Fulci: Don't Torture a Duckling

Discussion in 'Euro Horror' started by keith70, Aug 2, 2001.

  1. keith70

    keith70 Guest

    I've read several reviews for Fulci's Don't Torture a Duckling and they've all been positive. I have even heard from people who dislike Fulci's work that have made an exception for this film. For those of you who have seen it, what seperates this from Fulci's other films?
    Also, what's with the title?
     
  2. dlundh

    dlundh Guest

    The big difference in the film is Fulci´s preoccupation with a story that actually makes sense. :)

    It's a Giallo and not a zombiemovie. Sure, it has it's violent patches, a chainbeating and the ultimate fate of the killer comes to mind.

    It would be a huge, fat spoiler to say what the name is about unfortunately. It does make sense when you watch it though.

    I wouldn´t hesitate to recommend the movie.
     
  3. boyd1955

    boyd1955 Guest

    A Great Fulci Movie

    Well... It is a well known fact that I won't have anything to do with some of Fulcis movies... But "Don't Torture a Duckling" really is worth getting... A very good giallo... Fulci played the ignorance and religeous fanatisism of the Italian peasantry against the modernism and open mindedness of the cityfolk and caused a sensation at the time... A classic of the genre.
    And no I'm not telling you what the Duck has to do with it:)
     
  4. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    You just might be talking about me, since I'm an open Fulci-basher that finds Don't Torture a Duckling to be an excellent movie.

    The reason I enjoy it more, is that as a Giallo, it mostly sticks to the rules of the form. Even more interesting, you can also see how Fulci went downhill (no pun intended) in his later films. Like some of the people mentioned already, there are a couple of VERY graphic murders in this film. The camera lingers on those death scenes way too long, and I'm sure it got quite a reaction from audiences.

    I can picture Lucio now at those early screenings...."Hey-a....the audience, she a like-a the violence. I make-a da films wit no a more-a the plot-o, and just-a the death scenes" (apologies to all Italians and OperaMan)
     
  5. mcchrist

    mcchrist A new breed of pervert!

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    I'm not a big Fulci fan, but I did find this one rather interesting. While it is not my favorite (that would have to go to Door to Silence, which I thought was a refreshing change to his usual style) I would definitely say Duckling is one of his better films. Face it, there is a lot of tripe in Fulci's filmography. I prefer his westerns.
     
  6. Yowie

    Yowie Hologram

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    Great movie. Among his best. And no, I wouldn' t really consider it a spoiler to say what duckling stands for. The way I see it, I suppose it can stand for more than one thing. I mean, we all know the movie is about child murder, right ?. That's no secret, anyone who's read about the movie knows this. The film is about child murder. Now, to me duckling is simply a metaphor for child. That's all it means to me anyway, so the title is really not so strange afterall when you think about it. I'm a genius, I know.
     
  7. DVD Connoisseur

    DVD Connoisseur Active Member

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    Classic

    This film can be enjoyed by non-Fulci fans as it's a classic giallo, pure and simple. Whilst containing violence, I only thought the effects-laden ending was a little OTT (in that it seemed slightly out of context with the rest of the film).

    The chain-whipping scene is extremely effective as a result of the background music....I've said it before but Tarantino must have been inspired by this when he sat down to write the Res Dogs torture scene.

    Recommended.
     
  8. NickyDoyle

    NickyDoyle Guest

    Yup, I've got to agree with all that is said here. DTAT is a wonderful film. The acting is pretty good, the plot's nice, and the gore effects are...slim, but well done. The movie isn't slow either; it goes at a rapid pace so it dosen't get too boring.

    Just a little trivia for you; the movie was banned in Italy not because of the violence, but because a homosexual politician thought the title was poking fun at him ( I read it either in Spaghetti Nightmares or an interview on the net, I forgot).

    It also doesn't hurt when your movie has a great title like this either :cool: !
     
  9. keith70

    keith70 Guest

    I'm sure Tarantino has seen this film. He's a hugh fan of Fulci. I've heard him mention Fulci in a number of interviews. He even mentions Fulci in the commentary on the From Dusk Till Dawn DVD. I remember reading an interview where Tarantino was talking about the Beyond and said that he hated that people only commented on the gore effects. I would love to know what Tarantino sees in Fulci beyond the gore. I know Tarantino also likes Argento's Suspiria, but I've heard him bring up Fulci more than any other Italian director. I think it would be cool if Tarantino would write a book about his favorite films and what it is that he enjoyes about them. I swear the guy really cares about film more than most of the people in Hollywood.
     
  10. Andrew

    Andrew Guest

    It makes sense. After all, it was Tarantino's Rolling Thunder or Midnight Thunder or something like that. Anyway his company helped re-release The Beyond theatrically a couple years ago.
     
  11. yxz54

    yxz54 Guest

    Great Flick!

    Just a great film....period. While I have only seen a limited amount of Fulci films this is by far the best of his that I have seen. Great acting, characterization, directing and story make this a must see for any movie buff....let alone a horror movie buff. If you like Argento's Gialla stuff this is a sure bet. While it lacks some of the style of Argento (camera tricks and use of rich colors) I think the story line and pace are better than a lot of Argento's movies. If I had to compare it to an Argento flick I would say it most reminds me of Tenebrae.

