Helmut Berger, Giancarlo Sbragia, Evelyn Stewart
Gianfranco Clerici, Duccio Tessari
Arrow Films (Blu-ray/DVD)
BUY THIS FILM
While I'm usually excited with the arrival of the latest release from Arrow Films, The Bloodstained Butterfly is definitely on the low end of the Arrow spectrum despite their usual quality packaging.
Directed by Duccio Tessari (Death Occurred Last Night, A Pistol for Ringo), The Bloodstained Butterfly melds the lurid giallo traditions with courtroom drama resulting in a film that is as concerned with forensic detail and legal process as it is with grisly murders and audacious set-pieces.
When a young female student is savagely killed in a park during a thunderstorm, the culprit seems obvious: her lover, TV sports personality Alessandro Marchi (Giancarlo Sbragia, Death Rage), seen fleeing the scene of the crime by numerous eyewitnesses. The evidence against him is damning… but is it all too convenient? And when the killer strikes again while Marchi is in custody, it quickly becomes apparent that there’s more to the case than meets the eye.
The Bloodstained Butterfly stars 70s heartthrob Helmut Berger (Dorian Gray, The Godfather: Part III) alongside genre mainstays Evelyn Stewart (The Psychic, The Case of the Scorpion’s Tail) and Carole André (Colt 38 Special Squad) and features a score by Gianni Ferrio (Death Walks at Midnight).
This Blu-ray/DVD packaging is impressive with extras including:
- Brand new 4K restoration of the film from the original camera negative
- High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
- Original Italian and English soundtracks in DTS-HD MA mono 1.0
- Newly translated English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack
- New audio commentary with critics Alan Jones and Kim Newman
- Murder in B-Flat Minor, a new visual essay on the film, its cast and crew by author Troy Howarth
- New career retrospective on director Duccio Tessari
- Original Italian and English theatrical trailers
- Gallery of original promotional images
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matthew Griffin
- Limited edition 36-page booklet illustrated by Tonci Zonjic, containing writing by James Blackford, Howard Hughes and Leonard Jacobs
Unfortunately, The Bloodstained Butterfly fails in most aspects with a story that is paper thin and uninvolving, undercooked characters for whom investment is impossible and the film's overall impact sticks about as much as your usual television detective serial. Considered a relatively minor giallo classic in some circles, this is one particular Arrow release that simply isn't worth your time.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic