“Eating Raoul” (1982) dir. Paul Bartel

While Paul Bartel’s “Eating Raoul” was distributed by the “classics” division of a major studio (in this case, 20th Century Fox) back in 1982, it’s still one of the best “indie” films of that decade (when “indie” actually meant something).  It’s also one of the funniest.  The premise is genius.  A financially struggling couple, Paul and Mary Bland (played by Bartel and Andy Warhol/Roger Corman regular Mary Woronov), can’t seem to break out of their dead-end jobs to achieve their dream of opening a restaurant.  Since their apartment building is overrun with rich perverts and swingers, they come up with the genius notion of luring these lovely folks to their apartment with an ad in a swingers newspaper, killing them, and then stealing their money.  Trouble ensues when they bring in locksmith/burglar Raoul as a business partner who helps them dispose of the bodies.  Despite “Raoul”‘s grim, blacker-than-black subject matter, the movie is actually very sweet (though it feels odd to say that, given the perverse subject matter).  A great example of how you can handle otherwise offensive subject matter in a funny, relatively non-offensive way.  However, it still more than earns its R-rating, so probably not the best film to show your parents or people you don’t know that well.  The Criterion Collection just released a lovely Blu-Ray version of “Raoul” with all the extras you would expect from them.  Dave says check it out.