Don’t Torture a Duckling aka Non Si Sevizia un Paperino (1972)


I once heard the most ridiculous and offensive sentence ever uttered about child abuse, and it was spoken by a woman.

“Women can’t be paedophiles.”

Of course they can. Women can manipulate and abuse a position of trust just as well as any man, if not better, because society seems to ignore, and even make light of the female power to cause real harm in this way.

Of course there are examples where certain individuals are held up as most evil, such as the child killers Myra Hyndley and Rose West; but I can’t help thinking that this is less because of their heinous crimes and more because they were partners with men.

Recently, there have been many female teachers in the news, guilty of sexual affairs with students, and the legal system, media, and general public, all seem to have a worrying double standard when in comparison to the same situations with male teachers.

Female paedophiles are given lighter sentences, especially if they are attractive, they are the the subject of salacious jokes (The South Park episode Miss Teacher Bangs a Boy is the perfect example of the hypocrisy of societies views on this), and teenage victims of such abuse are pressured to act as something they should be happy about, rather than traumatised by.

Even in some of the most extreme cases; such as the women involved in the Ian Watkins case (lead singer of the band Lost Prophets, for those who are not aware), who as co- perpetrators sexually abused their own babies along side Watkins, yet both received less than half his 35 year sentence. I find this to be mind boggling and unbelievably skewed in it’s logic, because their crimes were no more depraved.

Gender has nothing to do with morality, and the law should reflect that.

Don’t Torture a Duckling is a dark tale surrounding a spate of child murders happening in a small Italian village. The suspects are many and it’s up to a particularly nosy journalist who the police are uncharacteristically receptive to the opinions of, to try and work out the real killer before the villagers take out their own brand of justice on the wrong person.

Lucio Fulci is a master of film, and this is no exception, but it is a disturbing and very uncomfortable watch. The character of Patrizia is a recovering drug addict, bored little society girl, that uses her sexuality to manipulate and play with the emotions of young boys. At one point she is completely naked and offering to be a very young looking twelve year old’s first, before she is thankfully interrupted by his mother calling him downstairs.

(I am aware that the age of consent in Italy is 14, but if you watch that scene and feel anything less than “sorry I just vomited in my mouth”, then there is something deeply wrong with you.)

Paedo weirdos aside, it’s a very intriguing watch, with red herrings, complete with the usual sleaze and brutality Fulci the Godfather of Gore is known for. It’s not one of his best, granted, as I do find it a little meandering in parts, and even verging on the self indulgent, with the Anti Catholic, slightly women hating trip, but dammit the cinematography is breathtaking as always, and it is nothing if not original.

There are no ducklings slaughtered during the making of this film …. as far as I know.

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This entry was posted in 70s, 70s horror, child murder, critique, fiction, film and media, Giallo, horror, Italian horror, Lucio Fulci, murder, opinion, pop culture, psychological horror, psychotic killer, rant, Serial Killers, Seventies horror, thriller, torture, Twist ending, Uncategorized, witch. Bookmark the permalink.

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