Don’t Torture a Duckling (1972) (Blu-ray/DVD Review)
Directed By: Lucio Fulci
Starring: Florinda Bolkan, Barbara Bouchet, Tomás Milián
Rated: UR/Region A/2:35/1080p/Number of Discs 2
Available from Arrow Video
Several young boys are murdered in a remote village rife with sex and superstition, and the townspeople go mad with rage and violence. But when a hard-nosed reporter and promiscuous young woman search for the true killer, they discover a fiend – and motive – even more shocking than the crimes themselves.
A reporter and a promiscuous young woman trying to solve a series of child killings in a remote southern Italian town that’s rife with superstition and distrust of outsiders. We maybe should call the girl out for what she seems to be, and that’s not just promiscuous, that’s a pedophile as she attempts, or at least teases sexual things with a young boy right at the get-go with her first appearance in the movie. But only in the world of Fulci could someone of this nature be the “good” guy. But you know what? She’s hot..like REALLY hot, so I’ll give her a pass. This film sets up for a “who done it” plot where things aren’t always as they appear, people are getting naked, and when someone dies it’s usually gory if not slightly too over the top to a point it does indeed look fake, an issue Fulci’s movies would deal with for as long as he made movies. Also, everything here sums up just what this movie is, a Giallo film. This being a Giallo also means this film doesn’t get in much of a hurry as it’s 102 minutes do seem to drag along at a snail pace at times.
The violence is something worth seeing in this film alone. It’s either really good or so over the top it’s funny, which still equals entertaining. From one scene I called “The Passion of the Gypsy”, to the iconic image of a drowned boy, to the very unintentionally comical climax. The gore is well worth watching the film for, if for nothing than the gore alone. Maybe the man behind the camera wasn’t at his blood pouring peek just yet but it’s fun to see where he started. Also, there are some very interesting characters and twist in this one. Just sadly the most interesting characters aren’t really the main character (not the male anyway) and the ending and stuff leading to it was soo controversial for it’s time that the movie was banned in places and never saw the light of day. And never did in America until Anchor Bay got the rights in 2002. Now, with this Arrow Blu-ray release, you’ll be able to see in a way that actually makes the film look good. It always looked pretty rough before. Arrow cleans it up very nice and packs with a great release.
– Original mono Italian and English soundtracks (lossless on the Blu-ray Disc)
– English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack
– Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack
– New audio commentary by Troy Howarth, author of So Deadly, So Perverse: 50 Years of Italian Giallo Films
– The Blood of Innocents, a new video discussion with Mikel J. Koven, author of La Dolce Morte: Vernacular – Cinema and the Italian Giallo Film
– Hell is Already in Us, a new video essay by critic Kat Ellinger
– Interviews with co-writer/director Lucio Fulci, actor Florinda Bolkan, cinematographer Sergio D’Offizi, assistant editor Bruno Micheli and assistant makeup artist Maurizio Trani
– Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Timothy Pittides
– First pressing only: Collector’s booklet with new writing on the film by Barry Forshaw and Howard Hughes
Quality of Transfer: 97%