Duccio Tessari is probably best known as the director of several Spaghetti Westerns, most prominently the "Ringo" films with Giuliano Gemma, as well as the well-known Italian Crime flick "Tony Arzenta". The man also served as an (uncredited) co-writer of Sergio Leone's Italian Western milestone "Fistful of Dollars", and as a writer of several sword and sandal films in the early 60s. As a director, Tessari's doubtlessly best films are his two intelligent and plot-driven Gialli, "L'Uomo Senza Memoria" (aka. "The Man Without Memory", 1974) and this gem. "Una Farfalla Con Le Ali Insanguiante" aka. "Bloodstained Butterfly" of 1971 is a terrific, beauty- and suspenseful example for a purely plot-based Giallo that profits from an excellent cast, a great score, wonderful settings and a sublime cinematography. As it is the case with Tessari's other Giallo, "The Man Without Memory", "Bloodstained Butterfly" is a Giallo that focuses on the Mystery more than the Horror-elements of the genre. And the film is indeed a perfectly constructed puzzle of a mystery that is (though convoluted) always easy to follow.
When a French exchange student (Carole André) is murdered by multiple stabbing in a park in Bergamo, the police arrest TV anchor Marchi (Giancarlo Sbragia). Marchi's daughter Sarah (Wendy D'Olive), who was friends with the murdered girl, does not believe in her father's guilt... As said above, this is a purely story-driven Giallo. For genre-standards, there are only very few murders and very little gore. The film is very suspenseful, however, and delivers mystery and innovative twists from the beginning to the end, as a good Giallo should. The beautiful Bergamo locations are a wonderful setting for the film, which is furthermore (in good Giallo-tradition) brilliantly photographed. The beautiful score intensifies the atmosphere, and the film profits from a very good ensemble cast. The characters are all complex and elaborate. The always-sinister Helmut Berger and Italian Grenre-cinema regulars such as Ida Galli ("The Case Of The Scorpion's Tail"), Günter Stoll ("What Have They Done To Solange"), Silvano Tranquilli ("The Black Belly of The Tarantula"), and Giancarlo Sbragia ("Tony Arzenta") all deliver very good performances. As said, for a Giallo this features little violence and gore and also little sleaze, but the magnificently elaborate plot should be more than pleasant to Genre-fans. "Bloodstained Butterfly" is beautifully filmed with a lot of style, and highly recommended to my fellow Giallo-fans.
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