The Lickerish Quartet (1970)

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Released 13-Apr-2005

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Adult Main Menu Audio
Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-Camille 2000, Score
Rating Rated R
Year Of Production 1970
Running Time 87:39 (Case: 90)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Radley Metzger
Studio
Distributor

Umbrella Entertainment
Starring Silvana Venturelli
Frank Wolff
Erika Remberg
Paolo Turco
Case PUSH-1 (Opaque)
RPI ? Music Stelvio Cipriani


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (320Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.59:1
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    Radley Metzger's The Lickerish Quartet is a film that requires several viewings to appreicate the many levels of narrative at play. Written by Michael DeForrest and based on a story by him and Radley Metzger, this is a visually striking film. The castle location used for the film is simply superb, setting up the haunting and surreal atmosphere well.

    Three people live in a remote castle so vast, it could easily accommodate hundreds. The husband (Frank Wolff), the wife (Erika Remberg) and the troubled son (Paolo Turco), watch an old black and white pornographic film, projected from a 16mm projector. It is clear the husband and wife get more enjoyment from these films than the son, who finds it all rather disgusting. The three discuss various aspects of the film, including where the producers might find the women to star in them.

    Later that night, the three attend a local carnival and witness a motorcycle stunt act involving a woman (Silvana Venturelli). When this woman removes her helmet, the three are stunned to realise that she is the actress from the pornographic film, only now, she has darker hair. The husband becomes obsessed with luring the woman back to the castle so he can confront her with the film. She finally agrees to go to the castle, assuming it is a party.

    Against the wishes of the son, the husband and wife run the projector with the scratchy porn film. Astonished, they find that the film has changed and the motorcycle woman is no longer the person in the production. She has been replaced by another actress.

    They convince the woman to be their guest in the castle; she accepts. The mysterious woman stays for a couple of days and seduces each member of the family, one by one. Through each seduction, more is unearthed about their characters and also the film's bizzare plot. The pieces of the jigsaw slowly fall into place, with the final pieces revealing a nice twist to this elaborate puzzle.

    Metzger's excellent visual style is in top form again with The Lickerish Quartet. The art direction by Enrico Sabbatini creates a gothic fantasy of sublime beauty. The standout scene involving the woman and the husband in the library is reminisant of something from a Peter Greenaway film, and highlights the wonderful production design.

    The Lickerish Quartet is presented as part of a three disc collection of Radley Metzger films, The Sexadelic Collection.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video transfer for The Lickerish Quartet is quite reasonable.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.59:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced. The film's original aspect ratio is 1.85:1.

    Generally speaking, there is an acceptable level of sharpness, although it is not ideal. The softness diplayed in certain scenes may be inherent in the source material rather due to the transfer iteself. Blacks were deep and clean. Shadows held very good detail.

    Colours are consistantly soft and restrained. They are well rendered and display no obvious problems.

    I found no MPEG artefacts. Telecine wobble was evident a couple of times, but was of a minor nature. I found no problems with aliasing. Edge enhancement was occiasionaly present, but it was negligible. Film artefacts were very well controlled, with the most obvious perpetrator being reel change markings. These were evident every twenty minutes or so, beginning at 19:30.

    There are no subtitles on this DVD.

    This is a single sided, single layer disc, so there is no layer change.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The audio transfer is also very reasonable.

    There is one audio track available on this DVD, that being Dolby Digital 2.0 (320Kb/s).

    Dialogue quality was excellent. Speech was clearly understood throughout the film. I believe many scenes may have received some post dubbing, which is quite easy to spot. Generally though, the audio sync is very good. There were a few pops and clicks heard in the audio track, these occurred mainly around reel changes.

    The original music score by Stelvio Cipriani adds enhances the mysterious and twisted mood of the film. The score is substantial enough in quality to be listened to as a stand alone soundtrack.

    The surrounds were not used.

    The subwoofer was very active as music played, and for the limited bass effects in the film.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    The selection of extras is unfortuately limited to a few trailers. The main menu is static and has a very basic theme, based around the film. It features looped audio and is 16x9 enhanced.

Theatrical Trailer

    The Lickerish Quartet (2:42)

Umbrella Trailers

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    There is a US all-region NTSC version available. This DVD features a letterboxed transfer in the film's original aspect ratio of 1.85:1. This disc also features Dolby Digital 2.0 mono audio and has no subtitles or extras.

Summary

    The Lickerish Quartet is an elaborate puzzle that demands repeated viewings. The locations and production design create a wonderfully surreal nature to this erotically charged gothic fantasy. Of the Radley Metzger films I have seen, this is a personal favourite.

    The video and audio transfers are good.

    The lack of decent extras is dissapointing.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Steve Crawford (Tip toe through my bio)
Friday, June 17, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDJVC XV-N412, using Component output
DisplayHitachi 106cm Plasma Display 42PD5000MA (1024x1024). This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080i.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationPanasonic SA-HE70 80W Dolby Digital and DTS
SpeakersFronts: Jensen SPX7 Rears: Jensen SPX4 Centre: Jensen SPX13 Subwoofer: Jensen SPX17

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