Frenzy (The Masterpiece Collection)

There’s something fascinating watching one of Hitchcock’s final films from the 1970’s. Each contains a real reach on his part to embrace the influence of the graphic nature of violence in our culture. Looking back, it’s a shame because Hitchcock’s films masterfully told a violent story without showing every detail. Implied rather than in your face. Suspense vs. gore. Frenzy in 1972 turned out to be Hitchcock’s penultimate film. Family Plot released in 1976 and Hitch died in 1980 at the age of 81 years old. Filmed in London, Frenzy follows the “Neck Tie Serial Killer” who we think might be one person, but then perhaps someone else. The only name actor I recognized was Billie Whitelaw (Maurice). The rest of the cast did a good job keeping the plot moving. I will say there was some awful misogynistic dialogue that shocked me. I assume it was used to show the cavalier nature some men in power felt about rape. It was certainly rough to witness even historically. I enjoyed the final third of Frenzy much more than the beginning and middle. I wasn’t really sure where it was going for a long time and then it crystallized on to a “wronged man” plot device, working its way into a satisfying ending. This is definitely second tier Hitchcock, but even second tier is worth investigating, especially on a quiet Saturday night. 3 out of 5 for Frenzy.

For a more detailed view of the Frenzy misogyny and even how it relates to Trump, check out Frenzy’s review on Hitchcock 52, a great film project where each week in 2016 Matt Buchholz chronicles his viewing of a Hitchcock film.

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