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FRENZY (1972) – Episode 153 – Decades of Horror 1970s

“I swear I’m telling the truth! Do I look like a sex murderer to you? Can you imagine me creeping around, strangling all those women with ties? That’s ridiculous. For a start, I only own two.” Does that sound like a believable denial to you? Join your faithful Grue Crew – Doc Rotten, Chad Hunt, Bill Mulligan, and Jeff Mohr – as they check out Alfred Hitchcock’s penultimate film, Frenzy (1972).

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 153 – Frenzy (1972)

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London is terrorized by a vicious sex killer known as The Necktie Murderer. Following the brutal slaying of his ex-wife, down-on-his-luck Richard Blaney is suspected by the police of being the killer. He goes on the run, determined to prove his innocence.


Frenzy is Jeff’s pick and, maybe not surprisingly, he loves it. He points out the huge jump from Hitchcock pushing the censorship line with a scene of a toilet flushing in Psycho (1960) to the lurid kills and their aftermath as depicted in Frenzy. Bill is impressed with Frenzy and finds it to be simultaneously old-fashioned and modern. He also identifies a few top-notch Hitchcockian sequences. Calling Frenzy pure unadulterated Hitchcock, Chad loves how small details early mean something big later in the film. He also delights in the scenes between the Chief Inspector and his wife. Doc is a huge Hitchcock fan but does not like Frenzy, finding it to be an indication of Hitch losing his touch. In fact, he doesn’t like the characters, the cast, the dialogue, or the ending and vows never to watch it again.

Depending on the Grue-Crew members’ individual points-of-view, Frenzy is either Hitchcock’s last hurrah or a film to be avoided. In either case, at the time of this writing, Frenzy is available to stream from the Criterion Channel and multiple PPV services, and on physical media as a Blu-ray from ‎Universal Home Entertainment.

While you’re at it, check out Decades of Horror’s coverage of these Hitchcock classics: Classic Era #1 – Psycho (1960), Classic Era #32 – The Birds (1963).

Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror 1970s is part of the Decades of Horror two-week rotation with The Classic Era and the 1980s. In two weeks, the next episode in their very flexible schedule will be Planet of Dinosaurs (1977), chosen by Bill. Time for some stop motion animation!

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Jeff Mohr
Jeff lives smack dab in the middle of the cornfields of Iowa and is a long-time horror fan. His first remembered encounters with the genre were The Wizard of Oz, Tarzan gorilla chases, and watching the first broadcast of The Twilight Zone episode, "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge." While he now qualifies as an old fart, he strives to be an Old Boy. Paraphrasing Robert Bloch, he has the heart of a small boy. He keeps it in a jar on his desk. Jeff has written for and SQ Horror Magazine. He currently writes for Gruesome Magazine and is a co-host of the Decades of Horror podcasts - The Classic Era, 1970s, and 1980s - and the Gruesome Magazine Podcast.