Italian horror maestro Lucio Fulci's third giallo film is one of his best and perhaps one of his most deeply disturbing movies. Set in and around a rural Italian village, the story is about a deranged serial killer (aren't they all?) whose victims are adolescent boys. There are some complex themes running through this film and there is the usual line-up of potential suspects and red herrings. The excellent cast includes Tomas Milian (from Fulci's "Beatrice Cenci" and "The Four Of The Apocalypse"), Florinda Bolkan (from Fulci's "A Lizard In A Woman's Skin") and the gorgeous Barbara Bouchet.
This film contains some memorable scenes including a couple of gruesome set-pieces that were recreated in two later Fulci films - a chain-whipping sequence also features in "The Beyond" and a scene where someone falls off a cliff and is smashed up also features in "The Psychic". This movie also shares certain themes with Fulci's "The New York Ripper", so it offers us a few tasters of things to come with regards to Fulci's cinematic repertoire.
Barbara Bouchet, one of the most beautiful women ever, in my opinion, does a tantalising nude scene and this alone would make this film worth watching but there are also many other qualities that this film possesses. The film is well-written, well-acted and beautifully-photographed and the music score by Riz Ortolani features a haunting, child-like main theme.
"Don't Torture A Duckling" is certainly one of the better examples of early-1970s giallo cinema and (dare I say it?) is more interesting than most of Dario Argento's giallo movies! Track this one down but be prepared for a shocking and disturbing viewing experience.