Road Rash Reviews

Don’t Torture a Duckling Review****-

Cert 18 | 105 mins | 1972

4 star conversion of a riveting Italian Giallo thriller.

Don’t Torture a Duckling was first released in 1972 and is presented here in Dual Format DVD and Blu-ray courtesy of Arrow Video.

It is written and directed by Lucio Fulci (The Beyond, City of the Living Dead) and was pretty controversial on it’s release due to the religious themes and brutal and graphic violence.

“Thirteen devils enter someone’s mouth. By the mouth they infect the blood and he kills.”

Accendura is a small rural village in Italy, seemingly still in the dark ages. The townsfolk are highly superstitious and have a deep distrust of outsiders. When a young boy, Bruno, goes missing a massive police search follows. A ransom demand is made and police apprehend the village idiot and peeping tom, Barra (Vito Passeri – Meridian, The Psychic). He takes them to where the boy is buried but claims he was already dead when he found him and that he simply buried him.

As more children are found dead, the town descends into mob mentality, aiming their suspicions at the local witch Maciara (Florinda Bolkan – A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin) who lives at the top of the mountain with black magic practitioner Francesco (Georges Wilson – Gandahar).

Also in town are Andrea Martelli (Tomas Milian – Amistad, Traffic), a news reporter and Patrizia (Barbara Bouchet – Gangs of New York, Casino Royale), a promiscuous and spoiled rich girl sent to the village after a drugs scandal. Shunned by the locals they find themselves banding together to try and solve the murders, with the help of the local priest and mentor to the boys, Don Alberto (Marc Porel – Ludwig, Killing of the Flesh).

Don’t Torture a Duckling is a very interesting thriller, with a great twist. As with most Giallo films there are suspects aplenty, with more or less the entire town acting strangely in one way or another.

The acting is typically Italian, very enthusiastic and the suspense is built well. The setting is very beautiful and makes the murders seem all the more out of place.

It is uncompromising with it’s subject material, featuring several scenes of graphic and brutal violence and a less than flattering depiction of the Catholic Church which many found offensive upon it’s release.

Although the special effects are very dated now, there is lots of gore and this horror/thriller still stands up today. With lots of special features, this is a release well worth adding to your collection.


  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
  • 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
  • Giallo a la Campagna, a new video discussion with Mikel J. Koven, author of La Dolce Morte: Vernacular Cinema and the Italian Giallo Film
  • Every (Wo)man Their Own Hell, 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

 “We construct gleaming highways, but we are a long way from modernising the mentality of people like this.” 

Don’t Torture a Duckling is available to order now and will be released on 25th September 2017.

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DirectorLucio Fulci
GenreHorror, mystery, thriller
StarringFlorinda Bolkan, Barbara Bouchet, Tomas Milian
Available to buy on : Own Don't Torture a Duckling on DVD Own Don't Torture a Duckling on Blu-Ray