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A pleasant surprise
on 4 March 2009
I first heard of Radley Metzger when I recently watched 'Camille 2000', a poignant modernisation of Alexandre Dumas' "The Lady of the Camellias" (which was also the basis for Verdi's "La Traviata"). It was with some trepidation that I bought 'The Lickerish Quartet', in a lurid "sexadelic!" box that more than outdid the suggestive title.
And it turned out to be a surprisingly good movie - perhaps because it was not at all what I had judged by the cover. It's a rather surreal story of a dysfunctional family, who decide to have a bit of fun with a young girl they think they recognise from a blue movie, only to have the tables turned on them in bizarre fashion.
While there are touches of eroticism, they are by no means overdone, and this is no simple sexploitation movie. There are touches of which David Lynch might have been proud, with odd 'flash-back' cuts (or are they flash-forwards?), characters who switch identities, and a very blurred line between reality and the movie-within-the-movie. Although the acting is a little pedestrian, the cinematography is excellent. I can't help feeling the film better deserved its original title, "Hide and Seek".
All in all a pleasant surprise that leaves me curious to see more of Radley Metzger's work.