Monday, May 25, 2015
'Butterflies of Bill Baker' DVD: A Modern Jekyll and Hyde Story
The recent DVD release of the 2013 Running Bear Media drama "Butterflies of Bill Baker" provides a good primer on the night terrors known as pavor nocturnus in an entertainingly understated film. The titutlar middle-aged man is a textbbook Jekyll and Hyde type in that he is the nicest guy imaginable during the day and a brutal monster driven by horribly violent images (which are a confusing mix of imaginary images and memories of past events) on becoming mobile while asleep.
The fabulous Baker boy is happily tending to his yard, running his classic car sales/restoring/repair business, and managing his long-term condition well when the surprise reappearance of his ex-wife prompts his id to wake up. This takes the form of equally incredibly surreal and violent images and literally unconscious hostile acts.
The other big change in the life of Bill comes in the form of becoming an (initially highly reluctant) surrogate parent to aptly named seven year-old orphan Annie who is having a hard-knock life. Meanwhile, the new treatment by the latest doctor to care for Bill is less effective than desired.
These elements collide as Bill and his ex-wife quasi-reunite and the manifestations of the terrors directly and indirectly threaten the mutually beneficial relationship between Bill and Annie. A cool aspect of that bond is that it incorporates a few elements of "The Sixth Sense" despite Annie the outcast not being the one who sees dead people.
A really cute scene has Bill explaining to Annie that his night-time behavior precludes spending time together and her using kid logic in responding that they spend time together in the day. This pluck additionally comes through in a few other scenes in which the moppet pushes her way into the heart of Bill.
The past and present collide in the climatic ending sequence in which the emergence of "Hyde" disrupts a previously idyllic weekend that Bill and Annie are enjoying. One spoiler is that the turmoil regarding that provides a relatively unpredictable happy ending that is Shakespearean regarding its surreal elements and the gathering of every major player.
Will Chase of the ABC prime time drama "Nashville" nicely portrays the two faces of Bill nicely. He portrays the light and dark sides of that character equally well and will make many people think twice when striking up a friendship with someone who seems too nice to be true.
Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Butterflies" is encouraged to email me; you can also connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.