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Frenzy
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Frenzy More at IMDbPro »

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16 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

Top director but cheap junk

2/10
Author: Andy Howlett from United Kingdom
16 October 2006

Oh dear - quite how Alfred Hitchcock (North by Northwest, Spellbound, the 39 Steps) could turn out this nasty, cheapjack shocker is beyond me. Don't bother looking for hidden depths or deep meanings - there aren't any. This is just horrid, seedy and cheap. The one redeeming feature is the home-life of the inspector who leads the investigation - his wife fancies herself as a gourmet cook and constantly serves up her revolting culinary experiments to her poor husband. This is amusing, and just about saved me putting the film in the 'awful' bracket, but the film as a whole is one of the most unpleasant I've ever seen. I believe this was Hitchcock's next-to-last film - perhaps someone was trying to tell him something.

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And twelve years later...

8/10
Author: frankwiener from USA
8 August 2017

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When one considers the pains that were taken during the filming of Psycho to appease the censors in 1960 by covering parts of Janet Leigh's body with "flesh colored patches of moleskin"(!), can we conclude that director Hitchcock finally was able to expose the bodies of his female victims the way he always wanted to expose them? Is that really a naked woman floating in the Thames? Looks that way.

Ironically, the film opens with the speech of a politician promising to "clean up the Thames for once and for all" when suddenly the body of another serial murder victim washes up on the adjacent river bank. The only person in attendance who is not applauding the speech is the director himself in one of his trademark cameo appearances. Got the message, Mr. Hitchcock.

Having seen this film, I've concluded that there are a whole bunch of very talented British actors out there with whom I need to familiarize myself more. I think that this cast did an amazing job with the material, and why other reviewers didn't appreciate the sideshow between Chief Inspector Oxford (Alec McCowen) and his very eccentric but very astute wife (Vivien Merchant) is beyond me. It not only displayed the human side of Chief Inspectors but also provided a much needed relief from the shock and terror of the crimes that were occurring at the same time.

The theme of an innocent man being mistaken for a criminal (or a spy) is one that runs throughout Mr. Hitchcock's long and impressive career, and he handles it as skillfully as ever in this instance. Jon Finch perfectly plays the unlucky schlemiel who is falsely accused. I also find it interesting to have learned after the movie that Michael Caine originally refused the part of Rusk because he found the character to be so reprehensible. Throughout the movie, Barry Foster as Rusk very much reminded me of Michael Caine. The fact that Rusk is dressed so formally at work in a vegetable market, including a suit and a TIE, probably should have been a strong hint from the start.

Although this film was very disturbing and graphic at times, I found it to be another very successful product from an outstanding director.

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Master Released

8/10
Author: Joropukki from Helsinki, Finland
24 January 2016

After seeing this impressive masterpiece for the third time I thought Sir Alfred Hitchcock's active career took place two or three decades too early with reference to his true nature. Here he was free from the constraints of U.S. puritanism of the Forties and Fifties. He was a modern here. He showed how to direct a shockingly macabre story with brilliant flair and impact, but also with a fine balance between slashing and insinuation. Frenzy was Ealing Studio stuff transported into future, as an emancipated variant of Baronets and Good Hearts – so British. Dear John (Carpenter), did you ever see this one? For some strange reason I kept on thinking of Freud all the while I was watching this. 8/10

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Hitch at his cheeky and lecherous best

7/10
Author: PimpinAinttEasy from India
13 May 2014

With all the new artistic freedom in the 70s, Hitch is at his cheeky and lecherous best in FRENZY. His portrayal of women in this film is close to pornographic.

It is a very British film, with all the scenes of pub life and the understated British humor and elegance. Some of the dialogs and scenes are pretty outrageous but it is all understated. I was not all that impressed by JON FINCH. I remember seeing BARRY FOSTER in TWISTED NERVE and he plays a similar character in this film. The women are beautiful as always.

It was enjoyable but not as thrilling as some of his earlier work. I guess it is closer to films like UNDER CAPRICORN.

