Paul Bartel has had an interesting career in spots, from having written and directed the classic Comic Strip Presents episode Demonella (The Brit team who brought us The Young Ones, Bottom, French and Saunders etc) to being thanked on The Howling. Eating Raoul is a cult classic, I rather like the term cult classic, it means that it neither sold to audiences or to critics but there are a few who are devoted to it.
The best thing about "cult classics' is that there isn't a formula as such to making. You wont know you've made a cult classic until ten or twenty years down the track.
Eating Raoul is one film that I put in my Barfly, The Last Detail, Withnail and I, The Lady Killers and to some extent related but not quite to The Long Goodbye and Saint Jack.
The film features Paul and Mary Bland who through their disgust at the perversity of swingers decide to knock them off and collect the corpses cash in order to save up for their own Country Style Restaurant. Of course the whole irony, of which Paul Bartel specialises in, has to do with the self-proclaimed purity and goodness of the Blands as they go about their murderous deeds. Mary Bland sparks up an affair with Raoul, the local thief and still the couple uphold their values with vigorous prejudice towards kink.
Eating Raoul is never apologetic, always obviously stating everything which makes it completely enjoyable. Robert Beltran who plays Raoul now runs workshops on Shakespeare, Mary Woronov who plays Mary Bland should be dubbed the Princess of B-Movies, and Edie McClurg who plays a swinger is a classic 1980's character actor (You may remember her as the Headmaster's assistant in Ferris Bueller's Day Off).
IMDB states that Eating Raoul is about "gourmet cannibals", well, it isn't no more then The Cook, The Thief, The Wife and Her lover is simply because one person gets eaten. In Eating Raoul, Raoul does get eaten but not by the Blands. The other knocked off swingers are sold as Dog Food. It all gets very healthily ridiculous.