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Eating Raoul (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
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Paul and Mary Bland (Bartel and Mary Woronov) are a conservative, happily married middle-class couple who share an interest in fine wine, good food, and sexual repression. They also share entrepreneurial dreams of opening their own restaurant for epicures. Unfortunately, the Blands are flat broke. Paul is an unemployed wine connoisseur, and Mary only makes a pittance working as a Nurse's Aide. To make matters worse, the building they want to purchase for their restaurant has also caught the eye of another buyer, so if Paul and Mary don't raise the $20,000 down quickly, they'll watch their hopes and dreams turn to dust.
Things actually take a turn for the better one evening when a "swinger" mistakes their apartment for the location of a wife-swapping party and elbows his way inside. Assuming that Paul and Mary are the party's hosts, the horny gent tries to put the make on Mary, and in a passionate, knee-jerk response, Paul beans the guy with a frying pan and kills him. Examining the body, the two discover hundreds of dollars in cash. Surmising that all swingers must carry large sums of money, Paul and Mary employ the personal ads to lure horny men to their apartment, after which they off 'em, take their money, then dispose of the bodies in their apartment building's communal trash compactor. Now their dream finally seems to be within their grasp.
Enter the titular Raoul (Robert Beltran, later a regular on TV's STAR TREK: VOYAGER).Read more ›
"Eating Raoul" introduces us to two of the most boring individuals on the entire planet, Paul and Mary Bland. They dream of opening their very own restaurant, a dining establishment that will allow them to hobnob with society's elites. Heck, they consider themselves to be elites even though Paul has trouble holding down a job and Mary works as a nurse. After Paul loses his latest position as a clerk at a liquor store--a hilarious scene indeed--it seems as though the restaurant will never become a reality.Read more ›
And to top it off the print appears to be something of the VHS quality (i.e. poor) with color and resolution deficiences. There appears to be a gash in the screen as if the video was shot from a movie screen with a tear in the top middle. The sound appears to have been mono that someone has doctored up by added fake stereo and reverb, then steering the dialog from side to side. Warning: Listening to this may cause sea sickness.
Sony should be sued for selling this junk. I probably will be returning my copy. One thing for sure: if you are unable to manually adjust the aspect ratio with a computer, do not buy this. I will be anxiously waiting for this to be remastered - this is a good and funny film.
Bartel worked for Roger Corman (and various Corman alumni like Alan Arkush) a lot -- directing "Death Race 2000", appearing in such films as "Rock 'n' Roll High School". Corman was (in)famous for cheap but stylish exploitation films, but this film's concept and script were a bit too far out for even Corman -- and nobody else would touch the project either.
So Paul and Mary did the film on their own, raising money from all sorts of friends and relatives, buying odds and ends of surplus film stock from studios (which shows in uneven image quality and colour balance) and shooting on weekends with pick-up crews whenever they could afford to rent equipment (leading to credits like "A Sister to the Director" and "Guest Electrician").
It's a hilarious black comedy in which Paul and Mary Bland -- innocents adrift in 1980s Los Angeles -- realise that they can make enough money to open "Paul & Mary's Country Kitchen", their dream restaurant, by luring singers in with a promise of Mary's abundant charms and despatching them, collecting their money before disposing of the bodies. (The weapon of choice is a cast-iron skillet, the use of which is signalled by a Warner Brothers-style "Boing!" sound effect.)
Then they find themselves involved with shady locksmith Raoul (Robert Beltran); he expands their operation by fencing their victims' cars and by disposing of the bodies through a friend who works for a dog food company. (Shades of "The Corpse Grinders".)
And he decides to move in on Mary.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The dark comedy Eating Raoul focuses on the Blands, a married couple who have hit upon an ingenious scheme to raise money for their new, high-class... Read more
Cult Classic - one of my all-time faves. Lots of cameos - look for John Paragon as the porn store guy, and Ed Begley Jr. as the "hippy".Published 1 month ago by Karla Linden, NMT, LMT, ChT
I had seen this ages ago. I laughed a lot! The acting is not good, and now it's dated as all heck. But the premise is really funny. Read morePublished 5 months ago by over the age of youth
did not watch entire film, but for what its worth, as a romantic type comedy, or black comedy, its watchable. someone had a budget, and idea, however twisted, and produced this.Published 5 months ago by jupiter one
A great black humor comedy. I enjoyed it when it was new, and it is still enjoyable. Refreshing, in the "Where's Poppa" vein.Published 6 months ago by jack