Tag Archives: Italian horror

Really Awful Movies: Ep 195 – Don’t Torture a Duckling

Don’t Torture a Duckling (in mellifluous Italian: Non si sevizia un paperino) is a 1972 Italian giallo film directed by Lucio Fulci, starring Tomas Milian, Florinda Bolkan, and Barbara Bouchet. It is notable within Fulci’s filmography as it is one of the first in which he began using violent icky gore effects, something Fulci would continue to do in his later films, most notably Zombi 2The Beyond and City of the Living Dead. The soundtrack was composed by Riz Ortolani and features vocals by Italian pop stylist Ornella Vanoni.

Don’t Torture a Duckling focuses on a series of child murders that occur in a small, fictitious town in Southern Italy. Naturally, there are red herrings aplenty, and true to form, a journalist poking his nose around where it doesn’t belong. While there are some similarities with giallo films stylistically, this one tends to eschew some of the genre tropes, including urban center settings.

There is a boundless array of weirdness, and some really odd choices for set-pieces. It’s interesting to note just how varied Fulci’s work was before he set aside his other genre work and began to focus full-bore on horror.

Really Awful Movies: Ep 176 – Nightmare

Nightmare is also known in some circles as Nightmares in a Damaged Brain.

It’s a 1981 horror film, made during the height of the slasher boom, and seems to have been forgotten amidst all the titles that were being churned out during the period.

Directed by Romano Scavolini, the lurid low-budget affair gained instead street cred when it was added to the Video Nasty list in the UK, and its distributor jailed for failing to remove some of its violent content. Still, when compared with others of its ilk, Nightmare is fairly tame.

The film also courted controversy by adding special effects man Tom Savini to its promotional materials, despite it being a movie Savini denies having worked on.

In the film, George Tatum (Baird Stafford) is given an experimental drug treatment by psychiatrists. Then, on the lam, he sojourns back down to his home in Florida.

Along the way, he has recurring nightmares (hence the name) of a violent incident from his childhood, which forces him to spree kill.

On this episode of the Really Awful Movies Podcast, Jeff and Chris discuss:

  • how we came to watching this film
  • the peep show circuit in major cities (a phenomenon that’s since disappeared)
  • the involvement of Tom Savini in Nightmares
  • mommy issues in horror films
  • daddy issues in horror films
  • depictions of New York City in horror, and other types of films.

Join us, as we delve into (say it with us) NIGHTMARE. There’s even a Bette Midler reference!

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