The lead star of a silent erotic film sets of an interest in a family of three, and when they later think they see the same girl at a carnival they don't waste any time and ask her home for a drink. Still unclear if she is actually the same girl as in the film, they try to lure her to watch the film with them. The morning after, she starts to seduce the family members one by one.
Radley Metzger is a much familiar name, not only because Preston reviewed "Score", but titles like "Camille 2000" and "The Image" are films I've came across on more than one occasion. The latter being one I've been close to buying a few times. However I never really knew much about him, and I think starting with "The Lickerish Quartet" was a good thing as it made me interested in more of his work. Maybe expecting the rest of the films to be like this one is stupid, being such a unique erotic film, but at least it shows that the director is doing his own thing and that's what interests me the most.
The story of the film is more amusing than anything else. It starts out pretty innocent with the family watching a black and white porno, and then ultimately going out for some fun at the carnival and they end up meeting the lead from the film. But with a different hair color it's hard to say if it's really the same person or not, so the father of the family wants to invite her back to their home (a huge fucking castle!) only to get her to watch the film and admit that she played in it. Of course, things don't go as planned when their son changes his mind about the whole thing. Finally when they sit down to watch the film with her, they see that the actress is changed and not at all the same as the girl they brought back home. And the rest of the movie is spent on the next morning when the girl seduces the entire family, starting with the father in a visually interesting but maybe a bit silly library scene.
It's really just, as I said, amusing. The story isn't too central, but at the very least it's there to have you interested enough in the first couple of minutes, so that you will stay till the ending. Where the movie really sticks out is that it has a rather surreal approach with the actors in the film-within-the-film changing every time they play it, and having this later applied to the actual movie as well. It's just a big mind game, both for us and the people in the movie. If you ignore all of these things, what you have left is a pretty standard 70's erotic film. But it's a hard thing to ignore, making this something extra.
The acting, dialogue, dubbing and all that isn't very good, and that's fine. But I wouldn't even say that the cinematography is all that great either, even though I'm sure I just got a price on my head for writing that. Sure, the location is fantastic, the castle is stunning and the view from it is even more so. But I am having a hard time seeing what's so visually impressive with this film. Apart from the library scene, which stuck out in its own little experimental way, there's nothing out of the ordinary here. Maybe it sticks out from standard erotica, but I wouldn't even put this with those because of how odd it gets towards the end.
"The Lickerish Quartet" is something special. It's an erotic art film that manages to both make me laugh at times, and have me scratching my head at other times, not knowing what's real and what's not. Between those there's some typical erotic scenes where I think only Silvana Venturelli, as the actress in the film, is really worth watching. And I mean, she is really worth watching! I wish the rest of the team was as good in these scenes as she was, there could've been some hot scenes if they were. Even though it is a bit pretentious at times, and everything isn't perfect, I reckon this is a movie worth checking out if you like the smut of that era. You sure could be a hell of a lot worse off.