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The Lickerish Quartet(1970)
A jaded, wealthy couple watch a blue movie in their castle home along with her adult son. The son is testy, so they go into town and watch a circus-like thrill ride. The daredevil woman in the show looks exactly like one of the women in the movie, so the man invites her to join them for a nightcap. Tensions among the family seem to rise.
For more about The Lickerish Quartet and the The Lickerish Quartet Blu-ray release, see the The Lickerish Quartet Blu-ray Review published by Dr. Svet Atanasov on February 1, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Starring: Frank Wolff
Director: Radley Metzger
» See full cast & crew
The Lickerish Quartet Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Dr. Svet Atanasov, February 1, 2013
Radley Metzger's "The Lickerish Quartet" (1970) arrives on Blu-ray courtesy British distributors Arrow Video. The supplemental features on the release include original trailer for the film; audio commentary by Radley Metzger and film historian Michael Bowen; making of featurette; behind the scenes featurette; and more. The release also arrives with a collector's booklet featuring writing on the film by Robin Bougie, as well as a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly illustrated artwork by The Red Dress. In English, with optional English SDH subtitles for the main feature. Region-Free.
The important thing to remember while watching Radley Metzger's The Lickerish Quartet is that anything is possible. In other words, you do not have to look for a logical explanation of everything that takes place on the screen. The moment you start doing so the film's magic disappears.
A beautiful castle owned by an aristocratic family somewhere in Europe. The father (Frank Wolff, Elia Kazan's America, America, Once Upon a Time in the West), mother (Erika Remberg, Vienna, City of My Dreams) and son (Paolo Turco, Bread and Chocolate) gather around a large projector. They watch a stag film and then head to a nearby carnival. There they meet a gorgeous girl (Silvana Venturelli, Camille 2000) who looks very much like one of the girls in the film. Curious to find out whether she was in the film, they invite her for a drink.
The father turns on the projector and they begin watching the film again but immediately discover that all of the close-ups with the girl's face have disappeared. Confused and annoyed, they rewind and watch the film again but this time other parts disappear. The father is convinced that his son is behind the mix-up, while the mother speculates that her husband might have replaced some of the reels. They invite the girl to spend the night in the castle and she agrees.
During the next couple of days the father remembers a young prostitute he met years ago who apparently looked exactly like the beautiful girl. Eventually, realizing that he is attracted to their guest, his wife confronts him and later on confesses that she no longer loves him as much as she once did. Meanwhile, the son goes out for a walk with the girl at the end of which they kiss.
Fantasy and reality constantly overlap in the film but there is a way to figure out how to separate the two – watch for a string of clues that appear after the family welcomes their guest in the castle. The altered scenes in the stag film also serve a purpose.
The "real" erotic sequences during the second half of the film are used to reveal more about the main protagonists and their strengths and weaknesses. After the girl literally unlocks their desires just about everything in the film begins to make sense.
There isn't a lot of full frontal nudity in the film. The most explicit scenes are in fact in the black and white stag film the family watches before and after they meet the girl. The seductions are beautifully filmed, with a terrific emphasis on detail.
Shot on location at the famous Castle of Balsorano in Italy's Abruzzi Mountains (now a big tourist attraction), the majority of the film features breathtakingly beautiful panoramic vistas. The costumes and dresses seen in the film, all of which were apparently picked up by the great Enrico Sabbatini (Vittorio De Sica's Sunflower, The Mission) are also notably stylish (Remberg, in particular, wears a terrific sexy outfit early into the film and a striking black dress later on).
It is Venturelli, however, that makes this film an unforgettable experience. Every single scene with her oozes style and sensuality. Unfortunately, she made only one other film after The Lickerish Quartet before disappearing into obscurity.
The Lickerish Quartet Blu-ray, Video Quality
Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.86:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080p transfer, Radley Metzger's The Lickerish Quartet arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of British distributors Arrow Video.
The high-definition transfer appears to have been sourced from the same master Cult Epics had access to when they prepared their Blu-ray release of The Lickerish Quartet for the U.S. market, and this is definitely good news. Generally speaking, detail and especially clarity are dramatically improved, with the daylight footage in particular now conveying pleasing depth (the old R4 DVD in comparison has some very serious issues). Color stability and especially color saturation are also a lot more convincing. This being said, clearly there is plenty of room for substantial improvements. A fresh new scan would further improve delineation, shadow definition, and color stability. The tiny scratches could be eliminated as well. The important thing to remember here, however, is the fact that the film now has a consistent organic look, and when compared to previous DVD releases the Blu-ray release represents a massive step up in quality. (Note: This is a Region-Free Blu-ray disc. Therefore, you will be able to play it on your PS3 or SA regardless of your geographical location. For the record, there is no problematic PAL or 1080/50i content preceding the disc's main menu).
The Lickerish Quartet Blu-ray, Audio Quality
There is only one standard audio track on this Blu-ray disc: English LPCM 2.0. For the record, Arrow Video have provided optional English SDH subtitles for the main feature.
The inclusion of a lossless audio track immediately makes Arrow Video's release of The Lickerish Quartet the one to own. While the lossy track on the Cult Epics release was fairly good, depth is clearly improved on the lossless track. There are subtle improvements in terms of dynamic movement as well -- Stelvio Cipriani's prominent score breathes easier, while a few sequences (such as circus footage) sound marginally crisper. The dialog is stable and easy to follow, though some extremely light background hiss remains.
The Lickerish Quartet Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Note: All of the supplemental features on this release are perfectly playable on North American Blu-ray players, including the PS3.
The Lickerish Quartet Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
If you are yet to add Radley Metzger's The Lickerish Quartet to your collection, I strongly recommend that you consider Arrow Video's Blu-ray release. Unlike Cult Epics' release, this one has a good lossless track and optional subtitles. All of the supplemental features from the Cult Epics release are also included. I cannot wait for Arrow Video's upcoming release of Metzger's Camille 2000, which has one of the great Piero Piccioni's best soundtracks. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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The Lickerish Quartet Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Upcoming Radley Metzger Releases Detailed - January 25, 2013
British distributors Arrow Video have officially announced and detailed their upcoming Dual Format releases of Radley Metzger's Camille 2000 (1969), The Lickerish Quartet (1970), and Score (1974). The releases will be available for purchase online and in shops ...
• The Lickerish Quartet Gets UK Release Date - October 25, 2012
Independent British distributors Arrow Video have revealed that they are planning to release a Dual Format Edition of director Radley Metzger's The Lickerish Quartet (1970), starring Silvana Venturelli, Frank Wolff and Erika Remberg. Street date is February 11th, ...
The Lickerish Quartet Blu-ray Screenshots
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