Black Butterfly (2017) - Dread Central
Connect with us

News

Black Butterfly (2017)

Published

on

Black Butterfly

Black ButterflyStarring Antonio Banderas, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Piper Perabo

Directed by Brian Goodman


Paul (Antonio Banderas) continues the horror tradition/trope of a blocked, alcoholic writer going to a remote cabin in the woods to recapture his mojo, while a shifty drifter named Jack (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) does his bit in providing the cypher of the seemingly random, mysterious stranger. There’s also a pretty lady, Laura (Piper Parabo), who does little other than the damsel-in-distress routine. Oh, and of course there’s the added tension of a series of unsolved murders in the area.

There’s certainly not much in the way of originality when it comes to Black Butterfly, but I don’t mind that as long as the cast and filmmakers bring their A-game and add some stylistic pizzazz.

When we first meet Paul, he’s holed up in his retreat with a bottle of booze and a typewriter (yes, a typewriter), writing one phrase over and over again: “I am stuck.” After a while, he decides he needs a change of scenery, so he heads to his local watering hole. On the way into town, he’s involved in a roadway altercation with some hooligans. Turns out, they’re all headed to the same place. That’s where Paul meets Jack, who gives off some super-sinister vibes. So what does Paul do? He invites the strange stranger to come and live with him! Well, Jack is a handyman, so it makes sense. (OK, not really. But at this point in the film, I was still trying to get on board.) As soon as Jack finds out Paul is a screenwriter, and that he’s having some trouble getting his story flowing, Jack decides to help…. by taking Paul and Laura hostage. “Why I didn’t toss you out on day one is baffling to me!” Paul yells at him. Yup. I had been wondering that exact thing for the entire runtime.

While Black Butterfly is an adaptation of the acclaimed French thriller, “Papillon Noir”, whatever was compelling on the page certainly does not work on the screen. Directed by Brian Goodman (who’s better-known as an actor) and written by Marc Frydman and Justin Stanley (whose collective credits include little of note) in humdrum paint-by-numbers fashion, there is little-to-nothing to keep the viewer interested. If you’re making a silly thriller, that’s OK… just have some fun with it. But alas, Black Butterfly takes itself as seriously as a Twitter troll. I’m willing to forgive at least a little bit, as long as there is something cool for me to look at or hear. Sadly, the cinematography and score is as dull as the rest of this snoozefest. There is a twist at the end – similar to tons of others we’ve all seen many, many times – and hey, it looks like there might be a saving grace after all. But then, there’s another twist. Sigh.

The only reason Black Butterfly gets any stars at all is because I’m a fan of both Banderas and Rhys Meyers (though admittedly, both turn in “paycheck performances” here), and there’s an acting cameo from slasher/exploitation legend, Abel Ferrara. He’s always worth the price of admission.

  • Film
Sending
User Rating 3.65 (17 votes)
Continue Reading
Comments

News

Graham Humphreys Reveals His Poster For An American Werewolf In London

Published

on

Graham Humphreys continues to cement his position as one of the top horror artists in the business with his stunning new poster for An American Werewolf in London. This piece was created as a private commission, and fans of John Landis’ 1981 classic are going to love it. You can view the final design of this incredible poster below.

Final design with text.

Graham also provided us with a detailed statement about the creation of the piece, along with a bunch of screen grabs taken throughout the process. If you scroll down to the bottom of the page, you can see how the final image looks before the text was added. In case you missed it earlier, you can also check out our extended interview with Graham here.

Exclusive Statement from Graham Humphreys
As a commercial artist and illustrator, there is only limited scope to make a job entirely your own – so with each project you are answering a brief in order to fulfill the needs of a client. Of course, the client may choose to give you free reign, though this is with the understanding that you are acknowledging their needs and thus expected to work within certain unspoken parameters. Mostly, these confines are defined by how a product is to be sold, licensing instructions and an understanding a market. With this in mind, the client is paying and thus nominally always right… though it would be unprofessional not to make them aware that other options might work better for them!

Without these commercial constraints, a private commission can remove the barriers because no market is to be met and there is only the artist and the private client to answer to. Creating a poster for a familiar and heavily licensed title is an entirely different prospect if it is not going to be generating money in the public domain and is thus essentially ‘fan art’. Unlike say, a T-shirt company ripping off someone elses art and charging money for the printed image, or perhaps a poster reproduced without permission by either the license owner or artist, then sold for profit.

Here, Dread Central have asked me to talk through one such commission, ‘An American Werewolf in London’, painted as a private commission for an individual that wishes to own a unique image that they themselves have made happen. NB: All likenesses and specific imagery (including the title and names etc) are subject to license and copyright and not for any use other than as examples of a work in progress (and of course, all rights are reserved!). Just need to make sure that it absolutely clear!

The client had commissioned two previous posters from me (as well as numerous poster designs from fellow artists), so a basic understanding of expectations had already been established.

My work begins by watching the film from beginning to end – to re-establish my own connection to the film (if one already exists). I saw ‘An American Werewolf in London’ (in London!) on it’s first run and the proximity to many of the locations (Tottenham Court Road tube station, Piccadilly Circus, being the obvious ones) made it instantly impressionable for me. Existing posters, in particular the official theatrical versions and various home-entertainment sleeves, focused on a limited image pool. My job was to find new ways of representing the film, free of the past baggage, but also to listen to my clients requirements.

