Eating Raoul (1982)
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- 90 min.
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Paul Bartel's Eating Raoul is a very weird comedy, and I'm giving it full marks for being a consistent surprise in terms of both plot and tone. Bartel himself and cult actress Mary Woronov play a repressed couple trapped in a world of perverts, their building bustling with swingers, and every male character sexually harassing Woronov in due course. They dream of owning a restaurant, and quite by accident, they start a murder spree, which quickly becomes a revenue stream. Bartel shows us a world of moral ambivalence where everyone, good and bad, is essentially a sociopath, with a lack of mean-spiritedness from the leads the only reason this isn't a wretched experience. Instead, it's absurd and amusing. Also notable is the introduction of Robert Beltran as Raoul, a sexy, confident thief who crosses paths with the couple and becomes a big part of their lives. Looking at this, I'm even more sorry he was saddled with the going-nowhere character of Chakotay on Star Trek: Voyager. He's got a lot more going on here.
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In 2 official lists
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This movie ranks #27 in BFI's 100 American Independent Films
This movie ranks #731 in The Criterion Collection