Eye For Film >> Movies >> The Bloodstained Butterfly (1971) DVD Review
The Bloodstained Butterfly
Reviewed by: Jennie KermodeRead Jennie Kermode's film review of The Bloodstained Butterfly
Duccio Tessari's inventive giallo is available in both the original Italian and the English dubbed version on this dual format DVD and Blu-ray disc, and is accompanied by an impressive selection of extras. Although the quality of these varies, there's sufficient material here for every fan to find something delightful.
The two trailers here are almost identical but, as with the films, subtle differences in the voiceover work gives them differences in character, with the Italian version creepier and the English version just a little too daft to take that seriously. The portentous message about time at the start of the film is silly either way, but amateur translation does it no favours beyond making it cute.
The main meat of the disc consists of a feature about the genre by author Troy Howarth, who knows his stuff but is not a natural presenter and spends most of his time reciting lists whilst we see clips from the film; and interviews. Ida Galli (aka Evelyn Stewart) rambles at length about her childhood, eventually admitting "this has nothing to do with my career" before going onto deliver a series of tangents vaguely relating to that, but this has a kind of charm and will appeal to those who like a lot of background on the people behind the art. Lorella de Luca is much more on point and has some insightful stories to tell of her relationship with Tessari and what she observed of his craft. Best of the bunch is Helmut Berger, who has the sort of bitter critical perspective interviewers dream of teasing out, and who takes us on a tour of his career that's as densely packed with insinuation as it is with revelation, and enjoyable throughout.
In addition to all this there's a gallery and an audio commentary by Frightfest's Alan Jones and critic Kim Newman, the latter admitting that he doesn't know much about the genre and is just there to make conversation, but contributing a fair few insights nonetheless. Jones is in his element and has all sorts of information to contribute that will change how you see the film. He also has a cute theory about giallo titles containing animals with as little relevance to the plot as possible, though the butterfly here is presumably a reference not only to a brooch given as a gift but also to the flick knife used in the murders.
All in all this is a great assemblage of material to complement an important film, and genre fans would be well advised to snap it up whilst they can.Reviewed on: 18 Aug 2016