Eating Raoul  

From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Related e



Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Eating Raoul was a 1982 black comedy about a conservative married couple living in Hollywood who take to killing people 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.


Paul and Mary Bland (Paul Bartel and Mary Woronov) 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 strife is exacerbated by the fact that they live in an apartment building that is a regular site of orgies and bondage parties.

After a "swinger" wanders drunk into their apartment and tries to rape Mrs. Bland, Mr. Bland kills him by hitting him with a 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 apartment's orgy regulars, Doris the Dominatrix.

After finding a flyer attached to 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, who has also decorated the apartment in Nazi paraphernalia before he was killed.

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, a hippie Vietnam veteran, arrives while Paul is gone, and when Mrs. Bland explains that he missed his appointment, he tries to rape her. Raoul wanders in, sees the hippie 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 beginning to convince Mary to run away with him. After Raoul tries to run Paul down in his van, Paul hires Doris the Dominatrix to pose as a variety of people (including an immigration agent and a sexual health counselor) to try and 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 Raoul arrives in the Blands' apartment with a gun and prepares to kill Mr. Bland. He informs Paul that he and Mary will be getting married, and then brings Paul into the kitchen so that he and Mary can both kill him together; instead, Mary kills Raoul with a frying pan.

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


Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Eating Raoul" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools