The Lickerish Quartet brings us a rich jaded couple and their grown-up son – bored after a night watching pornography – visiting a travelling stunt show, the star of which is bears a striking similarity to the woman in the sex film they just saw. Invited back to the castle for a drink, she soon becomes embroiled in a night of bizarre carnality, fantasy fulfilment and highly charged love games.
Being quite impressed with Camille 2000, I was looking forward to viewing the Lickerish Quartet. The concept was interesting. Unfortunately it came off as a bit bizarre in some places and a bit random. There wasn’t any sexual tension between the characters as they all seduce Silvana Venturelli one by one and the scene where Frank Wolff has his way with her in his study does come off as a bit comical with the two of them rolling around on a floor made up of blown up pages of a dictionary and arms flying around indirectly pointing to dictionaries entries like “PENIS” and “ORGASAM”. The word “F**K” got shown in close up three times as well during the frolicking. The scene where the son manages to make their guest disappear as part of a magic trick which results in the mother and father searching their castle with burning torches getting 10ft high statues confused for the girl in question only to return to find the both of them playing shadow puppets with the projector also raises a few chuckles but failed to secure my attention. It started off well but I was finding that I was losing interest towards the end as it got more bizarre.
Presented on Blu-ray in its original aspect ratio of 1:85.1 with a 1080p/24fps MPEG4-AVC codec, the transfer was personally supervised by Radley Metzger and mimics the theatrical presentation. Dirt speckles and reel scratches are present throughout but the damage to the print in minimal and doesn’t detract from the presentation of the film. No post processing has been done on the transfer so Digital Noise Reduction and Edge Enhancement are non-existent. The film’s original grain structure has been left intact throughout. There was however a few occasions where the film negative seems to jump from the frame and becomes distorted. Again it doesn’t detract from the presentation but it’s noticeable when viewing it. It adds to the film’s intention of keeping as close to the theatrical presentation as possible in my honest opinion. Colours are bright and clear and no bleeding is seen on the print and it complements the film’s cinematography and great exterior settings with mountains surrounding the film’s main location and highlights some of the vintage production design contained within.
Presented on Blu-ray with an English LPCM 2.0 audio mix, The Lickerish Quartet is a more dialogue driven film so there isn’t really much to comment on. The ADR dubbing seems to be quite good with very little evidence of voices going out of sync (a common factor with early Italian films) and dialogue is very clear. The film’s score has a lot of clarity to it but doesn’t stand out as much. There is hiss and crackle which derives from the original print that can be heard during the film but again as explain in the notes, this is left in intentional to recreate the theatrical film of the film. It’s a bit more noticeable on quite exterior shots but doesn’t affect the film’s audio mix in any way. The disc also carries English SDH subtitles
Audio Commentary – Director Radley Metzger and Film Historian Michael Bowen Give their insights on the making of The Lickerish Quartet
The Making of The Lickerish Quartet (11 minutes). A brief featurette looking at the legacy of Radley Metzger and a behind the scenes look at The Lickerish Quartet. Presented in High Definition (1080p)
Cool version Love Scenes (32 minutes) – The complete version of the vintage film reel as viewed by the characters during The Lickerish Quartet. Presented in standard definition
Giving Voice to the Quartet (13 minutes) – this segment compares raw film footage with the actors original voices with post dubbed footage. Presented in High Definition (1080p)
Trailers – original cinema trailers for The Lickerish Quartet, Camille 2000 and Score. All presented in Standard Definition
Despite a quality presentation and a decent selection of extras, The Lickerish Quartet failed to ignite anything in me in all honesty. I’m confident that there are fans of the film that will be more than happy with Arrow’s Blu-ray release of this film.