Lickerish Quartet, The (UK - BD RB)
Marcus tries to review this one but everytime he does the film changes...
I continue my trip though the sophisticated erotica of Radley Metzger with The Lickerirsh Quartet. Telling the mysterious tale a married couple as they watch a blue movie with their son present, the trio become fascinated when the girl (Silvana Venturelli) in the blue movie is spotted at a local carnival. Inviting her back to their castle, the husband and wife look forward to revealing the film to the young girl, even if their son is against the idea.
However on repeat viewings the film seems to change. The girl's face is obscured or it's a completely other female lead. The trio's passion for their new visitor rises as the mystery deepens and the perception of the film begins to change.
Now don't go into The Lickerish Quartet expecting a cut and dry explanation of the events. You just won't get it. This is more about piecing together your own thoughts on events as opposed to being told. In many ways the film is way ahead of it's time in regards to its feelings on how intense a relationship can get with a film or a person on our screens. It even suggests that in becoming so intoxicated with our screens we become what we are seeing and our lives change around it. Of course, it's saying a whole lot more than that too. There's stories of a more erotic nature and desire and passion is played out in true Metzger fashion.
Over these three Arrow releases of Metzger's films I have to say that I'm become quite enamoured with his work. The look of his films are just stunning and in The Lickerish Quartet it's absolutely on top form. He's a director that shoots women beautifully, builds his erotic scenes quite naturally and isn't afraid of symbolism and playfulness in his approach to the sexy stuff.
The Lickerish Quartet kept me on my toes throughout. I was utterly intrigued at what was going on, questioning the odd editing and cutting choices and I was forever been pulled deeper into the mystery of who the visitor was as we leant more about her (while never really learning anything at all).
Like the other Arrow releases, this presentation is borderline impressive while also being marred with issues. There's plenty of active grain dancing around the screen along with specks and scratches and sometimes outright evil looking damage. The natural lighting and colours are all but perfect and only ever occasionally slip into warmer regions, showing signs of some digital tampering.
Details is very good, Paolo Turco's furry woollen jumper shows off every single stray strand and close ups on Silvana Venturelli show off her stunning beauty very well. Once again this is a presentation that shows obvious HD improvements that given the film's age and cult status is astonishing but lined up along side other films from the era on Blu-ray, the treatment here still has room for improvement.
The unavoidable out of sync dialogue continues through this overdubbed film. Syncing is pretty good for the most part, depending on the actors grasp on English but three movies in, I am more than used to it.
Outside of that, the audio is solid but small. The score and dialogue sit well together, the occasional raise in volume can be a bit shrieky but the small scale of the film never really requires much else from the low key erotic tale with big ideas.
The commentary track with Radley Metzger and Michael Bowen is another technical delight, offering up a lot of scene specific stories and another insight into the history of the project. Metzger isn't all that keen to tell us what the film is really about but often applauds Bowen for his perception of events.
'Making of Lickerish Quartet' (11:17 HD) is a lot of old footage with a clear and rather un-engaging narration, while the 'Cool Version Love Scenes' (31:50 HD) is the film's sex scenes with fully clothed participants, presumably for TV friendlier version of the film.
'Giving Voice to the Quartet' (12:52 HD) is a series of comparison scenes of pre and post re-dubbed dialogue, giving us a glimpse of the original more accent fuelled voices of the cast members before they were re-dubbed in post production.
Lastly there's trailers for Camille 2000, The Lickerish Quartet and Score as well asa DVD copy.
The Lickerish Quartet ends my journey through erotic cinema for now. Arrow has done a fine job with their releases of all these Radley Metzger films and even with the film's limitations have managed to just about be impressive in video and sometimes even audio departments. The Lickerish Quartet was probably my favourite of the bunch and I'm quite keen to re-watch it soon to work out what I really feel is going on. This was a great release of a film way ahead of its time and it's a shame they don't make 'em like this any more.
Review by Marcus Doidge
Suitable only for persons of 18 years and over
Release Date: 11th February 2013
Disc Type: Blu-ray Disc
Audio: LPCM 2.0 English
Extras: Commentary, Making of, 'Cool' Version Love Scenes, Redubbing Comparisons, Trailers
Easter Egg: No
Director: Radley Metzger
Cast: Silvana Venturelli, Frank Wolff, Erika Remberg
Genre: Drama, Fantasy and Mystery
Length: 87 minutes
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