    Best Scott
     
  12. rhett

    rhett Administrator

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    I finally saw DUCKLING on DVD for the first time today, and I loved it. I still think THE BEYOND is his masterpiece, but this is right up there. Thankfully Fulci handles the material with restraint, and as a result the story becomes the most important element in the film. The characters in DUCKLING are arguably his most identifiable, they are actually given focus and motive for their actions.

    I watched this and NEW YORK RIPPER in back-to-back sittings, and the differences were amazing. Both films feature a brutal beating and murder of a female, but in DUCKLING this scene is sad and emotionally effective. You feel really sorry for the lady, and Fulci even seems to feel sorry for her. Her death, despite its gore, is handled very well by Fulci, highlighted with a great Ortolani score. The similar murder(s) in NYR came across as hateful to women in my eyes, and I had a tough time accepting it. All the female characters in NYR are distanced from the audience, and their deaths come across as torture for torture's sake. We know more about the killer in NYR than we do about the women being murdered, and Fulci seems to be asking us to identify with the killer rather than the women. In DUCKLING though, the lady who I will not name is given considerable screen time, and is definitely Fulci's most sympathetic character.

    I liked DUCKLING a lot. When it comes to his zombie films I think it is okay for him to go over the top, that is part of the point. In DUCKLING he remains mostly conservative with the gore, and as a result his film is much more arty and affecting. Oddly enough, the goriest scenes in the film are his most effective in DUCKLING. They are both sad, disturbing and beautiful at the same time. Fulci's latter films may be only about gore, DUCKLING thankfully uses it to further the emotional impact of the story.

    I read the title as Yowie did, a metaphor for children. It does have a double meaning to me though, in regards to the
    Donald Duck doll that the deaf/dumb girl strangles
    . Pretty impressive though, who ever would have thought a Fulci film would be layered with depth right from the title? :D
     
  13. Andrew

    Andrew Guest

    I recently saw this too. Liked it a bit, but not all that much. I definitely need to watch it again though (all in one sitting with my full attention).
     
  14. dwatts

    dwatts Active Member

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    Everyone has already spoken up about Duckling. The main thing to remembr about this film - it really isn't much like any other Fulci film. in a blind test - you'd never guess it was him.

    I guess Fulci could have gone either way. If he had followed his Duckling instincts, he would have made very different films, and likely would have gathered critical acclaim. However, we all know which way he decided to go.

    The Beyond IS his classic film. I cannot be the only one who now fast-forwards through most of the gore. The depths of this film are found elsewhere. The Beyond is just a brilliant film, with miles of depth.

    Sadly, Fulci even dumped this in his following films - turning almost entirely to gore. What I'm stressing here is that The Beyond is where the switch took place - it is an intelligent film - with the gore. This at the apex - where he abandoned depth for just plain eyeball-popping.
     
  15. rhett

    rhett Administrator

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    THE BEYOND was the last of Fulci's "zombie trilogy", and in a way you can see a progression amidst those three films. ZOMBIE is more or less a gore-fest, not a whole lot going on beneath the surface (no pun). COTLD had a little more dream-like imagery and some references to religion in it, but still, it appeared to be more about gore. In THE BEYOND I think he managed to balance the gore and subtext beautifully.

    To me, ZOMBIE and COTLD are almost like beta tests, while THE BEYOND is the finished product. I love all three, but THE BEYOND is one of my all time favorites.

    I am surprised that Fulci has not gotten more critical acclaim than he has. From what I understand, DUCKLING was critically trashed just as all his other films were. I think he has a great eye for detail, and his films almost always look beautiful in their uses of the widescreen frame. Working with Frizzi and Ortolani on his soundtracks certainly doesn't hurt the impact of his films either. It is as if the moment any mainstream critic sees gore the film must thus be considered vile and devoid of merit.

    What do critics matter though, we all watch his films and love 'em, and isn't that all that matters? :D
     
  16. Cydeous

    Cydeous Axxon N

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    Testa di cazzo (just joking).
     
  17. dwatts

    dwatts Active Member

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    I think Duckling was trashed because of the religous elements. They surpassed the film itself, and caused Fulci a world of hurt in italian cinema (explaining why there's a gap in his career.)
     
  18. EPKJ

    EPKJ Guest

    Don't Torture A Duckling has an intelligent plot and some good acting. This makes it a very unusual Fulci film. It is a great Giallo, and an unusual one in that it is set in a village rather than a city.
     
  19. Jason25

    Jason25 Moderator

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    Guess you haven't watch A Lizard In A Woman's Skin or many other Fulci films that do have a "plot".

    I can think of several other films set in villages rather than cities.
     
  20. EPKJ

    EPKJ Guest

    Fulci is not noted for intelligent plots. Further, gialli are almost always set in cities. Name five gialli set in villages. I trust that you do know what a giallo film is.
     

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