EATING RAOUL (Criterion, 1982) D: Paul Bartel, w/ Bartel, Mary Woronov. Rating: NNNN; Blu-ray package: NNNN Rating: NNNN
Cheap, cheesy, wickedly subversive and very funny, Eating Raoul is one of the all-time great black comedies.
Desperate for money to open their dream restaurant, sexless married couple Paul and Mary Bland (Paul Bartel, Mary Woronov) start knocking off the local swingers. Complications arise when studly professional thief Raoul (Robert Beltran) cuts himself in.
The acting is broad throughout, with the Blands painted prissy and the swingers as cartoon horndogs. This leads to delirious images of Woronov in an almost-Minnie Mouse costume and on another occasion sweetly informing a would-be partner that she's into dogs.
Bartel and Woronov tell all in a 1982 interview, and Woronov returns with Beltran and Edie
McClurg for contemporary interviews that shed more light on the production and Bartel's approach to directing. His two short films The Secret Cinema and Naughty Nurse are also worth a look.
Eating Raoul double-bills well with The Ladykillers and Kind Hearts And Coronets, two British black comedies Bartel cites as influences. For more of Paul and Mary at their finest, check out Hollywood Boulevard and Rock N Roll High School.
EXTRAS Detail commentary; two short films; Bartel and Woronov interview; Woronov, Beltran, McClurg interviews; gag reel; essay booklet. English audio and subtitles.