Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Pia Zadora, Stacy Keach, Orson Welles, Edward Albert, Leigh Christian
Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
The box office hit of the controversial adaptation of the novel by James M. Cain (The Postman Always Rings Twice) comes out on DVD for the first time ever. — Pia Zadora makes a stunning debut in this hot-blooded thriller of... more »
Pia on DVD!
Charles Pennington III | Columbus, OH | 10/05/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I'm gonna get a lot of heat for this, but I'm a fan of Pia Zadora. I don't think she's the greatest actress or personality or even singer, but there's something about her that makes me giggle. Sure, she's been in a lot of questionable movies (to my count, her husband financed four of them - BUTTERFLY, FAKE-OUT, THE LONELY LADY, and VOYAGE OF THE ROCK ALIENS), but she seems to have a wicked sense of humor playing in all of them, like she's in on the joke. Maybe she was or maybe she wasn't, but FINALLY her "first" film, BUTTERFLY, has been officially released on DVD. I say "officially" because JER Films has had a bootleg DVD release on the market for several years now, mastered from the early 80s Vestron Laserdisc, a better source than a VHS tape minted from the same transfer but still a poor choice considering how blurry, blown-out, and speckly the print and noisy Laserdisc pressing were.
And now the official release from Industrial Films, a label I've never heard of, in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen from a new hi-def master, complete with a 45-minute featurette and commentary track with Pia herself! To say I'm shocked is an understatement, but I felt I should let the other dozen or so people in the world who might be interested in this release know of its quality.
The mastering isn't perfect, as there is a strange ghosting issue which appears to be from poor conversion from the hi-def master (I've seen this on some other independent DVD releases), and the audio commentary is woefully out of synchronization for the first half of the film (the film's audio is mixed in low and it reveals a large 3-4 second gap in sync). I still expected FAR worse than I got, and I'm very pleased with this disc. Even the packaging is quite nice with a slipcover that has the BUTTERFLY logo in raised red foil. The back cover gives a url, Welcome to butterfly-movie.com!, that is nothing more than a site registered for selling domain names! Weird...
DVDTown is the only review I've been able to find for the DVD so far, and I think it was a little harsh. If the reviewer only knew how poor the previous video master was...
I hope that more of Ms. Zadora's oeuvre is on its way to DVD, but from what she states in the commentary track I doubt it. "The other movies sucked," she says, citing FAKE-OUT as terrible and THE LONELY LADY as being intentionally over-the-top but it ended up being, "what it was." No mention of VOYAGE OF THE ROCK ALIENS at all. *sigh* The face of the actual DVD has a 2008 copyright credit for Par-Par Productions, from which I can only surmise Ms. Zadora had something to do with allowing this film to be released. She seems to have a good sense of humor on her commentary track about herself and her films, but I'm not convinced she thinks putting out a special edition of THE LONELY LADY or VOYAGE OF THE ROCK ALIENS is a good idea (but Pia, if you're reading this, I think they deserve DVD releases!!!)
If you are on the fence about this release, BUY IT! Some effort obviously went into this one, and I only hope sales figures convince Ms. Zadora to let some of her other films out of the vault. No, I won't hold my breath, but I never expected this one to get released either.
I posted comparison pics here:
DVD Will Not Play
Bob Conrad | Fort Lee, NJ United States | 12/27/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD, put out by a company called New Star Video, will not play in my dvd players. ISN# 0-29502-00295-4 DVD label is Black - no artwork. No mention on package if Widescreen, Stereo, Close Captioned, etc. Also, there is no mention of the film's original release date (1981), or the movie's total runtime (length of the film). And to top it off, there is no phsical street address or web address for "New Star Video" anywhere to be found on the packaging or disc label. Is this some sort of bootleg release?"
Lee Mellott | Frederick, Maryland | 11/06/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I remember reading about Pia years ago. Apparently her husband (ex ?) has millions of dollars and was willing to make her a well known movie star and invest in her career. However, there was a huge backlash of those who felt she was paying her way to stardom. Her movies were panned and many critized her abilities.
Tonight, I watched Butterfly, and I thought it was riveting. Pia stars as Kady, a young woman who returns to the father she never knew and attempts to get him to steal silver from the mine he is guarding. Stacy Keech plays the father and other talented actors like James Francisco round out the cast. Pia looks gorgeous and convinced me with her acting. She has talent, looks, ability and star quality. She is totally believable as Kady, generating heat, youth and a knowing of what she needs and how to get it all at once.
The movie includes a bonus segment where the actors talk about the movie and Pia still looks awesome 26 years later. She speaks very intelligently and represents herself well.
It seems that real fame eluded Pia... and I wonder if without the money her husband put into her career and the resentment it caused, she would have accomplished her goals.
~ Lee Mellott"
Pia Zadora at her best!
David B. Jones | San Jose CA | 07/23/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"If you are tempted to watch it all the way through just to find out if it really has the obvious and absurd "surprise" ending that it telegraphs, (spoiler follows) ...
... it does."