Splatter Time Fun Fest 2012: Non Si Sevizia Un Paperino (Don’t Torture A Duckling, 1972)

Religion can be the pits man!

Screenplay By: Gianfranco Clerici, Lucio Fulci, & Roberto Gianviti
Directed By: Lucio Fulci

At first it wasn’t clear to me what the aims were of Non Si Sevizia Un Paperino. This was a film from Lucio Fulci, a man renowned for his gore, blood, and violence. Yet, the violence was occurring off screen, there were only a few sequences that involved blood, and only two legitimately gory sequences. That being said, the gory and bloody sequences in Non Si Sevizia Un Paperino were not as gory or bloody as I expected from Signore Fulci.

The fact that Signore Fulci did not give me the movie I wanted is not a bad thing. Instead of giving me a gory feast of blood, violence, and death the Italian horror master supplied me with an interesting take on the failure of religion in modern society. The religious aspect takes some time to come to fruition. The reason for this is because of how many red herrings Signore Fulci throws at the viewer. There are a series of characters who seem like viable candidates for being the killer. But one by one they are exonerated, if not forgiven for other sins. The mystery aspect of Non Si Sevizia Un Paperino keeps the religious undertone in the background long enough so that when it is reveled who the killer really is it makes sense and provides for an ending with impact.

I’m not sure what Signore Fulci’s thoughts are on the police, drug users, little children, or politics. But, I do know from Non Si Sevizia Un Paperino that he had very little faith in the modern church. The church in Non Si Sevizia Un Paperino is an ineffectual entity. One that claims to be looking out for the people, but it doesn’t truly want to help the people it supposedly serves. Instead, the church in Non Si Sevizia Un Paperino wants its followers to fall in line with the way the church thinks they should behave. In order to keep its followers the church will go to any length, and the results are disgusting to say the least. To say that Signore Fulci pegged the direction organized religion was heading towards, and to be honest had already been on for thousands of years, would be a massive understatement.

It’s true that the characters in Non Si Sevizia Un Paperino are a bit shallow. I don’t believe, however, that is an actual detriment of the film. Non Si Sevizia Un Paperino isn’t a film about its characters, they are but players on a much larger stage. Signore Fulci’s film is about the weirdness of the Italian countryside, the clash of the old ways and the new, and the ineffectiveness of the church to deal with modernity. Sure, the characters could have been fleshed out more, but they play their roles within the world Signore Fucli has created for Non Si Sevizia Un Paperino to the best possible ends.

I’m not sure what to expect from Signore Fulci as I discover more of his work. I know that I was surprised by the content and themes of Non Si Sevizia Un Paperino, but I was surprised in a good way. I look forward to taking the long trek through Signore Fulci’s work. No matter where he may take me his work on Non Si Sevizia Un Paperino has convinced me he is a filmmaker with things to say that I want to hear.





4 responses to “Splatter Time Fun Fest 2012: Non Si Sevizia Un Paperino (Don’t Torture A Duckling, 1972)

  1. Pingback: Splatter Time Fun Fest 2012: The 3rd Annual Bloody Machete Awards | Bill's Movie Emporium

  2. Very intersting, Bill. We reviewed this very film on the latest Sordid Cinema show, ironically enough. My co-hosts had a lot of great things to say, some of which fall in line with your own comments, particularly the theme of modernity versus religious tradtiions.

    I liked the movie, although I can’t say I loved it. The themes Signore Fulci tackles onyl become more evident to me afterwards. For me, the mystery and the oddity of the film was what caught my attention.

  3. I’ll be interested in hearing what you guys had to say, as soon as I get my computer back with my iTunes and all my podcasts that is. 😦

    When it comes to Italian horror I tend to look a little deeper. I’ve seen so many Italian horror films that sometimes I think I miss a lot of surface stuff in my desire to dig deep.

  4. Pingback: Splatter Time Fun Fest 2014: Una lucertola con la pelle di donna (A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin, 1971) | Bill's Movie Emporium

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