Eating Raoul

Eating Raoul

name = Eating Raoul

caption = "Eating Raoul" movie poster
amg_id = 1:15224
imdb_id = 0083869
writer = Paul Bartel
Richard Blackburn
starring = Paul Bartel
Mary Woronov
Robert Beltran
Susan Saiger
Ed Begley, Jr.
Buck Henry
director = Paul Bartel
producer = Anne Kimmel
cinematography = Gary Thieltges | editing = Alan Toomayan | distributor = 20th Century Fox
released = March 24, 1982
runtime = 90 min.
country = USA
language = English
music = Arlon Ober
awards =
budget = $350,000 (estimated)
"Eating Raoul" is a 1982 black comedy about a conservative married couple living in Hollywood who take to killing swingers for their money. It was directed by Paul Bartel and written by Bartel and Richard Blackburn. The writers also commissioned a single-issue comic book based on the movie for promotion; it was created by underground comics creator Kim Deitch.

A stage musical adaptation was written in the late 1990s, and played off-Broadway and at the Bridewell Theatre, London, in 2000.

On April 13, 2004, the long out of print film was released on DVD by Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment.


Paul and Mary Bland are a wine dealer and a nurse, respectively, who grieve over their low statuses in life and dream of someday opening a restaurant.

After Mr. Bland is fired from his job at a wine shop (shortly after an unrelated in-store shooting), the couple are left relatively penniless and the chances that they will ever realize their dream quickly diminish. Their plight is exacerbated by the fact that they live in an apartment building that is a regular site of swinger parties.

After a swinger wanders drunk into their apartment and tries to rape Mrs. Bland, Mr. Bland kills him by hitting him with a heavy frying pan. They take his money and put him in the trash compactor. Later on, they kill another swinger along the same lines, and realize that they could actually make money by killing "rich perverts", and proceed to do so, getting advice on infiltrating the swinging lifestyle from one of the building's orgy regulars, Doris the Dominatrix.

After finding a flyer on their car for cheap lock installation, they decide, for the safety of Mr. Bland's wine collection, to have the locks on their apartment door changed.

The locksmith's name is Raoul, a Latino man who moonlights as a cat burglar, robbing the homes and apartments of his clients. He breaks into the Blands' apartment the night after installing their locks, only to stumble across the corpse of the Blands' latest victim, a Nazi fetishist.

Paul catches Raoul and the two strike a deal: Not only will Raoul keep the Blands' secret, he tells them that he knows a place where he can "exchange" the corpses for cash. The Blands accept, and Raoul goes to work for them (he sells the corpses to a dog food company), also secretly stealing the victims' cars and selling them.

One night shortly after, Mr. Bland leaves to buy groceries (and a new frying pan, since Mary is "a bit squeamish about cooking with the one we use to kill people") and Mrs. Bland is left alone in the house. Their next customer, dressed as a hippie (Ed Begley, Jr.), arrives while Paul is gone. When Mrs. Bland attempts to explain that he missed his appointment, he tries to rape her. Raoul wanders in, sees the customer attacking Mrs. Bland and strangles him to death with his belt. Raoul then offers Mary marijuana and they have sex.

This affair goes on for a while, with Raoul attempting to convince Mary to run away with him. After Raoul tries to run Paul over with a car, Paul hires Doris the Dominatrix to pose as a variety of people (including an immigration agent and a public health worker) to try to get rid of Raoul (by making him believe he is being deported and feeding him salt peter, respectively). None of these plans work, however, and a drunken Raoul breaks into the Blands' apartment and threatens to kill Mr. Bland. He informs Paul that he and Mary will be getting married, and then takes Paul into the kitchen so that he and Mary can both kill him together; instead, Mary kills Raoul with the frying pan.

Mary and Paul then remember they're expecting their real estate agent for dinner (who's helping them buy their dream restaurant). With no food left in the house, and little time before his arrival, Paul and Mary cook Raoul and serve him up for dinner. The last shot of the film is a smiling Paul and Mary in front of their brand new restaurant, with the caption, "Bon Appétit."

Major cast

* Mary Woronov as Mary Bland
* Paul Bartel as Paul Bland
* Robert Beltran as Raoul Mendoza
* Richard Paul as Mr. Cray (liquor store owner)
* Susan Saiger as Doris the Dominatrix
* Ed Begley, Jr. as Hippie
* Edie McClurg as Susan (woman in fur at swingers party)
* Buck Henry as Mr. Leech (bank manager)


A sequel, entitled "Bland Ambition", was planned. The script was written by Paul Bartel and Richard Blackburn. As described by Mr. Bartel:

[The film] starts with Paul and Mary Bland happily ensconced in their Country Kitchen, where they're doing a land-office business. ["A thriving, extensive, or rapidly moving volume of trade." [] ] The arrogant young Governor of California stops off to have lunch and is furious he is not recognized and permitted to jump the line. In retaliation, he sends a health inspector to close down the Country Kitchen, and Paul and Mary are encouraged by the media to retaliate in kind and run against him for Governor of California.cite web
title= At the Movies
author=Lawrence Van Gelder
work=New York Times
accessdate=February 12
"Bland Ambition" was about 10 days from the start of filming when Vestron withdrew its financial backing.

Mary Woronov and Paul Bartel later appeared together as Mr. and Mrs. Bland in a cameo in the movie "Chopping Mall" (1986). Mary Woronov and Robert Beltran appeared together again in "Night of the Comet" (1984), though not as their "Eating Raoul" characters. Mary Woronov and Robert Beltran also starred together in Paul Bartel's critically-acclaimed follow-up feature "Scenes from the Class Struggle in Beverly Hills" in 1989.


External links


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