- Actors: Florinda Bolkan, Barbara Bouchet, Tomas Milian
- Directors: Lucio Fulci
- Format: Anamorphic, NTSC, Widescreen
- Language: Italian
- Number of discs: 2
- Rated: Not RatedUnrated
- Studio: Arrow Video
- DVD Release Date: October 3, 2017
- Run Time: 108 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 57 customer reviews
- ASIN: B0719DZHPL
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,401 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
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Don't Torture A Duckling
Special Edition, 2-Disc Special Edition
DVD + Blu-ray
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From Lucio Fulci, the godfather of gore (The Psychic, The Beyond), comes one of the most powerful and unsettling giallo thrillers ever produced: his 1972 masterpiece Don t Torture a Duckling.
When the sleepy rural village of Accendura is rocked by a series of murders of young boys, the superstitious locals are quick to apportion blame, with the suspects including the local witch , Maciara (Florinda Bolkan, A Lizard in a Woman s Skin). With the bodies piling up and the community gripped by panic and a thirst for bloody vengeance, two outsiders city journalist Andrea (Tomas Milian, The Four of the Apocalypse) and spoilt rich girl Patrizia (Barbara Bouchet, The Red Queen Kills Seven Times) team up to crack the case. But before the mystery is solved, more blood will have been spilled, and not all of it belonging to innocents...
Deemed shocking at the time for its brutal violence, depiction of the Catholic Church and themes of child murder and paedophilia, Don t Torture a Duckling is widely regarded today as Fulci's greatest film, rivalling the best of his close rival Dario Argento. Arrow Video is proud to present this uniquely chilling film in its North American high definition debut.
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The film is filled with red herrings as the police commissioner (Virgilio Gazzolo) heading the investigation and the cynical local police captain (Ugo D’alessia) keep getting the wrong suspect and the murders continue. Though there is less blood and gore than in typical Fulci movies, “Don’t Torture a Duckling” incorporates a series of strange characters and sustains suspense, always keeping the murders in the forefront.
The movie was shocking at the time of its release for its brutal violence and themes of child murder and pedophilia. Today, it’s regarded as Fulci’s masterpiece. In addition to being a dark murder mystery, it is a social commentary on mob mentality and vigilante justice, the arrogance of modern thinking, and the disrespect outsiders have for traditional values. It also provides an unflattering depiction of the Catholic Church.
Bonus features on the unrated 2-disc Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack include audio commentary by Tory Howarth, author of So Deadly, So Perverse: 50 Years of Italian Giallo Films; “Hell Is Already In Us,” a video essay by critic Kat Ellinger; “Lucio Fulci Remembers,” a 1988 audio interview with the film’s co-writer/director; interviews with actor Florinda Bolkan and key crew members; and reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork. The film is in Italian, with English subtitles. There is also an English language track.
Lucio Fulci has a varied career of cinematic weirdness, which ranges from gory zombie flicks, psycho slashers and quirky Giallos. This time around my review is going to about a quirky Giallo named Don’t Torture a Duckling. If you’re wondering what this little Duckling is about, it’s a convoluted, red herring filled murder mystery where it will leave you rightfully confused all the way to the end.
Lucio Fulci has decided that he was going to write and direct a murder mystery that was going to be filled with so much random shit, it almost comes across as comical. We have a mysterious woman who practices black magic, who may or may not be using the magic to kill the local boys. We have the weird loony who doesn’t like the local boys. We have the gorgeous Barbara Bouchet, who fancies the local boys a bit too much, as in entering possible jailtime territory. All of it is mixed together and thrown at the wall, hoping that it sticks.
Does the messy story work? Surprisingly enough, it does. There is a lot that is not needed, which makes the story harder to follow, but in the end, once the killer is revealed, it all works in the end. The lunacy that is thrown into the flick, like the witch, is placed there to convey the town’s craziness and out of touch morals. It also allows for Fulci to shoot a very graphic scene that is somewhat hard to watch.
Short answer Don’t Torture a Duckling is classic Fulci all the way. It’s a twisty, loopy story that packs in an abundance of quirky characters, but keeps the viewers in the dark as to who is behind the madness. It’s a fun ride.
This is a Fulci flick, so there is some graphic violence on display here. We have children being murdered, a woman being savagely beaten and also a death that is hilarious looking, but explicit as well.
Barbara Bouchet provides all the nudity in this flick, and it’s glorious. She is a drop-dead gorgeous.
The hilarious, cheesy death scene. I won’t spoil it.
Barbara Bouchet. Beyond interesting actually.
Was I this horny as a twelve-year-old boy?
Arrow Video has done a splendid job on the video transfer for the movie. It’s so clear and pristine in places. The booklet in the package provides a lot of information on the transfer, so much information, in fact, it seems like Arrow Video is coming across as apologising for any issues, but I see no problems with this one.
Audio is also near perfect, with both a lossless Italian and English track. No complaints from this easy to impress reviewer.
Special Features are filled with plenty of interviews. We get an enjoyable older audio interview with Fulci. I liked the essay about Fulci’s problems of being labelled as a misogynistic director. She provides plenty of pointers that show you that he wasn’t misogynistic at all. I also admire the lovely cardboard sleeve supplied with the package. I know, small things impress me.
Don’t Torture a Duckling might be utterly confusing and convoluted at times, but Fulci has a certain quirkiness and raw grittiness in his films, that makes you always end up liking it and this film is no different. Arrow Video racks up another top Blu-ray in their ever-growing library of amazing releases.
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