Friday, December 11, 2015

Don't Torture a Duckling, Into the Taboo with Lucio Fulci

Barbara Bouchet is a beautiful Czech who made it big in Italian films.  In 1972, she starred in Lucio Fulci's "Don't Torture a Duckling." Though her scenes in this horror film are sultry, her role is one that would have been eschewed by most actresses.  This film is one that will cause you great discomfort, and it goes places that even modern day cinema avoids.  As this blog delves back into Italian horror, let us look at a horrific tale of murder and superstition.
Three little boys have been strangled to death in a small, superstitious town in rural Italy.  Suspects? Oh yes.  Maciara (Florinda Bolkan), a witch, made wax dolls of the boys before their deaths and stuck them with pins.  Francesco (Georges Wilson), the magician, dabbles in the occult, and is hardly cooperative with the cops.  Then there is Patrizia (Bouchet).  A stunning model who fled Milan after she was implicated in a drug operation.  This beauty lounges around naked for the purpose of seducing little boys...the same ones that ended up dead.  Her drug history, and lack of alibis for the times of the murders, make her a prime suspect.
As the cops focus on Maciara and Patrizia, a reporter, Martelli (Tomas Milian) befriends Patrizia. Unfortunately for Martelli, Patrizia only lusts after little boys.  These two join forces with the town priest, Don Alberto (Marc Porel), the only normal guy in town who knew all the boys, in order to find the killer. This unholy alliance may be the only hope this village has at stopping the murderer.  As the cops dig up some disturbing clues, including skeletons of dead babies, the townspeople demand blood.  More boys are murdered, and each time, all indications are that the glamorous Patrizia is the fiend. If the cops don't arrest our beautiful subjects, vigilantes might dispose a harsher justice. As uncomfortable as the film is, so far, you can bet Lucio Fulci will deliver an ending that will have you squirming.    
This is a difficult one to watch. Fulci shows us the tattered corpses of the boys and then their grieving parents.  We want to like Patrizia, she is a knock-out...but also a child pervert.  For a Fulci film, one may think the gore is pretty tamed....but wait until the end before you determine that.  Oh yes, Maciara's death scene is one of the most eerie, and beautiful cinematic moments you will ever endure.  Not for everyone, but a creepy and unsettling horror experience is in store for all who dare to watch "Don't Torture a Duckling."

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