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Eating Raoul (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]

101 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

A sleeper hit of the early 1980s, Eating Raoul is a bawdy, gleefully amoral tale of conspicuous consumption. Warhol superstar Mary Woronov and cult legend Paul Bartel (who also directed) portray a prudish married couple feeling put upon by the swingers who live in their apartment building; one night, by accident, they discover a way to simultaneously realize their dream of opening a little restaurant and rid themselves of the “perverts” down the hall. A mix of hilarious, anything-goes slapstick and biting satire of me-generation self-indulgence, Eating Raoul marks the end of the sexual revolution with a thwack.

Special Features

  • New, restored digital transfer, supervised by director of photography Gary Thieltges, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Audio commentary featuring screenwriter Richard Blackburn, art director Robert Schulenberg, and editor Alan Toomayan
  • The Secret Cinema (1968) and Naughty Nurse (1969), two short films by director Paul Bartel
  • Cooking Up “Raoul,” a new documentary about the making of the film, featuring interviews with stars Mary Woronov, Robert Beltran, and Edie McClurg
  • Gag reel of outtakes from the film
  • Archival interview with Bartel and Woronov
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic David Ehrenstein

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Paul Bartel, Mary Woronov, Robert Beltran, Susan Saiger, Lynn Hobart
    • Directors: Paul Bartel
    • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, NTSC, Widescreen
    • Language: English
    • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
    • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
    • Number of discs: 1
    • Rated: R (Restricted)
    • Studio: Criterion Collection
    • DVD Release Date: September 25, 2012
    • Run Time: 83 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B008CJ0JVQ
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,697 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    48 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Michael R Gates VINE VOICE on April 19, 2004
    Format: DVD
    The 1982 low-budget outré comedy EATING RAOUL from writer/director Paul Bartel, who also stars, is an outrageously funny satire that needles such diverse elements of American culture as the concept of The American Dream, high-society status symbols, overzealous capitalism, racial stereotyping, and sexually deviant subgroups.
    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).
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    19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Leach HALL OF FAME on January 20, 2005
    Format: DVD
    Talk about cult classics! Paul Bartel's darkly hilarious "Eating Raoul" was the first cult film I ever saw, way back in the early 1980s when the miracle that is cable television arrived at the house. I sat in openmouthed wonder as the movie unfolded, barely believing my eyes were seeing the twisted hijinks floating by onscreen. It's largely due to "Eating Raoul" that I became a Mary Woronov fan, and I also learned to appreciate as well as seek out any films made by Paul Bartel. He's an interesting guy, a man that looks like one of your balding uncles or an out of shape next-door neighbor, but he has a warped sense of humor that fits in well with 1970s low budget cinema. Audiences probably know Bartel, if they know him at all, for several films he made for Roger Corman in the 1970s: "Death Race 2000" and "Cannonball." These two films couldn't be more different in subject matter and tone than "Eating Raoul." The two Corman films deal with car races, crashes, and bloody violence. "Eating Raoul" is subtler, funnier, and much darker. Sadly, Paul Bartel passed away a few years ago from complications arising from liver cancer. His loss robbed us of a unique humor, as well as any hope that he and Woronov would reprise their roles in a sequel to this film.

    "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.
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    35 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on April 19, 2004
    Format: DVD
    This long awaited DVD is an incredible disappointment. The major problem that makes this unwatchable is that somehow this movie has been stretched horizontally to fit a widescreen TV. The result makes everything look distorted. I don't know what the original aspect ratio was but this presentation is an abomination. I tried running it on my computer software to manually adjust the picture dimensions. The film does appear to be wider than the standard screen size but not the ratio as presented on this DVD.
    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.
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    6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Fairportfan on December 5, 2003
    Format: VHS Tape
    Brilliant and twisted writer/director/actor Paul Bartel stepped on a rainbow several years ago; if nothing else, that means that the sequel for this film that he and Mary Woronov had been planning -- "Bland Ambition" -- will never happen.
    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.
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