Don't Torture a Duckling Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ July 5, 2010
Good ol nasty Fulci aims his camera against superstition, be black magic or the catholic faith. The female cast adds a nice touch of (very sexual at times) tension. My only complaint is that Milian doesn't get much to do, aside from sporting an outrageous porn-star moustache.
Super Reviewer
½ November 26, 2011
When fans of the giallo genre talk about their favorites, Lucio Fulci's Don't Torture a Duckling is mysteriously left out of the conversations. Not because it's a bad film, but because it tends to stick out as more than just a mere giallo. It's actually quite a thought-provoking film with a lot of style and substance to it. There are moments of light silliness that don't hold up very well, but overall, the film is probably the best that Fulci ever made - and he made some really great classic genre films. For a change, I found the conclusion to be satisfying. Usually the ending reveal doesn't match up to the rest of the film, but this one is pretty unique and quite interesting. I'd recommend this film to those interested in seeing something different for a change. Don't Torture a Duckling is definitely different and leaves you pondering.
Super Reviewer
October 22, 2011
An impressive murder/mystery movie from Lucio Fulci set in a Southern Italian village where a series of child murders have taken place. It's well plotted with enough twists to keep you guessing till the end having gone through a number of plausible suspects along the way. The film also features a couple of scenes of bloody violence which Fulci would later become renowned for, including a brutal chain-whipping scene which would later be replicated in 1980s The Beyond. Well worth seeking out for lovers of Giallo's and Fulci himself as it was his personal favourite of his movies.
Super Reviewer
½ July 6, 2011
Don't Torture A Duckling is one of Lucio Fulci's earliest horror films. Duckling is one of the few films by Fulci to barely use any gore effects, but he still uses them. But with Don't Torture A Duckling, he uses more suspense and tension to create the horror in the film. The film is notable for being one of the first films by Fulci to utilize gore effects that would later make him famous, though he uses them to minimal effect, which I thought was cool. Don't Torture A Duckling is among the best Giallo films along with Dario Argento's Deep Red. This film relies on it's atmosphere to create a terrific horror film. What I love about the film is the steady pacing of the story, Fulci takes his time with the plot to unfold, and he is able to craft a confident horror film that has a phenomenal premise. Fans of Fulci's work might have heard of this classic, but most horror fans haven't. Which is kinda sad because this is a phenomenal Giallo film that even Dario Argento approved of. If you come across this gem, I suggest you view it because it's one of the most memorable Italian Giallo hoirror films ever. Though The Beyond has long been seen as Lucio Fulci's masterpiece, now that I've seen this picture I view Don't Torture A Duckling as one of Fulci's greatest works that doesn't deal in the gore genre. There's a bit of gore in the film, but it's very minimal. The film, like I said, relies on the suspense and atmosphere to create the horror. As a diehard Lucio Fulci fan, I absolutely adored this film, and I thought it was a near flawless Giallo.This is an impressive work from a legendary director, and it's one film that should be seen by lovers of the genre.
Super Reviewer
½ May 17, 2010
Interesting & Fun to watch but still I expected a lot more, The hilarious cliff falling scene is awesome
Super Reviewer
December 9, 2008
one of the most interesting heroines I can remember... the editing and zoom work is perfect except for 10 sec; this movie is always despoiling innocence but isn't judgmental; the vigilante violence scene feels awful
Ryan M
Super Reviewer
July 15, 2011

Here's a horror film with something to say. "Don't Torture a Duckling" is one of Lucio Fulci's most thoughtful, most interesting films; and also one of his best. It arrives at a time in horror cinema history where a lot of good stuff came out, yet this still counts as rather..."unnoticed". I don't see why that is. I thought it was a pretty great movie. Not perfect, but most definitely something worth talking about and seeing. I'd recommend it not only to all Fulci fanatics who haven't seen it, but also to anyone open to the ominous secrets and stylistic elements that lie within this genre.

At once a tale of child innocence blossoming into adulthood emotions, and in another instant, the story of a child-murdering serial killer; this film never quite sets itself up as a generic whodunit thriller. I admired that. It was tense and scary without being particularly needy when it came to either. It had an atmosphere, it had plenty of style, and yes, I'd be willing to experience it again. It is better than I wanted it to be; or expected it to be. And that's probably why it deserves some damn good praise.

In a small village in Italy, the local children are, sadly and frankly, being found dead. This must be the work of a killer, or so go the thoughts of the local authorities. They search, they search, and they search; and as with all movies of this type, it's never the police that save the day.

The local misfits and "weirdoes" are of course the first to be targeted, but is that really right? By the end of the film, you might be asking yourself such a question. And why wouldn't you? "Don't Torture a Duckling" is all about questions of all sorts; ones that can be answered by others as well as ones that must be answered ourselves.

I'd appreciate it if you'd all forgive me for not describing the plot as much as I could. My reason behind my vagueness is simple; I do not want to spoil anything. Like I said, "Don't Torture a Duckling" is a movie worth watching. If it doesn't interest you, then why are you reading this review? I am merely being nice to those who do care about seeing the movie. You will thank me later.

Lucio Fulci is known as one of the many, if not the only, "godfathers of gore". The man's fascination with gory visual effects has always been something of interest to me. I too like it when a filmmaker puts an emphasis on visuals and style over story; yet they can still make an entertaining movie out of it. Few of Fulci's films are truly "great", in my eyes, but what the hell; he fascinates and we watch in awe.

