Cult Epics’ line of Radley Metzger reis­sues are a pre­mier event for fans of vin­tage erot­i­ca.  They’ve tak­en great care with the a/v qual­i­ty of the­se releas­es, put in a strong effort in the bonus fea­tures area and even offered vari­ant cuts of films that allow the ver­sion-hap­py view­er an extra lev­el of choice.  Their blu-ray edi­tion of The Lickerish Quartet is a good exam­ple of how they’ve done with their Metzger prop­er­ties: it looks stun­ning and sup­ple­ments the expe­ri­ence with extras that take you fur­ther into Metzger’s intel­lec­tu­al approach to the gen­re.

For starters, the trans­fer on this film might be the best of any in the Erotica Psychedelica box.  The anamor­phic image has strong detail and bold col­ors.  Age-relat­ed defects are min­i­mal and the result is a stun­ner with an appro­pri­ate but very lush vin­tage look.  The audio retains the orig­i­nal mono sound­track and it sounds nice and punchy here: the dubbed dia­logue comes through in a crisp style and effects and music blend nice­ly with the vocal tracks.

This blu-ray also sports a fair­ly ambi­tious pack­age of extras.  As usu­al, the offer­ings begins with a com­men­tary track fea­tur­ing Metzger and mod­er­a­tor Michael Bowen.  Metzger dis­cuss­es the atmos­pher­ic loca­tions, the com­plex­i­ties of dub­bing the film’s sound­track and plen­ty of mate­ri­al on the actors (par­tic­u­lar­ly Frank Wolff, who had a trag­i­cal­ly short life).  Bowen gen­tly press­es Metzger to dis­cuss the mean­ing behind the story’s more sur­re­al­is­tic touch­es: Metzger play­ful­ly resists at first but soon offers an inter­est­ing, thought­ful take on the film’s pre­sen­ta­tion of a slip­pery real­i­ty.

Elsewhere, there are a few fea­turettes: “Mind Games” is a brief mak­ing-of piece with nar­ra­tion play­ing over a set of Metzger’s per­son­al home movies from the set.  It also offers some comparison/contrast of the film’s live sound­track ver­sus its ulti­mate dubbed incar­na­tion.  The lat­ter ele­ment is fur­ther explored in “Giving Voice To The Quartet,” a short piece that goes into detail on the film’s com­plex dub­bing sit­u­a­tion — two actors sup­plied their own voic­es in dif­fer­ent stu­dios in dif­fer­ent coun­tries, plus the oth­er two actors were dubbed by dif­fer­ent actors — and offers more comparison/contrast sam­ples that incor­po­rate the on-set sound­track.

However, the most intrigu­ing inclu­sion amongst the non-com­men­tary fea­tures might be a set of “cool” takes for the film’s sex sce­nes: in oth­er words, alter­na­tive sequences that cut down sex­u­al explic­it­ness and full-frontal nudi­ty.  Though the­se don’t reflect Metzger’s inten­tions for the film, they are com­posed and edit­ed in as art­ful a man­ner as what end­ed up in the fin­ished film.  The pack­age is round­ed out with trail­ers for The Lickerish Quartet, Camille 2000 and Score.

In short, this is anoth­er strong addi­tion to Cult Epics’ line of Metzger titles.  It’s the best this film has ever looked on video and the extras are worth­while.  Fans will need this — and if you’re a neo­phyte to the world of Metzger, it’s a great place to start.