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An amazing Fulci film! The absolute proof that this director is a horror genius.
I tend to get furious when hearing about Lucio Fulci's reputation as a director. Too often he's categorized as a no-talented filmmaker, only out to shock and disgust entire audiences with images of pure gore. True, his films contain more explicit filth and sickness as your average mainstream American production, but his films always are of wide range and the plots are gruesomely morbid. Don't Torture a Duckling is yet another story! This film is a pure gem of the Italian shock cinema! I easily dare to call this film a masterpiece it's an old-fashioned giallo that includes all brilliant aspects of genuine horror. The film shows the search for a inhuman serial murderer in a small Italian mountain-town. The bodies of 3 young boys are found, horribly mutilated. There are quite a lot of pseudo-madmen in the town but every trail leads to nowhere. Among the suspects are a greedy bum and a scary woman, obsessed by witchery and voodoo. Like a true mastermind, Fulci knows to find the right creepy tone for his film. He portrays the small town as a claustrophobic and inescapable setting of macabre happenings, supported by a giddy soundtrack. Fulci also develops himself as a genius storyteller here. The script always is one step ahead of you and the complex plot will mislead you more than once. In other words, this is a unique giallo (horror slash murder mystery). The gore isn't presented as grotesque and explicit as in Lucio's later milestones (among them are the legendary Zombie 2, The Beyond and the New York Ripper), although there still are a few nauseating and hard-to-watch shock-sequences shown.
Don't torture a Duckling is the most compelling and effective achievement Lucio Fulci ever brought forward and it easily ranks among the greatest Italian horror movies ever made. Right next to the masterpieces made by Mario Bava and Dario Argento. The film is fascinating from start to finish, some plot aspects are alarmingly realistic and the tension is adrenalin-rushing at all times! A must see for horror fans and an absolute priority for Italian shock-lovers!
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