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Askew Review 15

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DON’T TORTURE A DUCKILING (Anchor Bay) DVD. 1972. Italian giallo. 102 minutes. NR, slight gore, brief nudity. Directed by Lucio Fulci. Several young boys are brutally murdered in a small Italian village and the locals are itching to find out who the killer is. Along with the police, a hard-nosed reporter and wacky young lady investigate the crimes and hope to find the child killer. As the reporter begins his conquest, he realizes there are a number of suspects within the village. First, we have the town moron who is often the butt of the young boy’s jokes. Of course, the town witch is a suspect solely because she is a witch, and because she supposedly killed her baby years before. Last but not least, there’s the town floozy who likes to seduce young boys and walk around naked in front of them. This charming chick was also involved in a drug scandal, which her rich Daddy bailed her out of. But wait, could there be a witness to one of the brutal attacks? Yup, but the witness is a little girl who can’t hear, talk, or even communicate with others. My God, who is the killer and what exactly is the motive behind the killings?
      Although this flic appears to be your average “who done it” thriller, it really isn’t. The killings are a bit unsettling due to the fact that the victims are children. Although, I did find it hard to feel all that bad for the boys because they were little pricks and got on my nerves. However, any time a child is killed or murdered, things tend to be extra sad or weird. Fulci also tackles a touchy subject concerning the town floozy seducing the boys. She flirts with them, prances around nude for one of them, and even tries to contact one of the boys to “play.” Of course, if I was a boy and had a grown woman after me, I would love it. But to see it as an adult (for lack of a better word) was rather icky. The nude scene is rather brief and exhibits the woman’s boobs and butt. Nothing to get all worked up over, although, she is a cute 70’s chickie. The gore is nothing to make note of. The ending gore scene is meant to be shocking and gross, but it just made me laugh hysterically. I will say this, the ending close up shots are original. The DVD is presented in widescreen 2.35:1 aspect ratio and is enhanced for 16x9 TVs. Special features include: cast/crew bios, interactive menus, scene access. The picture is crystal clear and the sound is right on, but there really is nothing special to see or hear. A video tape would be just as good. Italian giallo fans are going to dig this DVD. – Denis Sheehan


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