Film: Eating Raoul

A 1982 Black Comedy directed by, co-written by and co-starring Paul Bartel. Inspired in part by the original British The Ladykillers and Kind Hearts and Coronets. Has also been compared to Charlie Chaplin's Monsieur Verdoux.

Available on DVD and Blu-ray as part of The Criterion Collection.


  • Asshole Victim: Not all of the victims are clearly this, but certainly some of them are: the uninvited "guests" who refuse to accept that Mary isn't into swinging with them, and the sleazy bank officer who attempts to molest her in his office while she's applying for a loan qualify easily. Also, with a few exceptions (a headline on a newspaper Raoul is reading in one scene indicates someone was out looking for the "midget" swinger they murdered), nobody much seems to have gone looking for the victims after they died, which suggests they were at the very least not very sociable characters.
  • Black Comedy Cannibalism: See the title.
  • Black Comedy Attempted Rape: Paul and Mary's first two victims are swingers who came into their apartment expecting to do some swinging with Mary and wouldn't take no for an answer. Paul's ensuring that these rapes remained only at the attempted level helps sell the comedy of these scenes.
  • Chez Restaurant: Paul wants to call the restaurant Chez Bland. Mary realizes that might not fly so well. Paul still insists that their signature dish should be "The Bland Enchilada."
  • Electrified Bathtub: The hottub at the party.
  • Frying Pan of Doom: Paul and Mary's weapon of choice. It appears to be enameled steel, rather than true cast iron, though.
    Mary: While you're out would you get a new frying pan? I feel a little squeamish cooking in the one we use to kill people.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Paul and Mary have no problem killing swingers for their money since they believe the swingers are lowlifes who nobody is going to miss, while they are nice people.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Played with. Most of their victims' bodies go to the Doggie-King dog food factory. One does become dinner for the Blands and a guest, and it's implied that long pig may be a regular staple of the restaurant.
  • Latin Lover: Raoul
  • Meaningful Name: The Blands are just that...bland.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Let's just say that being the "other man" in a love triangle with Paul and Mary is not going to end well for you.
  • Platonic Life Partners: The Blands, even though they are Happily Married - to the extent that they sleep in separate beds.
  • Revised Ending: According to the Director's Commentary track, some foreign versions of this movie will show Paul and Mary in prison stripes instead of being at the opening of their new restaurant for the freeze frame at the end; this is because some countries had a policy against letting criminals ultimately get away with their crimes in movies.
  • The Musical: It opened off-Broadway in 1992.
  • The Secret of Long Pork Pies: The second dinner with James, at the very least. Possibly a regular occurrence at "Paul & Mary's Country Kitchen".
    James: (taking another serving of the entree): This is delicious. Is it French?
    Mary: It's more ... Spanish.
  • A Simple Plan: Paul & Mary kill swingers for their money so they can put the down-payment on their dream restaurant.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Bartel was informed that the proper Chicano spelling of Raoul was Raul, but chose to keep the French spelling for aesthetic reasons.
  • Spoiler Title: Yes, Raoul gets eaten.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Paul and Mary wouldn't have it any other way.