Butterfly Legend (1999) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Mind you, I have no idea what was going on in this movie, but here's what I think it was about.

An attractive 30-something woman is married to an older man who tends to control her life while he stays emotionally distant and more interested in his business than in her. We find that she was raised in a convent, and was a 19 year old virgin when they got married. She is starting to experience a sexual awakening, and this awakening triggers a repressed childhood memory of a violent sexual scene she once witnessed.

At about this same time, the couple buys their oldest daughter a dollhouse, and a sexy guy comes to the house to deliver it and set it up. They also attend a party during which the sexy stranger sees her looking at her father's butterfly collection. Or maybe she just dreamed this.

Then a great tragedy occurs. The oldest daughter is lost at sea in a boating accident, and is never found. The wife blames herself for not supervising the sailing trip better, but also blames her husband for not accompanying them. He begged off at the last minute to make a big business deal, so he experiences the same guilt-and-blame cycle in his own mind.

This trauma causes the woman's childhood memory to come to the surface, in both her conscious life and in dreams. The childhood memory involves a sexy stranger and a country house. In her mind, the dollhouse becomes the house in her childhood memory, and the sexy dollhouse installer becomes the sexual stranger in her memory. The butterfly collection spurs further memories, since she was hunting butterflies when she chanced upon the country house.


Roxana Zal is topless in about three different camera set-ups in a sex scene which may or may not be really happening.
Memories intermingle with fantasies until neither she nor the moviegoer have any idea what is real and what is imaginary. She seems to have a need to re-enact the incident she witnessed when she was a girl, and she therefore has passionate sex on a table with the dollhouse dude. I guess this was imaginary, but the husband subsequently finds her topless on a table, in a state of shock.

The husband covers her and says that she must stop living in a dollhouse.

Whatever the hell that means.

The friggin' end.

I guess it's all a psychological drama, with the entire affair taking place in her head as a result of her awakening sexuality and her daughter's tragic death. Frankly, I don't care. It wasn't such a masterwork that we need to participate in detailed exegesis.

In fact, this movie was shot in a week, while the male star, Robert Cuccioli, took a brief break from his stage role as Jekyll and Hyde. Although shot in only seven days, it has the production values of a film which took nine or even ten days. The film is narrated at the beginning and end with some seriously cornball crap, like "the wind blows our lives around like dust in the infinite universe, and we never hear the howling, and in a way our universe is that dollhouse". In other words, it's basically about a week's episodes of Days of Our Lives strung together into a single movie, except they go outside more in this movie than in a soap opera.

No DVD or tape available in North America
The movie stars former child star Roxana Zal, who now looks like a hybrid between Fairuza Balk and Minnie Driver.

Zal was OK, but avoid the film at all costs. 

The Critics Vote

  • no reviews online 

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: not enough IMDb voters to produce a score.
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a D. Boring, pointless, film with highly rhetorical narration, clichéd dialogue, and no entertainment value (except breasts, of course).

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