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The Bloodstained Butterfly (1971) Arrow Video Blu-ray Review

18 August 2016 | Features, Reviews | by Raul J. Vantassle

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New from Arrow Video is the Blu-ray/DVD release is The Bloodstained Butterfly, a veritable masterpiece of giallo cinema that breaks away from the traditional tropes and provides a unique twist on the genre.

The story involves a woman who is murdered in the park and the police investigation that follows. When a man is arrested for the murder, he must fight in court to prove his innocence. But when the murders continue while he is imprisoned, the question of who is the murderer gets revealed in a climactic ending.

There are several things that make this film stand out. It stepped away from the more graphic murder sequences that were typically seen in the popular giallos from directors such as Dario Argento and Mario Bava. Instead, we only see the aftermath of what took place.

The main focus of the story involves the police investigation, forensics, and the legal process. It is heavily detailed and is almost like a police procedural movie, with a very lengthy and detailed look into each piece of evidence and how the forensics teams conduct their respective research.

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It also gives more depth to the main police characters, showing them conducting interviews and theorizing how the murders took place. In many ways, these parts resemble what we now see on television shows like CSI.

The legal proceedings are a big part of the story as well, showing the prosecution and defense both arguing and presenting evidence. It is for these reasons that some hardcore giallo fans may action not like this movie.

It does deliver in other aspects that would be expected in a giallo. There’s the usual fine fashion, fancy cars, and great old world locations that create a nice overall atmosphere to the picture.

The music from composer Gianni Ferrio is absolutely infectious, with a strong piano orchestral score that is heavily influenced by Tchaikovsky. The main theme is still stuck in my head as I’m writing this.

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The story features a complex triangle of entangled relationships and a series of intriguing plot twists, that ends in what for most viewers will be a shocking ending. Director Duccio Tessari is probably best known for his series of Ringo spaghetti westerns, and does a fine job of providing some good camera shots and angles.

With a nice restoration and almost two hours of extra content, this is a must own for giallo fans and highly recommended for fans of crime and police procedural films.

Extras:

– 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.
– Mad Dog Helmut, a new interview with actor Helmut Berger
– Exclusive introduction by Helmut Berger
– New interview with actress Evelyn Stewart/Ida Galli
– Interview with Lorella De Luca, actress and wife of 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 (first pressing only) illustrated by Tonci Zonjic, containing writing by James Blackford, Howard Hughes and Leonard Jacobs

Taste of Cinema Rating: 9/10

Author Bio: Raul J. Vantassle is a jazz musician whose key strokes move about the page creating an explosion of formlessness to form, or just total bullshit. His heroes include John Waters, Robert Crumb, Charles Bukowski, and the Cobra Commander. His Knowledge of film goes across the board but he specializes in Asian and cult cinema. He may be the filthiest person alive. You can visit his blog here.

 

 


   

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