A young French girl is murdered in the park, brutally stabbed by an unknown assailant with a switchblade. After several eyewitnesses identify the killer as a local television personality, the perp is convicted and imprisoned. But soon someone with a blade is killing in the exact same manner…if the man in jail is innocent, who’s out there stalking? Could it be unbalanced young Giorgio? How about the accused man’s wife? And what could be the psycho’s motive? —Terrortrap.com
Italian director Duccio Tessari is best-remembered for directing average quality “spaghetti Westerns” and action-adventure films during the ‘60s. His credits include Una Pistola per Ringo (1968), Kiss Kiss… Bang Bang! (1966), Zorro (1974), and Beyond Justice (1991). Tessari started out as a director of documentaries. In addition to directing, he also worked on screenplays, notably Sergio Leone’s classic Per un Pugno di Dollari (1964). —Sandra Brennan
True that The Bloodstained Butterfly includes some giallo elements like its title, improbable flashbacks, knifed victims and a police investigation into a series of murder but Duccio Tessari is more interested in the description of corrupt characters and in creating a snapshot of the early 70's Italy. You never see such realism in the description of a police investigation or a trial in your usual giallo. The way Tessari uses the codes of the giallo genre in order to hide his personal themes is remarkable. Masterpiece.
One of my favorite gialli which stands out due to it's unusual set up, and interesting use of flashbacks. Of course, the flashy camerawork does get annoying in a few scenes and the pacing is slow, but it all leads to a rewarding climax in which you finally understand why the film has such a structure (assuming you have not guessed the twist).
Interesting intersection of classic and modern Italian thriller. The frontloading of all the court/police procedural stuff threatens to become tedious, and makes you think that it's going to be pre-Argento in style and execution. But then there's the unusual narrative stuff going on: For one, the film manages to avoid ever singling out a central protagonist. For another, its use of flashbacks is more
complicated than it appears at first glance. Because we get not true flashbacks, but basically a series of characters making guesses about the murders. It's these guesses that are presented in flashback. And though their source (the police inspector, for one) seems to designate them as fact, as the film progresses, and we get one version after another of the same events, we realize that almost nothing we've seen can be taken as "real" or true. Also has some stylish camera set-ups etc. A surprising standout from so many of the mediocre gialli of the period.