CYRUS: MIND OF A SERIAL KILLER (2010) Reviews and overview

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‘Based on true events’

Cyrus: Mind of a Serial Killer is a 2010 American horror thriller feature film written, produced and directed by Mark Vadik. It is also known as Cyrus: The Highway Killer.

The movie stars Brian Krause (Coffin Baby; Poseidon Rex; Camel Spiders), Lance Henriksen (Pumpkinhead; Stung; Hollows Grove) and Danielle Harris (Camp DreadHatchet II and III; Stake Land).

Contrary to the statement at the start of the film, it is not ‘based a true story’. However director Mark Vadik has claimed that elements of the plot were inspired by Fritz Haarmann, the “Butcher of Hanover” who terrorised boys and men in post-WWI Germany, a killer who was also the basis for M (1931) among other films.


An independent TV reporter and her cameraman interview a man (Lance Henriksen) in regards to a serial killer the man knew by the name of Cyrus. The man traces back through the story of the serial killer and why he became the monster he is.

cyrus (1)

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“There’s some slasher and torture bits, some macabre dark humor (at least I think we’re supposed to chuckle at Cyrus’s oblivious patrons eating a mysterious meat called “road kill”), and the usual serial killer psychosis. It’s also a slickly produced film rather than being obliquely grim, which means Cyrus falls somewhere between being genuinely disturbing and unusually entertaining.” Brett Gallman, Oh, the Horror!


“There is enough gore to entertain the horror fans but it doesn’t go overboard and steers away from being gratuitous. There are also scenes interspersed throughout the film that are interviews with psychologists and doctors that look at serial killers from a medical standpoint and gives facts when they are heard are frightening and real.” Corey Danna,


“Vadik doesn’t put a foot wrong here. Its a fine, modest little film that will please fans and non fans of the sub genre alike. It perhaps veers to close to the dreaded ‘torture’ style of horror on occasion, but never truly crosses the line into exploitation. Its violent and has some scenes I’d rather forget, but much of the horrific stuff is left to the viewers imagination.” Kyle Scott, The Horror Hotel


“It’s got issues, but everyone is putting effort into doing something different, and it never gets too dull or repetitive thanks to the unusual structure. And any movie that gives Lance and Danielle (plus Tiffany Shepis, in a brief, almost unrecognizable role as Cyrus’ despicable mother) something different to do is worth a look for genre fans.” Brian W. Collins, Horror Movie a Day






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Cast and characters:

  • Brian Krause as Cyrus
  • Danielle Harris as Maria
  • Lance Henriksen as Emmett
  • Wylie Allen as Young Cyrus
  • Patricia Belcher as Maybelle
  • Sam Brilhart as Young Emmett
  • Rae Dawn Chong as Vivian
  • Jeff Christian as Sherriff
  • Regina Daniels as Victim Girl #2
  • Ben Dubash as Trooper Davis
  • Zachary Christopher Fay as Joseph
  • Corey Gibbons as Greg
  • Andrew Gregg as Salesman
  • Doug Jones as Doctor Albert
  • Anne Leighton as Vicky
  • Trevor Luce as Luke
  • Mike McNamara as Rick
  • Valerie Meachum as Tanny
  • Aris Mendoza as Tina
  • Bill Miller as John
  • Tanya Newbould as Molly
  • Paul Preiss as Katz
  • Kim Rhodes as Doctor Dallas
  • Jill Sandmire as Amber
  • Tiffany Shepis as Cyrus’s Mother
  • Michael Steen as Warden
  • Shawna Waldron as Chloe
  • Tony Yalda as Tom

Filming locations:

Niles and Three Oaks, Michigan, USA





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