Monday, February 28, 2011

Capsule Review: Frenzy (1972)

The 70s films of Alfred Hitchcock tend to be alternately celebrated and reviled, and it's true that the garish fashions and increased bloodletting of the decade seemed at odds with Hitch's usual timeless qualities, but it would be a mistake to skip on his penultimate film Frenzy which features an interesting combination of some of the director's favorite themes in combination with the looser standards of the time. In fact, while wrapped in a fairly standard package of an innocent man accused of a series of rather gruesome murders, the film has a number of bravura set-pieces - most notably featuring the killer fumbling with a corpse in the back of a moving truck in an attempt to retrieve an incriminating tie-pin - and pitch-black humor which make its more predictable portions easier to tolerate. While not up to the standards of the maestro's classics, there's still lots of fun to be had in some of the film's quieter moments (the gastronomical disasters concocted by the police officer's wife are a delight) and the story comes to an enjoyable, though sudden, conclusion.

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