Don’t Torture A Duckling

Don’t Torture a Duckling

(Lucio Fulci, 1972)

Cast:Tomas Milian, Barbara Bouchet, Florinda Bolkan, Irene Papas, Marc Porel.


Don't Torture a Duckling (Lucio Fulci, 1972)

The inhabitants of Accendura, a rugged and rocky village in Lucania, where magic and superstition often still blur with religion, are deeply disturbed by the cruel killings of three children. Andrea Martelli, a journalist on vacation, follows the investigations of the carabinieri, especially when they focus their inquiries on Barbara, a woman who recently arrived from the city to detox from drugs, living in a luxurious house strangely in contrast to the meager houses of the village. However, Barbara is unrelated to the crimes. A poor demented woman, who has ambiguous relationships with a kind of seer-wizard who lives alone on the mountain and is considered by everyone a “maciara,” that is, a witch, even though she confesses to having cast a spell on the boys because they were guilty, according to her, of violating the tomb of a creature, proves to be innocent…

The CharacterDon't Torture a Duckling (Lucio Fulci, 1972)

The character of the Maciara is a crucial element in the plot and in creating suspense.

The Maciara is portrayed by actress Florinda Bolkan. In the film, she is a mysterious woman who lives in the village where the mysterious murders occur. Her character is surrounded by an aura of superstition and is considered a witch by the local community.

The Maciara is an enigmatic and unsettling figure. She has a deep knowledge of the traditions and folk beliefs related to magic and the supernatural.Her presence in the film adds an element of mystery and suspicion.

Florinda Bolkan’s portrayal of the Maciara is intense and magnetic. She manages to convey a sense of unease and ambiguity through her penetrating gaze and her presence on screen. The Maciara becomes a key character in the attempt to uncover the truth behind the murders, but her true nature remains shrouded in mystery until the end of the film.


The film is considered one of the best of its genre for several reasons. Firstly, the plot is extremely gripping and well-structured. Director Lucio Fulci creates a perfect balance between suspense and revelations, keeping the viewer interested and intrigued until the end. The story unfolds in a non-linear fashion, gradually revealing details and clues, creating a sense of tension and mystery.

Furthermore, “Don’t Torture a Duckling” stands out for its thematic depth. In addition to the main mystery, the film addresses social and cultural themes of the time, such as corruption in the Catholic Church and the struggle of women for emancipation. These elements add a more complex dimension to the plot and make the film more than just a simple crime story.

The violent scenes are masterfully executed, without being overly explicit, allowing the viewer’s imagination to fill in the most gruesome details.


Finally, “Don’t Torture a Duckling” has had a lasting impact on the giallo genre and Italian cinema in general. The film has influenced many subsequent directors and has helped solidify the reputation of 1970s Italian cinema as a source of high-quality genre films.

In conclusion, “Don’t Torture a Duckling” is considered one of the best films of the giallo genre for its gripping plot, complex themes, impeccable direction, and its lasting impact on cinema. If you are interested in the giallo genre and Italian cinema, this film is definitely a must-see.

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