He asked the novelist Howard Fast (Spartacus, Cheyenne Autumn) to sketch a treatment about a gay, deformed serial killer. Pleased with the results, Hitchcock composed a shot list with over 450 camera positions and shot an hour’s worth of experimental color tests, using unknown actors in various states of undress. This footage was filmed in New York City, and gives a tantalizing glimpse of what Hitchcock had in mind, of how revolutionary Frenzy/Kaleidoscope would have been in his body of work – a Psycho for the more liberated counterculture era. Unfortunately, MCA/Universal were disgusted by the script and test footage and immediately canceled the project, reducing Hitchcock to tears. (…)
What would have been Hitchcock’s most daring and controversial work was thwarted: an avant-garde film using hand-held camerawork, a first-person viewpoint and natural lighting (à la Blair Witch Project, filmed 32 years later), detailing the exploits of a gay bodybuilder who dabbles in murder, rape and possibly necrophilia. It was conceived in 1964 as a prequel to Hitchcock’s 1942 film Shadow of a Doubt and was initially titled Frenzy, not to be confused with his eventual 1972 movie of the same name, from which certain plot elements of the original Frenzy were recycled.