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The Lickerish Quartet (1970) - Radley Metzger

Related: erotic films - Radley Metzger - 1970 - film

The Lickerish Quartet (1970) - Radley Metzger [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Tagline: An erotic duet for four players.

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. She stays overnight, and during her 24 hours in the castle, each of its three residents involves her in a fantasy. She, in turn, keeps asking, "Who has the gun?" Will there be violence before it's over?

The Lickerish Quartet (1970) - Radley Metzger [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
image sourced here. [Mar 2005]

The theme of Pirandello's theatrical play Six Characters in Search of an Author has been weaved into film a number of times: the Lickerish Quartet by Metzger, Pasolini's Teorema and Francois Ozon's Sitcom. [Jan 2007]


The Lickerish Quartet is a 1970 erotic film produced and directed by Radley Metzger. The film was written by Metzger and Michael DeForrest. Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.

In their castle, a wealthy couple (Frank Wolff and Erika Remberg) watched a blue movie with their adult son, played by Paolo Turco. They decide to go into town and, at a local carnival, spot a woman (Silvana Venturelli) that looks just like one of the women in the movie and invite her over. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lickerish_Quartet [Jan 2006]

Amazon review

Radley Metzger reached the pinnacle of his career with this delirious erotic fantasy-cum-beguiling art film. A bored, bickering aristocratic family on the prowl for thrills spies a woman (Silvana Venturelli, a Jenny McCarthy lookalike with an air of mystery) who looks exactly like the lead in the stag film they just viewed. Inviting the comely young blonde to their elegant seaside mansion, the family finds the mystery woman reaching into their psyches, unlocking each character's fantasy, and fulfilling their desires in a succession of seductive romps. The line between fantasy and reality blurs as Metzger transforms rooms into striking expressionist sets--a library, for example, turns into a living dictionary of sexual slang--and the story into a heady hall of mirrors as memories and fantasies merge and collide with the present, coming out on the other side in a brilliant, mind-bending conclusion. What emerges more resembles Alain Resnais than Emmanuelle, a game of illusionist hide-and-seek in a sensual landscape. Hans Jura's cinematography is never less than gorgeous: handsomely composed, lush with rich color, and--as always--more suggestive than explicit. Metzger's masterpiece is the most seductive art film ever made: ripe, tastefully stylish, and playful smart. --Sean Axmaker for Amazon.com

Metzger's first feature to receive an X

The Lickerish Quartet was Metzger's first feature to receive an X. It features a b/w stag film in a the film, altered reality and personality switches. It was filmed in a real castle in Italy. Blonde Silvana Venturelli stars as "the girl," found performing a wall of death motorcycle act at a carnival. She goes home with "the man" (Frank Wolff), "the woman" (Erika Remberg) and "the boy" (Paolo Turco). "There is a film (Pasolini's Teorema, '68) with a similar synopsis. I never wanted to see it for fear that someone would say I stole the idea for The Lickerish Quartet. I think that Terence Stamp mysteriously appears and changes the lives of all the members of this family. Eventually, I think that everybody who works in film must make a movie about film. It must be genetic. I noticed that film screenings changed depending on the audience. I became fascinated because you could run a picture for one audience and it played one way. The actual film seemed to change depending on the atmosphere in the audience. With The Lickerish Quartet, I wanted to communicate the flexibility of something that was as fixed as film. Theoretically, film doesn't change. It is recorded and it is going to last that way for a million years. But if you truly look at a movie, it is different every time you see it. Believe it or not, I don't really like movies about movies. one very powerful film on the subject was Juliette of the Spirits. At some point MOMA shows The Lickerish Quartet as a part of a series that they call self-referential film. I am not sure I really liked self-referential film." The screenplay was published by Grove Press. --From Psychotronic Video No. 17, Winter 1994 via http://www.vidmarc.demon.co.uk/mondo-erotico/metzger/interviews/EroticWorldOfRadley.html [Jul 2006]

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