Don’t Torture A Duckling

Don’t Torture A Duckling is directed by Lucio Fulci. Co-Written by Roberto Gianviti and Gianfranco Clerici.

While watching Don’t Torture A Duckling, or Non si sevizia un paperino, I made an obvious joke: this film is figurative, as it has nothing to do with ducklings. Someone responded, detailing the objective of the concept. So…I guess the moral of this story is; I am horrible at making jokes.

The poster art that I have chosen to display, while there is a variety, is the image of a young girl holding a duck. Look closer, and you will notice a pair of hands on the girl’s shoulders. Half of the girl’s face is cut off, but you can tell she displays a look of worry. Of panic. Of fear.

I chose this poster for two reasons: one is to hint at the figurative nature that I pointed out earlier. Two is to show the genius strategy behind this concept. Upon first look, I speculated the film about a bunch of young, demented outcasts torturing ducklings. But, after reading the synopsis, I was relieved there was no animal abuse. Yet, withdrawn with the next sensitive subject: child abuse.

Then, it dawned on me after further observation of the poster that there’s more to this story. Zooming in on the poster, you notice skeletons that are vaguely visible. The one on the right appears to be in a praying position as if it’s confessing its sins. Out of this whole image, the only component that doesn’t look distressed is…the duck.

Don’t Torture A Duckling is an intimate, yet, a horrific tale about a series of mysterious, grizzly child murders. Probably more gruesome than the child killings is the act of vengeance on the antagonist. And, don’t get me wrong: the punishment is well-deserving due to the dastardly crimes committed. But this makes me ponder on crime and punishment in America in this day-and-age, and how it’s gotten less strict when you think of the olden days. Even the simplest crimes reaped harsh punishment.

Don’t Torture A Duckling takes place in Italy. Crimes are treated with severity in punishment. Also noteworthy is the community of torn, grief-stricken locals, who decide to take matters into their own hands and enact brutal justice on the child predator. This is one iconic scene that is worth seeing, and probably the one scene that rose this film’s bar high.

The intimate, discreet storytelling is captivating. Less is shown, yet this film speaks volumes in its slow-burn nature. Not to mention it’s accompanied by that beautiful, yet dark melodic composition that Italian horror articulates so well. It is amazing how the music can send conflicting emotions as you watch. The visuals are horrific, yet the music is melodic. Don’t Torture A Duckling is an…experience.

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