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Alberto de Mendoza
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DON'T TORTURE A DUCKLING is one of Fulci's earlier (and honestly, in terms of story-line, better...) films - and although not the typical "bloodbath" that Fulci is known for - this is still a very unique and enjoyable film.
The story surrounds a small town where a series of child murders are occurring. Some of the colorful characters involved in the investigations - either as suspects, or those "helping" the investigation (or in some cases both) - include the towns police force, a small-time reporter, a beautiful and rich ex-drug addict, a young priest and his mother, An old man who practices witchcraft and his female protégé, a mentally handicapped townsman, and a deaf/mute little girl. All of these people are interwoven into the plot to create several twists and turns, until the actual killer is revealed...
DON'T TORTURE A DUCKLING is neither a "classical" giallo or a typical Fulci gore film. Although it does contain elements of both - it is more of an old-fashioned murder mystery, with darker subject matter and a few scenes of graphic violence (although nothing nearly as strong as some of Fulci's later works). This is a well written film with lots of twists that kept me guessing up until the end. Recommended for giallo/murder-mystery fans, or anyone looking to check out some of Fulci's non-splatter films - but don't despair, DON'T TORTURE still has more than it's fair share of violence and sleaze. Some may be put off by the subject of the child killings, and one main female character has a strange habit of hitting on very young boys, which is also kind of disconcerting - but if that type of material doesn't bother you, then definitely give this one a look. 8.5/10
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