The Lickerish Quartet/Review
From The Grindhouse Cinema Database
The Lickerish Quartet begins with a family watching an erotic film in their spacious Italian mansion. A couple and their son. Seemingly disgusted, the son prepares to go out and it turns into a family outing. They go to the carnival and watch some performers on motorcycles doing spectacular stunts. When one of the bikers removes their helmet, the family believe her to be the star of the erotic film they were watching earlier. Consequently, they invite her back to their house for a “party”, intending to watch the film with her and discover the motivation behind performing in such a film.
In turn, she seduces all three of the family members, one by one. The most spectacular being with the patriarch on the floor of his library. The floor is lined with enlarged excerpts of the definition of certain sexual words from a dictionary. As the two roll around on the floor of the library, Metzger inter-cuts the action with fast zooms of words such as “phallus”, “fornicate” and “masturbate”. The scene between the son and the girl in the open garden around the mansion is also memorable.
This style of inter-cutting is present throughout the whole film in different forms. He inter-cuts present action with short excerpts of the erotic film, relevant flashbacks, relevant glimpses of future action and images of props and paintings in the room with sexual connotations relevant to the scene. The film manages to be both softcore erotica – drama with erotic interludes – and a valid piece of art cinema. Although it appears to lean more towards art cinema, with the sex being generally pretty soft and traditional.
Metzger is known as the “Orson Welles of erotic cinema” and the comparison isn’t far off. He proves himself to be an artist of significant talent. The fact that he can make what would could have been run-of-the-mill sexploitation into a film that manages to appease the arthouse crowd as well is testament to that. The Lickerish Quartet is fantastical, thought-provoking and, most importantly, titillating.
Reviewed by Angel