Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Don't Torture a Duckling

Whatever your feelings on gialli, one thing is certain: they have the most awesome titles ever. This is another giallo from Lucio Fulci, and it came highly recommended by the frequenters of IMDB as his best movie. This would be high praise indeed, were I a bigger fan of his, but the film certainly managed to impress me all the same.

The film revolves around a murder mystery, as several young boys are being murdered in a small town in the Italian countryside. With the police at a loss, it’s up to an intrepid reporter and his recovering junkie girlfriend to figure out who’s committing these foul acts. The visual flair on display in this film is great, as Fulci is truly in fine form here. If anything, it almost feels like he was trying to channel the style of Dario Argento, who was his big competitor at the time. The film is appropriately nasty, as a film revolving around children being murdered should be, but what’s more interesting is how the plot is as close to being sturdy and plot-hole free as any I’ve ever seen from him. It’s also got a great deal of tension to it, and just keeps ratcheting it up higher as it approaches its climax.

Of course, I’d be lying if I said there were no problems at all with it (anyone with a more than passing familiarity with the genre will be able to guess who the killer is as soon as they first appear), but it is still a superior example of the genre, and easily the best film I’ve ever seen from Fulci. If you were thinking about seeing what all the fuss is about this giallo nonsense, this would be a good place to start.

Rating: *** ½

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