(7/10)

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From a filmmaking standpoint it's great. However, I wasn't a real fan.

5/10
Author: bobbysoxer97 from Michigan
23 January 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I give this mediocre review out of my own deeply personal opinion of the film. There are some subjects I cannot handle; a story of a psycho rapist is one of them. Hitchcock's name is synonymous with edgy suspense films and until I had seen the this, I hadn't met one I did not like. From a professional standpoint the film has many, many great points. The long pan from the second murder victim's doom to the busy street outside, the scene that shows just how hard it is to deal with a dead body while bouncing around in the back of a truck, etc. Great filmmaking. However, I couldn't enjoy the film. For some reason, the subject matter struck a horrific chord with me and I couldn't stomach it. The rape scene was all too realistic and as a woman it was like watching a nightmare on screen; the line of a "good scare" had be crossed by yards. Cinematically Hitch is still at the top of his game...however, I will say that this is my least favorite film of his. Not really bad; I just could not enjoy it.

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Lovely...lovely...lovely (Tongue-in-cheek sex murder story from Hitch!) xx Spoilers xx

7/10
Author: naseby from London, England
12 December 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Weirdly humorous in places, for Hitchcock at the same time meant to engage a story of a serious subject about a London serial killer, dubbed naturally by the media as 'The Necktie Killer' - it says it all about the sex killing to boot! A plot involving a disgraced former RAF officer, Blaney (Jon Finch, sadly not seen enough in film)implicated for the murders. After losing his job to the 'bastard' Bernard Cribbins at the pub he'd worked at, his erstwhile pal, 'ladies' man, wide-boy, Bob Rusk (Barry Foster) tries to help him out but, too proud to accept his help for a job, cash and a tip on a horse (that comes in and he failed to back) he then goes to see his ex, played by Barbara Leigh-Hunt. They do get on a little, but Blaney's the 'angry man' who always lets that get the better of him. Helped also by 'Babs' at the pub, the late Anna Massey ... let's just say that the latter two ladies end up wearing a tie, implicating Blaney further - what is it they say, victims are always victims to someone they know!!!

So... in comes Alec McCowen, as the police officer investigating, with a neat touch of a horrible wife who likes to kill too ... by serving McCowen with awful 'experimental exotic recipes'. Whilst lapping up fry-ups when he's away from her, he's hunting for Blaney. But... however it looks, with tip-off after tip-off about Blaney's whereabouts and help from his posh mate Clive Swift, this guy's just so unlucky. Right up until the police finally get somewhere other than promotion in locating ... should I say who? I 'have' got SPOILERS up, so read no further if you don't want to know... yep, it was his chum, right along, Bob Rusk ... some friend!

The end is a nice piece as it looks as if Blaney has caught up with Rusk ... only for the police to finally nab him. This thriller had some good acting from 'angry' Finch as Blaney with a good supporting British cast. Some nice lines ... when a barmaid says to a 'regular' lawyer, 'He rapes them FIRST' ... 'Well, every cloud has a silver lining' replies the lawyer!!! 'We haven't had a good murderer since Christie, it's so good for the tourist trade ... they all think our streets are full of Hansom Cabs and whores with ripped throats!' he goes on! A nice little niche especially as it was Hitchcock's last, set in his own home town, with some neatly played touches of humour as I say. Foster is palatable as the murderer and people who don't like Blaney (the word 'bastard' is often used by him and others about him!) made this watchable. It's probably not lasted the test of time but still is worth your time if you like a thriller.

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Mr Rusk, you aren't wearing your tie.

7/10
Author: jackasstrange from United States
30 October 2013

Frenzy is a very watchable film. As a typical Hitchcockian film, it has all the elements of this 'genre' but that time also tied with tons of black comedy. And as a fan of both black comedy and thriller genres, i really appreciated this film. The script is good,the character development is once again phenomenal and essential for the thriller(typical Hitchcock standard,perhaps). A very convincing conflict and a very convincing resolution as well. The acting was mostly average, except by the good performance by Barry Foster. I just bothered a little with the more than often poor dialogues sequences. Maybe i got it wrong, and some of these poor dialogues are purposely there, to accentuate the weird atmosphere in the film. But if is that the case, i am sure that it don't worked. At least for me. Still, despite having sometimes bad dialogues and even very disturbing moments, 'Frenzy' is a good watch. 7.5/10

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Necktie Killer.

