his local deli / restaurant as part of his signature Roadkill Burgers. I’ve never had one, but the word is that a Cyrus Roadkill burger is the bomb!
But this movie is basically about poor Chloe (Shawna Waldron), because according to Emmitt, it’s a shame what Cyrus did to Chloe. Just so you know, Chloe and her two friends Vicky (Ann Leighton) and Tina (Aris Mendoza) were eventually captured by Cyrus, while trying to get them some of that good ‘ol Country Fried Roadkill, and I was curious to see how bad Chloe got it, because it couldn’t have been any worse than the auburn haired Vicky, who has the misfortune of reminding Cyrus of his whore of a dead wife. As it turns out, Chloe got off kind of easy compared to Vicky. Chloe didn’t have to breastfeed the baby. It’s complicated.
Now our reporter and her cameraman know the Rest of the Story. The only thing left to do is the obvious thing. I mean it’s obvious as far as a horror movie is concerned, but completely illogical in the realm of reality. Surely our reporter and her cameraman aren’t going to do this thing, because that would be all kinds of stupid. Oh well.
Written and directed by Mark Vadik, ‘Cyrus: Mind of Serial Killer’ had some good things going for it and some not so good things working against it, holding it back. For instance, Lance Henriksen and his signature gravelly voice was a good thing in this movie. This time at least. The last time we saw Old Man Lance in a movie was the Sci-Fi Original ‘Scream of the Banshee’ in which Lance didn’t even bother to change out of his pajama’s he cared so little about being in that movie, but this time he was engaging, charming, creepy, and a little disturbed.
Also we liked Brian Krause and his rendition as Cyrus the Serial Killer, an approachable serial killer who’s plenty crazy, prone to delusions, but is polite and won’t have you cursing in his house, despite the fact he’s grinding you into tasty meat patties. Now we had a younger actor play Cyrus for the ‘back in the day’ shots, but since both Brian Krause and actor Wylie Allen don’t appear to be all that far apart in age, I don’t know if that actually worked. Particularly if we’re supposed to be believe that Brian Krause and old man Lance are similar-aged contemporaries. Not working for us. There’s also a few dialog nuggets and a clever plot point strewn across this films running time as well. And can we give a shout out to the actor that played State Trooper Davis? Best two minutes worth of acting in the whole movie.
What didn’t work for us were the talking head cutaways where we spoke to a ‘psychologist’, since we know they’re actors and all, where they tell us stuff about serial killers. I prefer not to be constantly drawn out of a movie to hear stuff I already know or don’t care about, with it all just seeming to be padding to lengthen the movie.
But I guess if it wasn’t for the talking head cutaways, then there’d be nothing to distinguish ‘Cyrus’ from any other mad serial killer movie. Truly, this is a film that sticks to the tried and true serial killer formula, from Cyrus and his messed up mom, all the way to the twist ending… and ending that only would’ve been a twist had they done something else.
True enough, we’ve seen worse than ‘Cyrus: The Mind of a Serial Killer’, but then we’ve also seen better. And that shakes out to be a mediocre serial killing cinematic experience.