Skip to main content
padlock icon - secure page this page is secure

Content loaded within last 14 days Dead but not gone: Female body, surveillance and serial-killing in Alfred Hitchcock's Frenzy

Buy Article:

$14.00 + tax (Refund Policy)


Alfred Hitchcock in Psycho (1960) makes the corpse of an ordinary woman both an object of surveillance and a source of active watching. Mrs Bates and Marion in Psycho, Brenda and Babs in Frenzy (1972) may be seen as predecessors to the series of dead women figuratively staring back in films such as The Silence of the Lambs (Demme, 1991) and Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (Tykwer, 2006). The corpses do not merely offer themselves up as ciphers to be decoded. They reveal the lack in the perpetrators. Hitchcock's Frenzy relies on female bodies for clues to the murders. Hitchcock plays the vital role of bringing about a transition in the way in which women's bodies are to be treated in films, a transition from bodies shrouded by mist and darkness of the noirs to the exhibitionism of naked corpses in brightly lit settings. This article shows that abandonment of the usual tropes of visual impediments such as darkness and fog in Hitchcock's later films suggests a continually developing process of urban surveillance that aids in dehumanizing the victims. Further the post-murder masculinist investigative gaze forces a kind of mock-life on the victims through the relentless search of a killer's live signs on their dead flesh.
No Reference information available - sign in for access.
No Citation information available - sign in for access.
No Supplementary Data.
No Article Media
No Metrics

Keywords: corporeality; corpses; docile bodies; gaze; grotesque; police procedures; serial-killing; surveillance

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2019

More about this publication?
  • Northern Lights: Film and Media Studies Yearbook was first published in 2002 and places particular emphasis on film, television and new media. The yearbook, although carrying a theme each issue, welcomes a broad range of articles along with shorter review pieces.
  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Intellect Books page
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more