Camille 2000 / The Lickerish Quartet / Score: Film Reviews

METZGER_Review1CAMILLE 2000:

Director: Radley Metzger

Screenplay: Michael DeForrest (based on the novel La Dame Aux Camelias by Alexandre Dumas)

Starring: Danièle Gaubert, Nino Castelnuovo and Eleonora Rossi Drago

Certificate: 18                  

Running Time: 115 mins

 

SCORE:

Director: Radley Metzger   

Screenplay: Jerry Douglas (based on his stageplay)

Starring: Claire Wilbur, Calvin Culver and Lynn Lowry

Certificate: 18                  

Running Time: 91 mins

 

THE LICKERISH QUARTET:

Director: Radley Metzger   

Screenplay: Radley Metzger & Michael DeForrest

Starring: Silvana Venturelli, Frank Wolff and Erika Remberg

Certificate: 18                  

Running Time: 90 mins

Reviewed by Guy Adams

METZGER_Review2Dear Lord, Radley Metzger? What is Adams up to now? Is he watching porn while on the BFS clock? Well, no, not really… at least, not porn by modern standards. Not that I’m trying to gloss over the erotic nature of the films but I’m aware that they are likely to be ignored by a larger audience because of preconceptions and that would be a shame as there is a great deal in Metzger’s work that demands wider acclaim.

Arrow, that gleaming bastion of elevating the underdog with attractive and prestigious Blu-ray and DVD releases, have brought these three Metzger pictures out in UK dual-format editions. What is there here for the uninitiated?

Well, in Camille 2000, Metzger presents us with a genuinely beautiful and striking picture. As sumptious as the vey best of sixties Italian cinema, it’s a tragic love story that cannot be dismissed as softcore titillation thanks to the quality of both its photography and performances. Yes it’s about swinging, yes there’s a good deal of nakedness on offer but it’s all done so artfully and with a real sense of drama and soul that it’s a far richer picture than an ignorant viewer might expect.

METZGER_Review3The promise of Camille 2000 flourishes in Metzger’s next movie, The Lickerish Quartet which is quite simply brilliant. Strange, poetic and, yes, fantastical, it concerns a dysfunctional trio (mother, son and stepfather) who meet a woman they recognise from an erotic movie the stepfather has been playing on his home projector. Deciding to invite the girl home to their gothic castle, she then gets under their skin and reality itself takes a pounding. The movie they were watching changes with every screening and soon we can no longer tell who is who and what exists or doesn’t. Dreamy, surreal and, yes, sexy, The Lickerish Quartet is a weird and addictive little treasure that clings after viewing. A genuinely creepy little fantasy movie where sex is only one of the ingredients that makes up the whole, entrancing meal.

After such glories it’s little wonder that Score disappoints. Unlike the other two, it is much more simple in its intentions. Showing off its theatrical roots it plays out like a drawing room comedy, albeit one with far more fellatio than is strictly common. The story of a married couple who set each other sexual challenges, it is the only one of the three that can be labelled as nothing more ambitious than a bit of softcore fun.

About Phil Lunt (875 Articles)
Hailing from the rain-sodden, North Western wastelands of England, Phil has dabbled in many an arcane vocation. From rock-star to conveyor-belt scraper at a bread factory, 'Dairy Logistics Technician' to world's worst waiter. He's currently a freelance designer, actor, sometime writer/editor and Chair of the British Fantasy Society. He is on the Global Frequency and is still considering becoming an astronaut when he grows up.