5/10
Author: AaronCapenBanner from North America
13 October 2013

Alfred Hitchcock directed this violent thriller set in London that stars Jon Finch as Richard Blaney, an unlucky and unpleasant man who becomes the chief suspect in a rash of brutal murders of women called the Necktie Killer. It turns out to be the work of his friend Robert Rusk(played by Barry Foster) who is more than happy to see Richard take the blame, especially when his ex-wife is the next victim, forcing Richard to go on the run to prove his innocence... Though this is a livelier film than Hitch's previous two pictures, with some style and suspense, the story and lead characters are so unpleasant and unsympathetic that it would have been better to tell the whole film from the perspective of the Chief Inspector(played by Alec McGowan), since he is the only likable character around!

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An Underrated Gem In The Twilight Of Alfred Hitchcock's Remarkable Career.

Author: CinemaClown
5 October 2013

The penultimate feature film in the extensive yet illustrious career of Alfred Hitchcock is a highly underrated gem that paints a fascinating portrayal of a serial killer and, as a movie, employs all the director's trademarks & styles which over the years have only played an influential role in shaping up the filmmaking manual for Hollywood's modern thrillers.

Set in London, the plot of Frenzy centers around a serial killer who has been terrorizing the city by raping women & strangling them with neck-ties. When the ex-husband of the serial killer's latest victim is suspected by the police for being the killer, he goes on the run to prove his innocence by finding & exposing the neck-tie murderer.

Superbly directed by Hitchcock, Frenzy marks his return to murder genre & introduces the antagonist to the audience in its opening moments only which makes the following acts even more nail-bitingly tense as the killer's subsequent planning of murders & its execution brings a fear of its own and keeps the whole drama quite suspenseful.

The entire movie is tightly structured, deftly written & employs a number of classic Hitchcock set pieces. Cinematography provides a grim atmosphere to the picture, camera movements are smoothly carried out & few sequences are beautifully photographed. Editing keeps the tension alive throughout its runtime while the score manages to makes use of light or dark undertones at the right places.

On an overall scale, most works by Hitchcock after the creative height he touched with Psycho are often seen by many as his journey downward but Frenzy shows that even in the twilight of his career, Hitchcock remained as competitive & challenging as the best directors of the early 1970s. An intensely gripping entertainer from the first frame to the last, Alfred Hitchcock's Frenzy comes highly recommended.

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The Case of the Sadistic Cook

8/10
Author: Tad Pole from Vault Heaven
21 July 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

FRENZY is about the uncontrollable urge that strikes some guys to strangle the women around them. Some such stranglers are sharp enough to realize that if they get married and throttle their spouse, they will be at the top of the police suspect list, since the husband always falls under suspicion first. If such a man hankers to experience multiple episodes of FRENZY, he'll often remain single, like the main character of this Hitchcock movie. However, the REAL focus of FRENZY is an examination of the life of a man whose wife does everything humanly possible to drive him to strangulation mode, yet does not have a care in the world since the husband has the will power NOT to resort to such an obvious solution to his torment. I'm talking about Chief Inspector Oxford and his killer cook wife, of course. Wonderfully cast in these roles are Alec McCowen and Vivien Merchant. At one point, the latter snaps a stalk of celery for emphasis, and the viewer is certain Hitchcock is showing what Inspector Oxford would like to do to her neck. Instead, he continuously finds ingenious ways to dispose of the results of Mrs. Oxford's fine cuisine cooking classes (uneaten, of course) and tolerates her string of oblivious prattle. One can only surmise that the Mrs. must be really GIB.

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