In rural Italy, a reporter and socialite struggle to uncover the culprit behind a rash of child murders. Unlike Fulci’s prior thrillers, Don’t Torture a Duckling nudges closer to horror, playing like a werewolf story.
Instead of scoping the danger to the protagonist, the script centers on an unknown assailant murdering random children. The protagonists race to uncover the killer before they can strike again.
Coming off A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin, Fulci dials back the overt formalism but amps the exploitation. The result is an assured, cynical takedown of small-town values and organized religion. Breaking the child-victim taboo earned it a notorious reputation, but it’s worth seeking out. I ordered the Arrow Blu-Ray for the bonus features.