15Robert Rusk – Frenzy
When fans make lists of their favorite Hitchcock films, this tale of a London rapist and necktie strangler doesn’t often appear near the top. This film comes at the tail end of Hitch’s long directing career, and was released in 1972…well after rumors of Hitch’s own borderline predilections began
swirling. Frenzy didn’t sit well with some audiences, especially given that the killer, Robert Rusk, was neither lovable, handsome, nor sympathetic at all. How can you like anyone who frames a friend for their own heinous crimes?
So why does Rusk make this list?
Some say that Blaney is the more interesting character — the innocent man on the run. But that’s too easy. Next time you watch Frenzy, take a long look at the calm savagery of Robert Rusk. One could argue that he’s a precursor to detached killer Hannibal Lecter. Although we eventually learn why Hannibal is the way he is, Rusk’s origins remain a mystery. Michael Caine was offered the role of Rusk, which he turned down. Caine found Rusk to be “disgusting,” which is almost comical given that less than a decade later, Caine took on a similar role in Brian DePalma’s Dressed to Kill. We say Rusk is a fascinating guy, and we stand by it.