Dir. Duccio Tessari
Reviewer. Martyn Wakefield
When you introduce the theme Giallo, the first names that come to mind are Dario Argento, Mario Bava and Lucio Fulci yet the most important films in the genre belong to the lesser known directors. Sergio Martino’s YOUR VICE IS A LOCKED ROOM AND OLY I HAVE THE KEY, Umberto Lenzi’s PARANOIA and now Duccio Tessari’s THE BLOODSTAINED BUTTERFLY are just as important as some of the genre’s more famed entries.
Tessari’s movie focuses, as do most Giallo movies, on the death of a young girl, yet as the film focuses on who the killer is, it’s the films format and divergence in story telling that take it away from other genre films and tear up the rule book.
After the death of a young girl in a local park, news presenter Alessandro (Giancarlo Sbragia) is arrested and charged with the murder and the events of the film revolve around the prosecuting case against him. Fortunately, while he is incarcerated, the murders continue and as Alessandro fights for freedom, he may well lose everything including his family.
The noticeable lack of gross out death sets this apart from the other relative entries to the giallo library but make no mistake, the absence of any rulebook allows much more freedom in the story and at every twist will have you guessing who the murderer is right until the end. While there is more in familiarity to the works of Agatha Christie and even Stieg Larson than the iconic horror of Fulci or Agento but the films palette and deepened mystery all feel somewhat familiar if different. The film is not without its brutal moments and a sex scene between Alessandro’s daughter (played by the beautiful Wendi D’Olive) and one of the murder suspects is extremely uncomfortable to watch.
THE BLOODSTAINED BUTTERFLY is a masterful thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat in anticipation to the big reveal and 45 years after its original release it is still as stunning as ever thanks to another brilliant transfer courtesy of Arrow.