Oliviero is a burned-out writer, living at his estate near Venice, his dead mother dominating his imagination. He is also a degenerate: sleeps with his maid and his ex-student, hosts ... See full summary »
Inspector Tellini investigates serial crimes where victims are paralyzed while having their bellies ripped open with a sharp knife, much in the same way tarantulas are killed by the black ... See full summary »
Giorgio is a greedy adulterer who makes a deal with a serial killer to dispose of his wealthy wife, Nora. Unfortunately, a thrill-seeking young couple steal the killer's car with Nora's ... See full summary »
When two sisters inherit their family castle, a string of murders committed by a mysterious dark haired woman in a red cloak decimates their circle of friends. Is the killer their ancestor,... See full summary »
A famed jewel thief named Rochard is slashed to death on a train. His daughter Nicole, a famous nightclub performer in Paris, is questioned by the police about some missing diamonds but she... See full summary »
Beautiful young model Jennifer Lansbury and her goofy friend Marilyn Ricci move into a swanky high-rise apartment after the previous tenant gets brutally murdered. Pretty soon Jennifer is ... See full summary »
The restorer Stefano is hired by the Mayor Solmi of a small village nearby Ferrara to restore a painting of St. Sebastian, made by the mentally disturbed painter Buono Legnani in the local ... See full summary »
Two seemingly separate stories in New South Wales: a burned, murdered body of a young woman is found on the beach, and a retired inspector makes inquiries; also, Linda, a waitress and ferry... See full summary »
Dalila Di Lazzaro,
THE BLOODSTAINED BUTTERFLY (Duccio Tessari, 1971) ***
I only heard about this giallo recently, but it's undoubtedly one of the best examples of the subgenre that I've watched. Besides, from the little I've checked out of Tessari's work so far (incidentally, I've just recorded his Spaghetti Western A PISTOL FOR RINGO  - which I'll catch up with soon enough), it's easily his most significant effort; I should also be getting to PUZZLE (1974), another giallo of his, in the near future.
THE BLOODSTAINED BUTTERFLY (as ever, the title is only peripheral to the main narrative) - which opens with an identification of all the major characters - is especially notable for its complex editing structure, with details of plot related throughout in abrupt flashes (as either part of a lengthy trial sequence, which occupies the majority of its first half, or during troubled lead Helmut Berger's regular fits, which remain unexplained till the finale). While characterization is somewhat aloof (with no real female counterpart to Berger, despite a fair number of women in the cast), the principal actors are well chosen and also include such familiar Euro-Cult faces as Carole Andre' (playing a murdered victim), Evelyn Stewart (the wife of the suspected killer), Silvano Tranquilli (the police detective assigned to the case) and Wolfgang Preiss (the prosecuting attorney).
The narrative is a bit on the seamy side - encompassing (if ever so discreetly) rape, infidelity, paedophelia, pornography, prostitution, etc. - but welcome comedy relief is provided by the interaction between the flustered Tranquilli and his long-suffering junior partner. Unlike many films of its ilk, the audience is kept guessing as to the identity of the villain up to the violent climax (resulting in a curt but satisfyingly bleak ending) and, just as thankfully, the script dispenses with the idea (popularized by Alfred Hitchcock's PSYCHO ) of presenting a forced last-minute explanation - wherein a psychiatrist is appointed to dig into the killer's past, in order to extract some lame motive for his misdeeds. Typically, however, the eclectic score (courtesy of Gianni Ferrio) is masterful - especially in the way a Tchaikovsky symphony is seamlessly woven into the soundtrack!
The film is available on a bare-bones DVD from both Italy and Spain - but it more than merits a decent release in R1 through, say, Blue Underground (given their predilection for such "Euro-Cult" offerings)...
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