When done correctly, giallos have two components – a horror-thriller component and a mystery component. Lucio Fulci's Don't Torture a Duckling has neither. However, despite its failed attempts to muster the trappings of giallo, it is not bereft of intrigue. Rather than gory shocks and heart-stopping suspense, Don't Torture a Duckling is a brilliantly complex social commentary on the effects of mob mentality on a small town and the arrogance of modern thinking.
Children are being murdered in the small town of Accendura. As Italian police, as well as a few reporters, attempt to find the killer and stop these savage crimes, the town begins to fall into panic and paranoia. A number of suspects, mostly female, are paraded before us and yet, one by one, they are discredited and the kids keep dying. Finally, a small girl who doesn't speak may prove to be the key to mystery, but can our heroes get to her before the murderer?(read more...)