A Bloodstained Butterfly (2014) – By Josh Samford

In the post-Grindhouse market, it might seem a bit on the cliche side to have a film that readily tries to duplicate the magic of the giallo film genre. The market has become absolutely saturated with independent movies that do their best to replicate film grain and scratches in their movies while also trying to recall their favorite exploitation movies. Still, every now and then, this sin is forgivable if the project is interesting enough. A Bloodstained Butterfly is such a project. This Polish short film features some absolutely beautiful visuals and does a decent job of putting the audience into a giallo state of mind. While the project more generally tries to serve as a love letter to the Video Nasty, there is definitely an affection for 1970s Italian exploitation on firm display in the film.

The story for this short is rather simple. In it we follow a young woman named Veronika who is dealing with a recent breakup with her boyfriend, Stefan. As the night progresses, her friend Henryk shows up in order to woo her now that she is single, however, Veronika isn’t interested. As things progress awkwardly, it appears that there may be something terrifying waiting for these two right outside the door.

The main selling point for this one is obviously its beautiful cinematography. At ten minutes in length, the project really just shows off director David McCool’s ability to capture something very stylish. The filmmakers previous short, Sparks, was a nifty time-traveling film about paradoxes, but this time around the audience is able to see more of his influences and get an idea for his visual creativity. There are a few hiccups every now and then, including a couple of jump-cuts that inspire more confusion than they are likely intended, but for the most part this is a fun and atmospheric romp that showcases a great amount of vision from the director. If you’d like to read more, you can visit the official Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/KrwawyMotyl