Eating Raoul: Drive In Hall of Famer With Staying Power

Where do you go when you want to watch a movie that is a period piece, lacks peace, and features a real piece of inspiring action around every corner. A story that has a love triangle without the love, multiple cultural steriotypes and jokes, and the production quality of a very low budget “B” flick? Why you stop at your local rental rack and order up Paul Bartel’s 1982 smash cult hit Eating Rauol.

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Courtesy of www.luff/ch

Storyline: World class stuff only a under sexed Bartel could conceive of in his magnificent brain. It is a story about a couple, Bartel a dumpy wine store clerk and his beyond gorgeous prudish, Mary Bland (Mary Woronov far from bland) nurse-wife, who have a dream of owning a country inn- in the country. Broke and out of a job, Bartel and Mary “cook up” a scheme to fund their dream.

Everything begins to go as planned until, burglar posing as locksmith, Raoul (Robert Bertran aka Commander Chakotay of Star Trek: Voyager fame) shows up and uncovers the couple’s gruesome new business venture: luring sex crazed swingers to their apartment then offing them for their sex surrogate fee. Raoul injects himself into the scheme by blackmailing our heroes after finding a dead body in the Bland’s apartment; this discovery was made while he burglarizes the apartment.

Twists and turns with plenty of naked scenes with Mary and Raoul. Attempted murder by Toyota Corolla, special kudos to Bartel for his depiction of a wild swinger party electrocution scene via Hamilton Beach appliance. Nasty makeup plenty of rude behavior and lots of unintended silly laughs provide endless one liners for the first time viewer.

This movie is two thumbs up way up with plenty of one liners to practice on your unsuspecting friends by the water cooler at work on Monday morning.

Now the rating:

Acting: Bartel is magnificent as the dumpier than dumpy prudish shlump of a wine snob who sleeps in a twin bed blowing kisses to Mary as she maintains her whiter than the driven snow act throughout the movie. Mary is just perfect as the Queen. Raoul is the cocky lead macho man with a philosophical side true to any anti-hero. Raoul is great fun and the suspenders, brim, and black outfits are the stuff of legend.

Score: 9 out of 10

Storyline: Rarely is something so simple so wickedly great. The twist at the end is worth every penny I spent as a kid sneaking into the Smith Ranch Road 101 Drive-In. Love traingle fu, cannibalism, lots of 70’s swinger humor, surprise appearance by Ed Begley Jr. as a crazed hippy looking to “groove” and many more guest appearances by character actors. The entire cast was unique in a carnival freak showish kind of way!

Score: 10 out of 10

Direction: Bartel is a true indie genius before Sundance was born. Great direction on a budget of $325,000. Even in 1982 dollars that is a fart in the wind. Awesome job in keeping the audience on the edge of their seats. World class work from an unknown.

Score: 8 out of 10

Total of 27 points gives Eating Raoul a “Rock Star Perfection” rating:

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