Anyone reading this knows I'm a huge Fulci fan, and this is one of my favorite Fulci movies. Pre pubescent boys are disappearing in a small Italian village that is rife with a severe distrust of outsiders and steeped in superstition. Suspicion falls on each of the local 'outsiders'. The village idiot, a local witch, an old man and a rich mans daughter with a penchant for young boys.
This is the second Giallo movie I have seen from Lucio Fulci, and I have to say, while being rather light on the blood and gore, the film is shocking in many different ways, and it's criticisms on the failing of Catholicism in modern society speaks volumes.
This movie really doesn't have any likable/relatable characters at all. Even the children featured in the movie come across as cruel. Every single person we meet in the movie could be the killer, and we are thrown many red herrings as the movie progresses with great intelligence.
The movie does throw a great deal at it's audience, but it never tries to force you in to liking something. It is ambiguous in its story telling, and very powerful in its scenes of brutality and small mindedness.
Dont torture duckling is a triumph in every respect. The story is tight, and moves along at a steady pace, containing several different threads as it moves forward, but always keeping the atrocities at the forefront.
All in all, in my opinion, this really is the most shocking of all of Fulci's movies, and it doesn't lose any of it's coherency in it's twisting narrative. Not only does it take a grim view of Religion as a whole, but also of social change, and the casualties that come with it.
Another thing worthy of a mention is the soundtrack, composed by Riz Ortolani. It is beautiful, and suits the beauty of Italy perfectly, and is easily one of his best outside of the infamous Cannibal Holocaust.
This is a movie of contrast, the inability/unwantedness of a village still living by the rules of the old world, to adapt into the ways of now, and the lengths people will go to to cling on to the ways of old.
Check out this amazing piece of Italian cinema. I can guarantee you won't be disappointed.