Archive for September 19th, 2010
I’ve questioned my reasoning behind adding a few Hitchcock films into this project for some time now. Originally, Frenzy was the only one to be included, but why not add a few more? Can Hitchcock be classed as horror? Can we really question what horror is as it’s relevant per individual. Regardless, here we are with one of his last films and arguably his most vicious of films.
Frenzy is a tale of a London serial killer, the necktie murderer who rapes and strangles women with his tie, around the Covent Garden area. Richard (Jon Finch) is a down on his look chancer who, after losing his job, heads over to visit his ex-wife. Things go wrong when his wife is found murdered, strangled to death and Richard is on the run. Of cause, this is Hitchcock and by this point in the film, we are already aware who the real killer is. Rusk (Barry Foster), a fruit merchant, lives with his mother and loves to hate women. One the first look, he’s a bit of a charmer, a chirpy cockney even, but brutal and full and anger. The ordeal between Rusk and Brenda (Richards exwife) is a shocking scene. A vile rape scene, Rust repeatedly saying ‘Lovely’ in a variety of voices and tones as the attack takes place. The necktie is soon around her neck, Rusk evaluates the situation, after showing a selection of emotions, true to any serial killer.
The film is quality through and through. Hitchcock is a master of cinema and knows exactly how to set up a scene showing what is needed and when. There is only one brutal murder for the viewer to witness. Later, a barmaid is murdered after entering Rusk’s pad, whist the viewer lingers in the corridor witnessing her fate through silence. Another vicious scene has Rusk attempting to remove his necktie pin which is tight in the fist of the dead barmaid. Forcing and breaking the fingers of the dead girl.
So this is all bleak, but with a script so sharp, care of Anthony Shaffer (Wickerman) we see a working side of London from a time long gone. It’s full of quick witted characters, keen to add a few words here and there with much local phrases which lift the film into a near ‘carry on’. One line from a hotel owner, after realizing that Richard is wanted for murder, who has just booked a honeymoon suite with Babs, the barmaid, says ‘Oh no! Not in the cupid room!’
Hitchcock is always remembered more for his Crime Thrillers, but his most notable work was Psycho, yet with Frenzy, shot some 12 years later, it’s a very different type of film. Hichcock’s homeland, a swinging London backdrop, some stiff upper lip and a bit of likely lads captured by a talented eye, a master of the lense, but this has to be his most under-recognised of his films, even though it’s his most violent.
Vicious, charming, elegant and disturbing, Frenzy is a must for any fan of horror.