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Larry Flash Jenkins,
When a Paul enters his apartment to find Mary fighting off a swinger who has gotten into the wrong apartement (and thinks that Mary is just playing hard to get) he hits the man with a frying pan, killing him. Their dreams of running a small resturant seem to be in jeopardy until they decide to dispose of the body, keep the wallet, and to advertise for other sexually oriented visitors who are summarily killed, bagged, robbed and disposed of. This goes along quite well until one night a burglar named Raoul breaks in and cuts himself in for a piece of the action. Written by
John Vogel <email@example.com>
Paul Bartel's ultra-low budgeted quickie is still one of the best black comedies ever made, even though I found it less funny than when I first saw it, approximately ten years ago now. Then again, it was my very first "politically incorrect" comedy and I've seen many others since This is a very charming film and the reasons why it works so well especially are the overly eccentric characters and the straight-faced acting performances of the talented B-cast. Writer/director Bartel and his favorite B-movie muse Mary Woronov star as an uptight and exaggeratedly square couple, the Blands, who're social outcasts in the wild L.A. region. Paul and Mary dream of opening their own little restaurant in the countryside but they have trouble financing it, while so many "swingers" waste their money on parties and bizarre sexual fetishes. After a first and accidental homicide, Paul and Mary find out that they could make easy money by luring more perverts to their apartment and kill them. The situation gets more complicated when Latino-crook Raoul discovers what the couple is doing. There aren't any special effects or gore and the set pieces aren't at all spectacular and yet this little gem is entertaining from start to finish! Especially the first half (when you make acquaintance with the bizarre Blands) is terrific, with brilliant dialogues and offensive yet very clever black humor. It's obvious that Paul Bartel was an acolyte of the all-mighty Roger Corman, since he manages to deliver a fun movie without a large budget being required. The gags are simple - often not more than the sound of a frying pan hitting a human head but it works and the atmosphere is so tongue-in-cheek that you can't but love what you see. I do wish that the film had been a little longer, especially since the ending comes so abrupt! "Eating Raoul" also contains many interesting trivia aspects, like for example the name of the co-writer, Richard Blackburn. Especially when you're familiar with Blackburn's other (and only) film "Lemora: a Child's tale of the Supernatural", this screenplay is a giant change in style. The supportive cast is marvelous as well, with the dazzling Susan Staiger as "Doris the Dominatrix" and Ed Begley Jr. as a pot-smoking hippie! Good fun!
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