Sunday, December 20, 2009

Frenzy: Bit Of a Waste Of Good Potatoes If You Ask Me.

While in my Hitchcock phase of life at the young age of 12 or so- I had gone through nearly every 12 pound collector's VHS at the library. I had also received a wonderful book for Christmas around that time, detailing every Hitchcock movie ever made. The page on Frenzy warned viewers that this was a very different Hitchcock movie and that the rape scenes were brutal- and that there were even *gasp* boobs! I knew I had to see it right then and there. Probably not the best film to watch with your father- but Bob's your uncle I did it and I was damn proud that I could sit through such a movie at 12 years of age. I was terribly embarrassed however that I was watching a movie with my Dad where boobs were involved but oh well, we can't have it all my good friends.

Frenzy is Hitchcock's second to last movie. It's funny to think that at one point in his career he was practically pushed in front of the firing squad for showing Grace Kelly pack an overnight bag in Rear Window- when Frenzy shows boobs boobs and rape and murder murder murder. Never one to fear pushing the bar, Hitchcock always went boldly to places others rarely went. Frenzy is the story about a string of murders in England committed by a man known as the "neck tie killer". His victims are usually naked and strangled with a necktie. After Richard Blaney's wife turns up as one of the victims- the police are fed a number of clues linking him to the murder. The audience however is fully aware that the rapist and murderer is not Richard- but rather his friend, Robert Rusk. While the bodies keep piling up- so does the evidence against Richard- and so he must try to maintain his innocence- while the guilty one continues to rape and kill.

If you've never seen Frenzy and are a fan of Hitchcock- what are you doing?? This film is utterly fantastic- although many people would claim otherwise because it's so drastically different from his previous work. I am here to tell you however- that it is not drastically different. The air of suspense is alive and well- as is the irony, the key shots, the off screen murders, the witty lines and overall amazing work. The only difference is boobs. Boobs boobs boobs. Who cares about boobs? Get over it.

I love so many things about this movie but namely the way that the murders are handled. There is only one murder shown on the screen- and it is brutal-but the great thing about it is that because of that brutal murder scene- the off screen murder is just as brutal. Therefore Hitchcock has done his job. By projecting that first murder on us- our heads are immediately filled with similar images when the rapist takes the second victim into his apartment. The shot pans out backwards down the stairs and focuses on all the people walking by, oblivious to the heinous crime being done above them. We however- are not oblivious. Just as we are not oblivious to the true identity of the killer. Our minds create a scene of our own where the victim is just as helpless and just as vulnerable as the first- it's quite a brilliant bit of movie making if you ask me.

The other great scene which I would wager you may have heard of before is the potato truck scene. Suspense in a truck filled with potatoes. Perfection. I won't give too much away but I will just say that the breaking of the first finger is excruciating and by the time the breaking of the third finger happens your eyes roll back into your head. Although we have no true remorse for the future of Robert Rusk- we are wide eyed when that truck stops- again brilliant. Yes it is brutal and extremely graphic for Hitchcock but it is still dealt with on his terms and therefore does not veer off from the usual course of his work.

Finally, I would just like to say that I am in love with the scenes where the inspector's wife tries to cook him fine gourmet French food. It may be the best thing ever. Yeah it definitely is. So in a nutshell- Frenzy is amazing. It's an instant watch on Netflix so make a day of it and sit and take in the wonder. Also pay attention to how amazing the very first scene is- irony at it's best. Oh and also my least favorite of all creepy gingers from Peeping Tom stars in this...bollocks.

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