Home Movies by Decade Movies - 1970s Butterfly Murders, The (1979)

Butterfly Murders, The (1979)

Travel writer turned master sleuth Scholar Fong (Lau Siu-Ming) is among a group of guests at Shum Castle when the grounds are swarmed by deadly killer butterflies(!) This unlikely turn of events climaxes with the beautiful but malevolent bugs mauling to death the castle owner (Chang Kuo-Chu), right in front of his horrified wife (JoJo Chan Kei-Kei).

Putting his detective skills to good use, Scholar Fong teams with plucky martial arts maiden Green Shadow (Michelle Yim) and the sternly stoic boss of the Tien Lung kung fu clan (Shu-Tong Wong) to learn what the hell is going on.

Further complicating an already mind-boggling mystery, a murderous maniac in black armour stalks the castle grounds bumping off anyone that crosses his path.

Hired on the strength of his groundbreaking Hong Kong television serial The Gold Dagger Romance, visionary filmmaker Tsui Hark made his directorial debut with The Butterfly Murders.

Exquisitely shot by veteran D.P. Fan Chi-Yu (making alternately ominous and magical use of shadows and light that dance across castle walls and Michelle Yim’s lovely face), this surreal, deliberately esoteric mystery thriller found little favour with audiences at the time.

Fong Hongye
Siu-Ming Lau
Green Shadow
Michelle Yim (as Suet Mai)
Tian Feng
Shu-Tong Wong
Shen Qing
Kuo-Chu Chang
Lady Shen
Qiqi Chen
Li, ‘The Thousand Hands’ 
Jack Long (as Chiang Wang)
Guo, ‘The Magic Fire’
Eddy Ko
Ah Zhi
Hsiao-Ling Hsu
No.10 of the Red Flags
Kuang-Li Hsia (as Jiangli Xia)
Thousand Hands Li Kim
Tien Lung Chen

Director
Hark Tsui