Don't Torture a Duckling
is a 1972 Giallo
film directed by Lucio Fulci
When several young boys are brutally murdered in a small southern Italian village, the superstitious locals react with ignorance and violence. All misfits are immediately suspected, such as big-city tart Patrizia, local village idiot Guiseppe, and voodoo practitioner Maciara. A cop named Martelli comes to investigate, and is rather curious about a young priest, Don Alberto, who censors the town's reading material to keep it free of corruption. No one is truly innocent in this town.
The film is Darker and Edgier
than most other gialli of the time period, and Fulci himself considered it his best film.
This film contains examples of:
- Black and Gray Morality: No one in this movie is innocent. No one.
- Chain Pain: Maciara is beaten to death with chains by an angry mob.
- Gorn: The majority of the film is very light on gore, but Maciara's beating and Don Alberto's death are surprisingly graphic.
- Jitter Cam: Fulci uses handheld camerawork to add to the film's bleak atmosphere.
- Peek-A-Boo Corpse: The discovery of the boy's body in the well.
- Van Helsing Hate Crimes: The townspeople blame the murders on Maciara, an unpopular witch, and lynch her based on zero evidence. The murders continue.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Don Alberto is a very conservative priest. He eventually turns out to be the killer.