Don't Torture A Duckling / Non si sevizia un paperino (1972)

5.0 out of 5

In the early 1970s Lucio Fulci was producing what was easily his best work. Following up on One On Top Of The Other he directed the flawless Beatrice Cenci, Lizard in a Woman's Skin, The Eroticist and continued his run of form with Don't Torture a Duckling. This is giallo Fulci style and Fulci style at it's best.

As the film opens we see a road that represents the progress that is bypassing a traditional rural community. The modern and traditional worlds seldom come into contact aside from visiting prostitutes. As the two worlds eventually meet it is a relationship of suspicion as modernity and superstition collide.

Maybe the most touching scene is when a dying Florinda Bolkan reaches the road and with her final breaths notices how disinterested children look on from a car as it passes in slow motion. She is not of their world.

With an extremely strong genre film cast including Florinda Bolkan, Barbara Bouchet, Tomas Milian, Irene Papas and Marc Porel Don't Torture A Duckling is a beautiful and extremely intelligent giallo that engage with themes that Lucio Fulci would return to a number of times throughout his career. This is a recommended starting point for those who would like to be eased into both giallo and the works of Fulci.

Maurizio Merli header graphic courtesy of Paddy O'Neill of Foxyfide Graphics