11 items from 2017
If I haven’t made it clear in previous articles or on social media, let me do so now: I’m a firm believer that Lucio Fulci is one of, if not the, greatest horror directors to ever live. While dismissed as a schlock artist by critics in his time, Fulci’s unique brand of horror, borne from a holy fusion of market-friendly gore and surrealist pure cinema, has aged remarkably well. But before he mingled among zombies or cracked open the gates of hell, Fulci directed a few violent giallo films, including the incredibly depressing Don’t Torture a Duckling, which recently received a new restoration and Blu-ray release from Arrow Video.
Don’t Torture a Duckling isn’t your usual giallo. While it has all of the signatures of the sub-genre—red herrings, black gloves, sexuality—the conventions and tropes are slightly skewed. Instead of taking place in »
- Perry Ruhland
Don’t Torture a Duckling
1972 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / Street Date October 2, 2017
Cinematography by Sergio D’Offizi
Film Edited by Ornella Micheli
Produced by Renato Jaboni
Music by Riz Ortolani
Directed by Lucio Fulci
Lucio Fulci’s most consistent trait might have been his instability. In fact it may have been the Italian director’s defining quality; lingering throughout his films is the inescapable notion that, no matter how stylish or finely-tuned his mise en scene, he will surely find a way to fly off the rails and take everyone with him. He’s the crazy ex-girlfriend of filmmakers.
Fulci made his rep in the late 70’s and early 80’s with a series of crassly exploitative horror films, high on gore and low on logic. Nevertheless he began his career on »
- Charlie Largent
Don’t Torture a Duckling, 1972.
Directed by Lucio Fulci.
A rural Italian village is plagued by child murders and the finger of suspicion points to several of its locals.
Set in rural Southern Italy, Don’t Torture a Duckling followed in the wake of director Lucio Fulci’s glamorous giallo A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin, a taut thriller set in the glitzy world of swinging London. …Duckling, despite also being a giallo, is a rather different beast with its gentler, less colourful location but also its themes of social upheaval, differing beliefs and that biggest of targets for this particular director, the Catholic Church.
The plot involves the quiet village of Accendura where the peace is shattered by a spate of child murders. Naturally, the residents are outraged and want the killer caught but the »
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, »
- Tom Stockman
Eurocrime! The Italian Cop and Gangster Films That Ruled the ’70s, to give the film it’s full title, is a welcome and affectionate look at the Italian poliziotteschi films of the 1970s, films such as High Crime, Milano Calibro 9, Street Law and Napoli Violenta which, whilst heavily influenced by 70s Us cop and gangster films like Dirty Harry and The Godfather, also touched upon real Italian issues – the Sicilian Mafia and the Red Brigade – and amped up the sex and violence to often ridiculous levels.
Those film fans familiar with Italian genre cinema will know that Italian cinema has a reputation of hitching itself to the nearest bandwagon and bleeding it dry. If Italian filmmakers could find a fad that people liked they’d stick with it. From »
- Phil Wheat
Unsung actress Beverly Garland becomes TV’s first lady cop, in what’s claimed to be the first TV show filmed on the streets of New York City. This one-season wonder from 1957 has vintage locations, fairly tough-minded storylines and solid performances, from Bev and a vast gallery of stage and TV actors on the way up.
Film Chest Media
1957-’58 / B&W / 1:33 flat full frame (TV) / 39 x 30 min. / Street Date May 30, 2017 / 19.98
Starring: Beverly Garland
Art Direction (some episodes): Mel Bourne
Original Music: Wladimir Selinsky
How did I experience »
- Glenn Erickson
From Arrow Video: "New UK/Us Title: The Slayer (Dual Format Blu-ray & DVD)
The Slayer finally rises from the ashes of obscurity in a brand new 4K transfer courtesy of Arrow Video.
Pre-order in the UK via Arrow: http://bit.ly/2r9t2Ab
Pre-order in the UK via Amazon: http://amzn.to/2r9sZnZ
Pre-order in the Us: http://bit.ly/2r9yYsP
Release dates: 21/22 August
Is It A Nightmare? Or Is It… The Slayer?
One of the most sought-after titles for slasher fans everywhere, The Slayer finally rises from the ashes of obscurity in a brand new 4K transfer courtesy of Arrow Video.
Two young couples set off to a secluded island for what promises to be a restful retreat. »
- Derek Anderson
Lucio Fulci is known to most horror fans for his work in the fantastical, through his late career success with Zombie (1979), City of The Living Dead (1980), and The Beyond (1981). Certainly these are his most widely seen and cherished films, and for good reason – they blast through the screen in a feast of color, magic, and grue; short on logic, sure, but long on imagination and dread. But before he untethered his heart in a quest for purity, he engaged in his homeland’s horror sub-genre of giallo, including Don’t Torture a Duckling (1972), incredible, subversive proof that he could create something just as effective and decidedly much more earth bound.
Released late September back home in his native Italy, Duckling never received its due (or much attention at all, truthfully) on these shores until Fulci’s death in 1996 offered a re-evaluation of his body of work. Thanks to the internet, »
- Scott Drebit
Tomas Milian, the Cuban-born actor who made a name for himself in Italian genre movies in the 1960s and ‘70s, has died, Deadline reports. Outside of his starring roles in a number of spaghetti Westerns, Milian worked with big-name Italian directors like Michelangelo Antonioni, Pier Paolo Pasolini, and Bernardo Bertolucci. In his later years, he had notable roles with American directors Steven Soderbergh and Steven Spielberg as well. The Italian news agency Ansa broke the news of Milian’s death, reporting that he had died of a stroke at home in Miami. He was 84.
Milian was born Tomás Quintín Rodríguez Milián in 1933 in Havana, the son of a general who was imprisoned during the Cuban revolution. Soon after, he moved to New York City to study acting under Lee Strasberg; he found his niche in Italy, though, where he made his big-screen debut in the Pasolini-penned The Big ...
- Katie Rife
Tomas Milian, the Cuban-American-Italian actor best known for his work in Italian genre films and Spaghetti Westerns, has died at the age of 84. Italian news agency Ansa reported that he died of a stroke in his Miami home on Wednesday. Milian, whose real name was Tomas Quintin Rodriguez Milian, worked with a host of top-notch directors such as Steven Soderbergh, Bernardo Bertolucci and Steven Spielberg, and was recognized for the emotional intensity and humor he brought… »
Rome – Versatile Cuban-American-Italian actor Tomas Milian, known for the intensity he brought to disparate roles, whether in dramas by directors like Bernardo Bertolucci and Steven Soderbergh or as the Roman lowlife character that made him a household name in Italy, died Thursday. He was 84.
Milian died of a stroke in his Miami home, according to Italian news agency Ansa.
A Method actor who studied with Lee Strasberg, Milian played in about 120 movies during a career spanning six decades. Most of the films were shot in Italy, where he worked with directors Michelangelo Antonioni, Luchino Visconti and Pier Paolo Pasolini besides acting in Spaghetti Westerns, cop movies, and the franchise based on his Roman lowlife character “Er Monnezza” (“Mr. Trash”).
Later in his career, Milian moved to the U.S. where, among other films, he appeared in Sydney Pollack’s “Havana,” in Steven Spielberg’s “Amistad,” and played corrupt General Arturo Salazar in Soderbergh’s “Traffic, »
- Nick Vivarelli
11 items from 2017
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