In the small town of Accendura in Italy, there has been a spate of disappearances and eventual murders of young boys. The small religious community is swamped with journalists and the state police are determined to catch the culprit. Lucio Fulci’s Don’t Torture a Duckling remained unreleased for many years in North America and was only given a small limited theatrical run in Europe as well. As the years have passed, the film has been reassessed and heralded as a masterpiece. It’s one of Fulci’s best films, if not THE best.
The locals are a superstitious bunch especially the old dude called Francesco who lives in the hills and practices black magic. The police soon discount Francesco, but there is a young woman called Magiara who sort of ‘lives’ with Francesco who was rumoured to have been possessed by the devil and the towns-folk now think is a witch. The police want to speak to her and the town want revenge for the murders, suffice to say tragedy is just around the corner.
Even with the main plot of the murders, Fulci also weaves in the story of a socialite returning to her home town after a drugs scandal in Milan. Played by the stunning Barbara Bouchet, whose character appears to have a slightly unnatural attraction to youngsters (who turn up dead) or does she? Also in the cast is the late great Tomas Milian playing an investigative journalist who teams with Bouchet to try and find out who is doing the killing and why.
There’s lots going on in Don’t Torture a Duckling and all of it incredibly riveting. It’s a real shame the film never got the credit and exposure when Fulci first unleashed it on the cinema going public. However, it’s now getting all the attention it deserves with it’s great performances, good story and at times pretty brutal violence.
A real classic of it’s kind.
- Starring Tomas Milian Barbara Bouchet Irene Papas Florinda Bolkan
- Director Lucio Fulci
- Distributor Arrow Video