Don't Torture a Duckling

Critics Consensus

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Total Count: 5


Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,066
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Movie Info

When several young boys are brutally murdered in a small southern Italian village, the superstitious locals react with ignorance and violence. All misfits are immediately suspected, such as big-city tart Barbara Bouchet, the local village idiot, and voodoo practitioner Florinda Bolkan, who is brutally murdered by the villagers in a startling and powerful scene. Cop Tomas Milian (Almost Human, Amistad) comes to investigate, and is rather curious about a young priest who censors the town's reading material to keep it free of corruption. The peculiar clergyman seems to envy the dead boys, who will never grow up to be corrupted. Milian soon becomes convinced that the priest wants to send the kids' souls to Heaven and feels guilt about desiring the boys sexually.

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Critic Reviews for Don't Torture a Duckling

All Critics (5) | Fresh (4) | Rotten (1)

Audience Reviews for Don't Torture a Duckling

  • Nov 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.
    Tim S Super Reviewer
  • Oct 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.
    Lee ? Super Reviewer
  • Jul 15, 2011
    8.4/10 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.
    Ryan M Super Reviewer
  • Jul 06, 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.
    Alex r Super Reviewer

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