Alfred Hitchcock returns to his London roots for a story of a gruesome killer on the loose, and a down-on-his-luck wrongly accused man. Frenzy impresses with its street-level coarseness, Hitchcock foregoing star names and focusing on the contrast between the comforts of earthiness and the dangers of the falsely suave.
Apparently a stand-up member of society, Rusk runs a successful produce business in bustling Covent Garden. His sophisticated airs help him hide the fact that he is a sexual deviant and the necktie killer, and he chooses Brenda to be his latest victim. Suspicion immediately descends onto Blaney, and he has to go into hiding. But his troubles just multiply: Rusk commits another murder designed to further incriminate Blaney. Chief Inspector Oxford (Alec McCowen) appears to have an easy case, but he also possesses a sharp eye for detail as he attempts to stop the killings and find his way to the real killer.
The second memorable scene is Rusk's desperate quest to retrieve his lapel pin from the hands of his latest victim in the back of a potato truck hurtling down the highway. With rigor mortis having set in, the dead naked woman has the pin firmly clenched, and Rusk faces his own horror attempting to pry her fist open while trying to avoid her flailing limbs and potatoes flying in all directions.
The son of a greengrocer, Hitchcock captures a neighbourhood market prior to its evolution into a tourist haven. In Frenzy, Covent Garden is a working class, ramshackle produce market, colourful, energetic and full of character. The crowded sidewalks, narrow lanes, unexpected notches, small staircases and dank loading zones provide a perfect backdrop for Hitchcock's dangerous twists. It may not be quite in the same class as his classic movies, but Frenzy is still full of the delightfully disturbing dreadful dead.
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