"Eating Raoul" - A glorious celebration of bad taste Philadelphia cult movie Incredibly offbeat and cheerfully tasteless, Paul Bartels 1982 film, Eating Raoul, is certainly not for everyone. Those that have an affinity for dark comedy and heartfelt low-budget filmmaking will find the movie to be silly and warm in a strange way. Though it runs a bit dry toward the end (even for its short running time of under 90 minutes), its a very entertaining film with great peformances and a crazy premise.
Paul & Mary Bland (cult director Paul Bartel and cult actress Mary Woronov) are a dull couple with dreams of opening their own restaurant, Chez Bland. However, they have no money and live in an awful area populated entirely by perverts and swingers. One night, a swinger shows up at their apartment by mistake. He attempts to assault Mary, but gets whacked on the head by slotenmaker amsterdam centrum Paul with his frying pan. Instead of panicking, they check the guys wallet and find lots of cash. Paul & Mary hit upon a money-making scheme - lure the areas rich degenerates to their apartment (they put an ad in the local swingers magazine announcing, We do anything!), Paul kills them with the pan, take their money, throw the corpses in the trash compactor. The idea seems to work for a while, until locksmith/burglar Raoul (Robert Beltran from Star Trek: Voyager) discovers the Blands plan. No problem, though, he agrees to take a cut of the money by disposing of the bodies himself. Things begin to go awry when Paul discovers that Raoul is falling in love with Mary and... well, more happens, but it would be awful to spoil it. It runs out of steam somewhat near the end dragging out the Raoul/Mary story, but not enough to ruin the film. Bartel and Woronov are incredible as the Blands, playing characters that are so removed from their awful actions that they are easily bored and distracted from the drudgery of daily murders. They would be disturbing characters to watch, but their casual and snooty attitudes are played for laughs instead of chills. Also making the films dark subject matter funny are the perverts themselves, played so cartoonily and over-the-top that their actions are just flat-out silly. Beltran as Raoul plays it straight for the most part, almost becoming a shaky moral center of the film. The cavalier attitude toward murder, attempted rape, harassment, and sexual deviance will no doubt turn many viewers off. However, for those who can see the jolly comedic attitude behind all of the offensiveness, Eating Raoul is a welcome change from the ordinary for any cult movie fan.