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keith70
08-02-2001, 07:42 AM
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?

dlundh
08-02-2001, 09:32 AM
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.

boyd1955
08-02-2001, 03:09 PM
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:)

Paff
08-02-2001, 08:03 PM
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)

mcchrist
08-02-2001, 09:49 PM
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.

Yowie
08-02-2001, 11:34 PM
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.

DVD Connoisseur
08-03-2001, 12:56 AM
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.

NickyDoyle
08-03-2001, 03:29 AM
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: !

keith70
08-03-2001, 03:34 AM
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.

Andrew
08-03-2001, 04:11 AM
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.

yxz54
08-04-2001, 06:44 PM
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

rhett
03-01-2003, 09:30 PM
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

Andrew
03-01-2003, 09:41 PM
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).

dwatts
03-01-2003, 09:47 PM
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.

rhett
03-01-2003, 10:16 PM
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

Cydeous
03-02-2003, 07:25 AM
Originally posted by Paff
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)

Testa di cazzo (just joking).

dwatts
03-02-2003, 11:08 AM
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.)

EPKJ
03-02-2003, 08:28 PM
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.

Jason25
03-02-2003, 09:31 PM
Originally posted by EPKJ
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.

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.

EPKJ
03-03-2003, 12:32 AM
Originally posted by Jason25
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.

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.

Jason25
03-03-2003, 01:18 AM
Originally posted by EPKJ
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.

It is clear that you have no clue what you are talking about. I'm not going to diginify your stupidity with an answer as it would be above your feeble comprehension.

I've written about this topic in great detail and also concerning the wonderful giallo films on my website. Why don't you have someone break it down for you to a level where your minimal intellect can absorb the basics.

EPKJ
03-03-2003, 01:27 AM
Originally posted by Jason25
It is clear that you have no clue what you are talking about. I'm not going to diginify your stupidity with an answer as it would be above your feeble comprehension.

I've written about this topic in great detail and also concerning the wonderful giallo films on my website. Why don't you have someone break it down for you to a level where your minimal intellect can absorb the basics.

Oh, I am so sorry! I didn't realize that you ran a (Gasp!) website! Why, this makes you an infallible genius who must be worshipped by all lesser mortals (those without websites)! I note that you cannot name five gialli set in villages. For such a blowhard, you reveal your true ignorance rather easily. You won't "dignify" me with a response because you have none. Does this moronic appeal to authority usually work for you?

The Chaostar
03-03-2003, 02:05 AM
Jason25, EPKJ can be quite rude and ignorant sometimes but I must admit that he is right on saying that DTAD is a cleverly written giallo set in a village - something that does not happens often in gialli movies. At least that's what I think. And, to add, it's also set in broad daylight. Another rare element of gialli. And is has good acting - hell, Irene Papas is in it!

rhett
03-03-2003, 02:05 AM
http://www.karunaarts.com/Graphics%20used%20in%20Karuna%20site/color%20batik72%20-jpgs/Peace%20Flag%20string%20col%20jpg/Dove-flag.jpg

:D

EPKJ
03-03-2003, 02:31 AM
Originally posted by The Chaostar
Jason25, EPKJ can be quite rude and ignorant sometimes but I must admit that he is right on saying that DTAD is a cleverly written giallo set in a village - something that does not happens often in gialli movies. At least that's what I think. And, to add, it's also set in broad daylight. Another rare element of gialli. And is has good acting - hell, Irene Papas is in it!

Well, Chaostar, at least you can recognize that gialli follow certain rules, and that one of those is that they are set in cities. Apparantly, Jason25 knows nothing about gialli.

By the way, I did wonder how Fulci got Irene Papas to appear in that film. Perhaps she liked the political messages of the film. She certainly ranks as one of the most famous actors to appear in a gialli.

The Chaostar
03-03-2003, 02:49 AM
Originally posted by EPKJ
Jason25 knows nothing about gialli.

Never said that!

Originally posted by EPKJ
By the way, I did wonder how Fulci got Irene Papas to appear in that film. Perhaps she liked the political messages of the film. She certainly ranks as one of the most famous actors to appear in a gialli.

She did many italian flicks at that time and she enjoyed working in Italy. However she hated the horror genre - and still does! Yeah, along with Karl Malden, Irene Papas must be indeed one of the most famous actors to appear in a gialli.

EPKJ
03-03-2003, 04:24 AM
Karl Malden certainly fits that definition. On a lower scale of fame, James Franciscus and Anthony Franciosa qualify. They were both mainstays of American television in the seventies.

dwatts
03-03-2003, 11:00 AM
Fulci made hundreds of films, from comedies to westerns to horror. However, we really cannot deny that he is most known for his latter day films, his horror titles from Zombie onward, more than anything else. Duckling was just before this era, as was Lizard. They are available, of course, but they just don't nicely fit into what Fulci is most known for.

In this regard then - you'd have to say Duckling looks damn strange when you compare its script to the latter day movies. I mean, it looks like a different Director altogether! This is a revelation, no doubt.

I guess we would have to say that Fulci was much better than he allowed himself to be. He took the horror route mostly for monetary purposes, and in the end got very bored of it - hence some bad films toward the end.

None of this matters really - Duckling is a very good film, and you should see it.

As for the tiff, they happen, but you have to be ready to back up what you say. I seem to tangle with Rhett on occasion, but it's not life and death people, it's okay to agree to disagree. If there are more than five gialli set in villages - then lets name six of them and move on. :)

The Chaostar
03-03-2003, 12:24 PM
Originally posted by dwatts
If there are more than five gialli set in villages - then lets name six of them and move on. :)

Quote of the week.

EPKJ
03-03-2003, 12:40 PM
Originally posted by dwatts
As for the tiff, they happen, but you have to be ready to back up what you say. I seem to tangle with Rhett on occasion, but it's not life and death people, it's okay to agree to disagree. If there are more than five gialli set in villages - then lets name six of them and move on. :)

Thank you. I am prepared to accept evidence. I am not prepared to accept that gialli frequently occur in villages just because someone says so. My knowledge of the genre and my personal experience deny this.