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us title: The Bloodstained Butterfly
italian title: Una farfalla con le ali insanguinate
year: 1971
director: Duccio Tessari
composer: Gianni Ferrio
full details: IMDB
overall score: 80

Bottom Line: Entertaining
Nothing ground breaking here, but a fun time nonetheless.

WARNING: Spoilers Below

score analysis

Historically speaking, Duccio Tessari's 1971 film The Bloodstained Butterfly appears within a jam packed list of heavy Giallo hitters including The Fifth Chord, Death Walks on High Heels, Case of the Scorpion's Tail and A Bay of Blood. But it's immediately evident that the Spaghetti Western director's first entry in the Giallo movement operates at level above its contemporaries.

Tessari's reputation as a box office success seems to have provided him with the opportunity to leverage a larger budget and a more sophisticated cast and crew resulting in a film that doesn't suffer from all of the usual flaws that most Gialli are notorious for.

Butterfly combines elements of Giallo, Poliziotesco and American Soap Opera to drive a story that centers around the murder of a French female student. The police handle all aspects of the investigation including suspect interviews, crime scene forensics and an extremely watchable court hearing to end the first half of the film.

But like any Giallo worth its salt, the story doesn't end once the prime suspect is in jail. And after two more murders are committed the remaining suspects are called back into question. The end result is a reveal and a resolution that doesn't make much sense, but most viewers will have already decided whether or not the film has entertained them enough along the way.

Butterfly performs relatively well on the Giallo Score, losing the majority of points in the Stapels. The film hits on every point in the Standards section with the exception of a Morricone/Nicolai/Ortolani soundtrack and logs 8 out of 10 Signatures.

Despite all of this Butterfly feels to be a bit of an odd man out film and I'm not sure why. Perhaps it's because of its extra level of sophistication, relying less on pulp than the films of its contemporaries. Or maybe it's just because in the age of home video, Butterfly remains a bit more elusive. Regardless, the film is entertaining enough to warrant a repeat viewings.

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score breakdown

Hint: Hover over a score item for more details
Staples : 45/60
Italian Director10 points
Hidden Identity10 points
Black Gloves5 points
Classic Period (1970 - 1975)5 points
Motivation: Blackmail/Gain5 points
Avoid Capture: Killed by Police or other character5 points
Director > 15 points
Standards : 27/30
Body Count >= 34 points
Flashback Revelation3 points
Italian Location3 points
Mistaken Identity2 points
More than one killer or accomplice4 points
Nude Scene >= 13 points
Suspects >= 34 points
Urban Location4 points
Signatures : 8/10
Animal, Number, Color, or "Death" in title1 point
Chase scene1 point
Gay/Lesbian1 point
J&B1 point
Odd Clue1 point
Pathologist1 point
Photography/Glamor/Modeling/Art1 point
Taunting1 point
Total Points : 80/100



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Published: 2016-03-22