SCREAM OF THE BUTTERFLY (1965) Reviews and overview

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‘She lured them with her beauty and destroyed them with her sex’

Scream of the Butterfly is a 1965 American exploitation film directed by Argentinian Eber Lobato from a screenplay by Alan J. Smith (who also appears as Christian) and Howard Veidt (who co-directed without credit).


Trash auteur Ray Dennis Steckler (The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies; The Horny Vampire; Blood Shack) was the cinematographer.

The film stars Nélida Lobato (the director’s wife), William Turner, Nick Novarro, Richard Beebe, Robert Miller (The 2-Headed Transplant; Shock Waves), John Richards, Leona Gage (Tales of Terror), John Fife and Ron Haydock (a Steckler regular).

Rock band The Emcees provide a sax-infused instrumental and the title of the film apparently inspired Jim Morrison to add the phrase to the lyrics of The Doors song, “When the Music’s Over”.

In the US, the film was distributed theatrically by exploitation outfit Emerson Film Enterprises, whose horror roster included the likes of Monstrosity (1963), The Devil’s MistressManos: The Hands of Fate (both 1966) and Psyched by the 4D Witch. It was later rescued from obscurity by a Something Weird Video release on VHS (in 1994) and DVD (in 2003).

Scream of the Butterfly 1

Beautiful Marla (Nélida Lobato) marries a rich bland businessman, Paul (William Turner) or his money, then embarks on an affair and plans to use her boyfriend David (Nick Navarro) to help murder her husband. But David has a special secret lover of his own…

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“This is a sordid gem of sex-ploiter noir that is hampered primarily by the dreadful acting of Turner and Novarro and an ill-fitting pseudo-Freudian conclusion (which is the part written by Veidt). Still, even the conclusion continues the delightfully mean-spirited, drenched in cynicism banter.” 366 Weird Movies

” …there is something special about this little flick. The district attorney scenes interjected in-between the soap operatics get a little old, what with all the yelling and side comments from the three men involved. But the low-budget cinematography by cult favorite Ray Dennis Steckler is quite accomplished, making good use of light and shadow.” DVD Drive-in

“Despite some typically atrociously acting, this has a more interesting structure than the usual sexploiter, as it cuts back and forth between the present-day officials and their Rashomon-like recollections. Plus, there’s a terrific surprise ending, which spurs Marla’s demise — but giving it away would ruin the fun.” Shock Cinema

“Quickly paced — even if a bit herky-jerky due to the fact the action is split between the “present-day” scenes of attorneys having a conference about a murder case, and the sexy flashback action of Marla frolicking about in very little clothing — the film is made even more entertaining by some consistently creative camerawork and direction that drive the story almost by themselves. Shades of Gray


“I don’t think Eber and Nélida Lobato ever made another movie but they should be remembered for this one.” Michael J. Weldon, The Psychotronic Video Guide

Filming locations:

Lake Mead and Las Vegas, Nevada

Our rating:

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