Don't Torture a Duckling (1972)

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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)

[Duckling] doesn't hit the surreal heights of later films such as City of the Living Dead or The Beyond, but it's one of the best entries in the director's early filmography.

Oct 18, 2017 | Full Review…

Cruel, beautiful and all the colours in between, Don't Torture a Duckling is a compelling and beguiling work from a greatly underrated filmmaker.

Sep 13, 2017 | Rating: 9/10 | Full Review…

The signature Fulci bit is also a devastating culmination of the film's autopsy of corrupt patriarchy

Feb 5, 2010 | Full Review…

One of the best giallo films made by Lucio Fulci.

Nov 18, 2008 | Rating: B | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Don't Torture a Duckling

½

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.

Tsubaki Sanjuro
Tsubaki Sanjuro

Super Reviewer

½

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 Salmons
Tim Salmons

Super Reviewer

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 ?
Lee ?

Super Reviewer

½

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 roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer

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