Sep 222017

I’m no expert on Lucio Fulci expert and only have seen a few, I believe all through Arrow Video, but Don’t Torture a Duckling is a great movie with genuine tension and some solid performances.



Don’t Torture a Duckling

Genre(s): Thriller, Horror
Arrow Video | NR – 105 min. – $39.95 | October 3, 2017

Date Published: 09/22/2017 | Author: The Movieman


Directed by: Lucio Fulci
Writer(s): Lucio Fulci and Roberto Gianviti (story), Lucio Fulci, Roberto Gianviti and Gianfranco Clerici (screenplay)
Cast: Florinda Bolkan, Barbara Bouchet, Tomas Milian, Irene Papas, Marc Porel
Features: Commentary, Interviews
Digital Copy: No
Formats Included: Blu-ray, DVD
Number of Discs: 2
Audio: Italian (DTS-HD MA 1.0), English (DTS-HD MA 1.0)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.35
Subtitles: English SDH, English
Disc Size: 45.2 GB
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A


THE MOVIE — 3.75/5

Plot Synopsis: 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). With the bodies piling up and the community gripped by panic and a thirst for bloody vengeance, two outsiders – city journalist Andrea (TOMAS MILIAN) and spoilt rich girl Patrizia (BARBARA BOUCHET) – team up to crack the case. But before the mystery is solved, more blood will have been spilled and not all of it belonging to innocents…

Quick Hit Review: Don’t Torture a Duckling (Non Si Sevizia Un Paperino) is an unusual little giallo style horror movie, with a few trademarks, but under the direction of legendary Italian filmmaker Lucio Fulci (Manhattan Baby), it has more true mystery in comparison with others, though this one isn’t all that unpredictable, but presumably at the time in 1972, it was a shock to audiences, which in this day and age, isn’t as controversial (I’ll leave off why as not to spoil the culprit).

As for the rest, the performances aren’t bad and there are certainly really bizarre elements, like our female lead, played by Barbara Bouchet, sexually teasing a 9-10 year-old boy, having him look at her… fully nude and asking him questions like how many women he has slept with. Italians gotta love them… and get creeped out at the same time. However, probably not the strangest thing I’ve seen in an Italian movie.

But beyond the oddities, there is a brilliant, if not age-old, message at its core and there are some deeply and genuinely heart-wrenching – even stomach-churning – scenes as you see a town vilify someone believed to have committed the horrific crimes, not based on evidence but reputation; and this was a pre-Internet era, so perhaps even more relevant today.



This two-disc release comes with a textured slip cover and a nice 36-page booklet containing essays and a lengthy explanation about what went into doing the restoration work, which I’ll expand on in the next section.

Audio Commentary – Troy Howarth, author of So Deadly, So Perverse: 50 Years of Italian Giallo Films, and he’s been featured in previous Arrow Films.

Giallo a la Campagna (27:44; HD) is a video discussion with Mikel J. Koven, author of La Dolce Morte: Vernacular Cinema and the Italian Giallo Film.

Hell is Already in Us (20:30; HD) – This is a video essay by critic Kat Ellinger as he focuses on the accusations of misogyny against director Lucio Fulci.

Lucio Fulci Remembers (TRT 33:15; HD) is a 1988 audio interview with Fulci as he answers questions from journalist Gaetano Mistretta. This is split into two-parts (20:13/13:12).

Cast and Crew Interviews:

  • Actress Florinda Bolkan (28:20; HD)
  • Cinematographer Sergio D’Offizi (46:21; HD)
  • Assistant Editor Bruno Micheli (25:38; HD)
  • Assistant Makeup Artist Maurizo Trani (16:03; HD)


VIDEO – 4.5/5

Don’t Torture a Duckling debuts on Blu-ray and is presented in its original 2.35 widescreen aspect ratio and given a new 1080p high-definition transfer, culled in 2K resolution from the original 2-perf Techniscope Eastman camera picture negative as well as a 4-perf 35mm duplicate negative. And the picture looks excellent, detail is sharp throughout and colors appear to be natural in appearance. There are a few minor specs and whatnot, but otherwise it is rather clean.

Now, what went into getting this done, this apparently was originally restored prior but the results weren’t of acceptable quality due to complications that some of the film was of the 2-perf negative while others were 4-perf and combining the two met with problems having to blow up the former in order to fit with the latter (like transferring 16mm to 35mm). Anyway, once they went to re-scan it, they met with elements littered with scratches, torn/missing frames, thick splices and chemical deterioration. So given what went into getting it to this point is simply astounding.

AUDIO – 4.0/5

The disc comes with a both an Italian and English dubbed language DTS-HD Master Audio Mono track, with the former being the rightful default option. The dialogue levels do come through the center channel nice and clearly, though there were some brief moments where it tops out. There is some ambient noises that make up some okay depth, along with an Italian score.


OVERALL – 3.5/5

Overall, I’m no expert on Lucio Fulci expert and only have seen a few, I believe all through Arrow Video, but Don’t Torture a Duckling is a great movie with genuine tension and some solid performances, namely that of both Florinda Bolkan and Barbara Bouchet. This Blu-ray release is well done featuring a decent selection of bonus material and high-quality video/audio transfers.





Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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