Day 23: Giallo!
The Bloodstained Butterfly (1971)
It has been very cool to have seen more Italian films with this years Junesploitation and with the prompt ‘Giallo’ for the day we have another. My chosen film to watch is The Bloodstained Butterfly (1971), like with a lot of giallo films I was captured by the title and added it to my list without having read a synopsis. This film is very different from what one might expect from the sub-genre, being a crime mystery with police procedural and courtroom drama.
A young woman is murdered in a park with her body dumped and the killer running away, with several witnesses having seen different things. The suspect becomes sports tv presenter Alessandro Marchi (Giancarlo Sbragia), whose daughter was friends with the murdered young woman. His guilt of the crime is put into question when another woman is murdered and the crimes looking almost identical.
Having a giallo that has a different flavour to a lot out there was refreshing to see, the police procedural and courtroom elements were interesting, effective and intense. Between these we find ourselves as the audience caught up in the mystery and questioning whether they have the right suspect as evidence seems to point elsewhere and some possible red herrings are thrown in. Visually it is very nice, paced generally well and contains solid performances. The Bloodstained Butterfly easily stands out in the giallo genre and is a must see for fans with how different it is.
Day 24: 90s Comedy!
Ernest In The Army (1998)
For the ‘90s Comedy’ prompt I wanted to revisit a character that has not entirely appealed to me and I have generally been indifferent to the films I have seen of theirs. I chose to check out the final Ernest film with Ernest In The Army (1998) starring Jim Varney in his final role as he sadly passed away in 2000. Varney by the point of making this film was not well and it can be seen with his performance in the film, there is less energy in the physical aspects with the role and all the respect to Varney for completing the film and embodying Ernest for the last time.
In this Ernest adventure the titular character joins the Army Reserves in order to drive the big rig trucks, thanks to the encouragement of his friend. During this time there is conflict (in a fictional Middle Eastern country) and Ernest along with the reserves get called into action. Ernest just wanted to drive but now finds himself in a pending war zone and ultimately it is up to the underdog to save the day.
There is certainly quite a lot in this film that is problematic, which itself is rather off putting. Then there is this impending war and conflict in a fictional country and Ernest ends up in the middle of it. Perhaps the setting isn’t exactly ideal for overly silly comedy, it never feels quite right. Jim Varney does all that he can as Ernest, who is a character that despite everything is endearing and the sub-plot that sees Ernest befriend a boy and help him has the heart in the film. The rest is not very good, there are not many laughs and this effort just seemed in poor taste, which is a shame as this is the film Ernest went out on.
Reviews written by Marcella Papandrea
Please check out FThisMovie.net, with many thanks to the crew for the concept of Junesploitation and some excellent prompts for 2022!