But alas, "Don't Torture a Duckling" is just a little bit different. It began Fulci's career as a lover of gory make-up, but it's not all about the effects. The story is well-developed thematically, and there are some decent characters too. Unlike some of Fulci's movies, this one has substance as well as style and high entertainment value. It might, therefore, appeal to a broader audience; which is good for any filmmaker, really. But none of Fulci's films are truly for all cinephiles, and you have to have a certain "taste" for this or any of his movies. But if you qualify, then get ready for a rather satisfactory meal. I'd suggest you dig in as soon as possible.

And here we are; "Don't Torture a Duckling" is actually, surprisingly, quite good. I definitely recommend it; and it's something that you should even go out of your way to see. It has a nice visual look, and the style of Fulci's directorial brilliant shines through the cracks. And we enjoy it; we go along with it. This movie could most certainly be viewed as silly, but at the same time, you just have to go with it, and allow Fulci to do his thing. Whether you like it or you hate it; this is well-written and perhaps even well-intentioned horror filmmaking. And it works not only for its genre, but also on many, many more solid levels.
Super Reviewer
½ April 1, 2011
Another gem from maestro of the macabre, Lucio Fulci. This early giallo from Fulci finds him in rare, subtle form, meaning this isn't exactly the gorefest that he is generally known for, though it does have it's moments in that department. Instead this movie focuses on telling a really good story (something many of Fulci's gorier work's admittedlly lack) that has a really provacative moral, dealing with superstition and ignorance. Without giving too much away intolerant attitudes towards the occult are often accepted, while the catholic church, or more accepted religions in general, often get away with crime, while their followers turn a blind eye. More directly this film is about how religions can rationalize the irrational to themselves. The film did take a while to really hook me in, but by the time it had I was at the edge of my seat till the bitter end. Also that scene where the witch is beaten with chains by the locals has a beauty in it's brutality that more horror films should strive for, and very few actually capture. Some people say that this is Fulci's masterpiece. While I still say that The Beyond is his finest work, this is a close contender and would easily make a Top 5 list of his work from me. Required viewing for Italian Horror fans!
Super Reviewer
March 22, 2008
Very good classic giallo film from Lucio Fulci. So far "Don't Torture a Duckling", in my opinion, is the best Fulci's film that I have seen If you go into this film expecting gore you will be disappointed, this film has very little gore.
Super Reviewer
January 20, 2008
Fulci's Giallo. Good stuff with some great gore and some very disturbing scenes. A must see for Fulci fans.
½ January 20, 2014
Other than a couple artistic scenes and Barbara Bouchet looking stunning there wasn't much special here.
½ June 4, 2010
Would have received a higher rating if not for how low budget and dated it appears. The audio is offish the whole time and no subtitles offered. This would be good stuff for a reissue, perhaps. That being said, it was interesting to see a movie from Fulci with a little bit of a different flair than what I normally would think to expect from the director. The story is decent, but definitely a little predicatable and with not as much as a climax as I would hope, considering the care devoted toward telling the first hour or so of the story. Still, worth a viewing.
October 13, 2008
Couldn't anyone come up with a good DVD cover for this? I mean it's a good movie so it should have a good cover
½ October 19, 2007
Someone is going around murdering little boys in a small town of Italy. Is it the scandalous prostitute who lounges around naked in front of the little boys, is it the gypsy witch who makes voodoo dolls, could it be the detective, the old woman washing her clothes in the public fountain, the priest? We are bombarded with suspects while trying to figure out this creepster murder mystery. There could have been more gore, but during the one beatdown scene I found myself excitedly impressed with how realistic the bleeding gashes were. Don't Torture the Duckling doesn't come to close even running in the same race as House by the Cemetery or The Beyond (my favourite Fulci) but if you're a fan of his work, it's certainly not to be missed.
June 19, 2007
Fulci is best with zombies. But when he put his mind to making something disturbing he was ALWAYS succesful... Fulci was a madman and a genius... a dangerous combo.
April 16, 2007
My favorite Fulci film... this surpasses anything he made in the 80's, with the exception of The New York Ripper, which is a close second for me. An all-around fantastic giallo with a great story, interesting characters and a beautiful score by Riz Ortolani. The vigilante murder of the witch Maciara is the best sequence Fulci ever directed.
½ September 21, 2014
Bello acidello, come dipinto.
A metà visione perde un po' di ritmo e si appesantisce, ma dalla scena (splendida! *) ambientata nel cimitero in poi il tenore si stravolge ed arrivano colpi di scena a valanga, fino ad un finale che sinceramente non mi aspettavo (sarò scemo?).
Menzione speciale per il politically correct del '72: "è sordomuta, è una bambina scema!", "non è come pensate voi: non è deficente, è solo ritardata".

*: La colonna sonora di quella scena è un vero colpo di genio, ma in realtà tutto è fatto da dio: dai movimenti degli uomini agli effetti speciali ai tempi. 10/10.
May 9, 2014
A Giallo Masterpiece, and as great as the genre gets! Fulci's masterpiece manages to create an atmospheric yet beautiful depiction of life in a humble village. With likeable characters, a genuinely intriguing plot and some disturbingly gorgeous sequences, Don't Torture a Duckling manages a to utilise every Giallo convention to create a completely original example of the genre, even to this day.
½ September 21, 2013
One the best of Fulci's giallo films is, at times, disturbing and violent.
½ March 23, 2013
There's a showstopping death scene where a priest falls off a cliff & we see in slow motion his face being torn apart on jagged rocks. I could recommend the movie on that scene alone.
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