Looking for a fresh perspective means avoiding the familiar stills that have defined the past marketing, this is achieved by making screen grabs from the DVD or blu-ray. As with most commercial jobs, I generally make a selection of about 40 images, then review these reducing the number to about 15 that have the best narrative potential, including a good visual range of actor expressions and reactions. My client required the Werewolf, London references, the moors, David and Jack, a full moon and the ‘Slaughtered Lamb’ pub sign… then whatever else I chose to include.

On the basis of the selected screen grabs, I make necessary light and contrast adjustments in photoshop, make them greyscale (removing the distraction of colour) and print them out at a size I can easily trace in pencil onto paper. All the pencil sketches are then scanned into photoshop, so that I can rearrange, resize and move around in order to determine the best layout, one which tells a story and has a visual impact. (I find it’s better to present sketched layouts rather than a photocomp’s, partly because the photographic material is usually of varying quality, but also because a pencil rough is more fluid and does not dictate the final impression).

Selected screen grabs.

Selected screen grabs 2.

My first idea involved a portrait of David looking lost and frightened (I felt this was essential to the story), the Werewolf with it’s head bursting through the cinema shutters/signage (the idea of breaking the fourth wall), the decomposing Jack (a perfect metaphor for David’ s own life falling apart), his nightmare of the home invasion (one of the most effective and horrific moments in the film, I felt), plus Brian Glover’s ‘Slaughtered Lamb’ local – a look that defines rednecks and racists the word over when confronted by ‘other’!). I also wanted to add the tube attack victim to open up the carnage. Although Jenny Agutter’s nurse added the romantic dimension for an audience that expects the convention, I wanted to concentrate on David’s story, so chose to only include her face as if she were painted on the shutters, ie. a film poster element.

I was surprised that the client didn’t want the home invasion creatures, nor the reference to the sleazy cinema hordings (which I thought made a good location gag – obviously not!), they also did not want the rotting Jack. It was disappointing to lose these great horror elements, especially as they’d particularly wanted ‘horror’! But a compromise was reached by including the transformation scene at the bottom, and reinstating the moors (which I’d thought unnecessary).

Fortunately, my second sketch was well received and the painting could commence.

On the basis of the selected screen grabs, I make necessary light and contrast adjustments in photoshop, make them greyscale (removing the distraction of colour) and print them out at a size I can easily trace in pencil onto paper. All the pencil sketches are then scanned into photoshop, so that I can rearrange, resize and move around in order to determine the best layout, one which tells a story and has a visual impact. (I find it’s better to present sketched layouts rather than a photocomp’s, partly because the photographic material is usually of varying quality, but also because a pencil rough is more fluid and does not dictate the final impression).

Once I have my sketch approved I reintroduced the photographic source material over the sketched parts, so that my layout remains exactly as approved and so that I’ll have the best possible likenesses to trace onto the watercolour paper.

Early sketched elements.

I usually have a basic idea of what colours I’m going to use. In this instance I knew that I wanted a silvery blue moonlight to bathe the entire image, but also the contrast of the orange glow of artificial lighting, the pub and cinema foyer. I knew the big splash of red in the wolf’s jaw would jump out, becoming the focal point. This painting took about three days to complete, the sketch process (including the grabs) about a day upfront.

Composition design.

The final painting was scanned and all the text added in photoshop.

My client will now make a full size poster print, to be framed, from the file I send him. Next up, ‘The Thing’!

Final painting before text was added.

Continue Reading

News

Syfy Renews Z Nation for a 5th Season; Season 4 Finale Airs Tonight!

Published

on

Syfy’s popular zombie series “Z Nation” just keeps shambling on, and tonight the two-episode Season 4 finale, “Mt. Weather/The Black Rainbow,” airs. If you’re a fan of the show, we have good news for you… it’s not over yet as David Latt of The Asylum has announced on Twitter the pickup of “Z Nation” for a 5th season! So you can expect lots more adventures with the gang in 2018.

Below is the official word from David along with a brief synopsis of what’s ahead tonight in the finale, which kicks off at 9/8c.

Synopsis:
In the mind-bending two-hour Season 4 finale, Warren and the team must stop Zona from launching operation Black Rainbow, which will cleanse the landscape of both zombies and humans. In Part 2 the secret of Warren’s Black Rainbow dream is unlocked when they reach their final destination. The cast includes Kellita Smith as Roberta Warren, Keith Allan as Murphy, Russell Hodgkinson as Doc, Nat Zang as 10K, Gracie Gillam as Sgt. Lilley, DJ Qualls as Citizen Z, Ramona Young as Kaya, Justin Torrence as President Donald Trump, Michael Berryman as The Founder, Micheal Daks as Mr. Sunshine, Anastasia Baranova as Addy, Sydney Viengluang as Sun Mei, Joseph Gatt as The Man, and Natalie Jongjaroenlarp as Red.

Continue Reading

News

First Look at Chris Alexander’s Space Vampire

Published

on

Who says all vampires have to be all extra-broody or sparkly or take up residence in Transylvania? Certainly not indie filmmaker Chris Alexander, who has just unveiled the first images and posters for his latest foray into film, Space Vampire!

The movie stars Ali Chappell as a beautiful female alien parasite who falls to earth with an intent to drain women of their life forces. As if women don’t have enough problems in this day and age!

Alexander wrote, directed, edited, filmed, and even provided the score for this intergalactic terror tale. Talk about a jack of all trades, eh?

Enough talk! Dig in!

Continue Reading

Recent Comments

Advertisement

Go Ad Free!

Support Dread Central on Patreon!

Join the Box of Dread Mailing List

* indicates required

Trending