Hello,and welcome to my 2021 April A to Z Blogging Challenge! This year, I am absolutely determined to tell you about every single horror movie that Alec and I watched during the pandemic (so far). There are, I think, around 200 of them on my list. Today, however, we have a bit of a light day. Only five of them begin with “E.”
Without further ado…
Eating Raoul (1982)
Director: Paul Bartel
Eating Raoul is a movie we’ve known about for ages, but had never gotten around to actually watching until just lately. I liked it a lot, though not all of the humor landed for me. It is a very dark comedy, and it is extremely stylized, so it isn’t going to work for everyone. Still, wow. A very interesting premise.
But what is the premise? Well, I’ll tell you. The Blands (Paul and Mary, played by Paul Bartel and Mary Woronov) are a married couple who sleep in twin beds. This is symbolic. They act more like brother and sister than husband and wife. They are, in fact, defiantly, absurdly, and exaggeratedly “square.” They dream someday of opening a restaurant, but they don’t have the money. Also, their apartment building is full of swingers! This bothers them. They don’t like swingers. Swingers have loud parties and are very promiscuous and so on. The Blands disapprove.
One fateful day, a drunk swinger gets into their apartment and tries to rape Mary. They kill him sort of by accident… and then discover that his pockets are absolutely stuffed with money. This gives them an idea. Are all of these swinger types similarly loaded? If so…
Quite soon, they are murdering swingers left and right and stealing their cash. They lure them in by placing a saucy ad in the paper, promising to cater to every fetish. Then they bop them over the head with a frying pan and loot the bodies. They’ll have that restaurant yet!
The main charm of this movie is the way the Blands remain… bland. They never, ever stop being bland. That’s part of the movie’s thing, I think. People don’t ever stop doing the thing they are put in the movie to do. The Blands are bland. They are as bland when they are committing murders as they are when they are discussing the menu of the restaurant they’d like to open (“Bland Enchiladas!”).
Eating Raoul may or may not belong on a list of horror movies, but I feel like it belongs on this list of horror movies.
It was also the source of yesterday’s Mystery Picture! Here it is again:
Event Horizon (1997)
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Some wonderful talent in this one (Laurence Fishburne, and… wow, okay, I just checked the cast list, and realized that Joely Richardson is in this too; she played Theresa Gardner in 2019’s Color Out of Space, which I talked about in my “C” post), but on the whole I felt that it was a touch under-done. A little more work on character arcs, though, and it could have been brilliant.
I guess my specific objection is the character arc of the scientist in the party. The one who built the ship that this crew is in the process of salvaging (the eponymous “Event Horizon”). He seems to go from zero to evil in no seconds. And if there is a reason for this, it didn’t really land, for me. Was it because the ship ate his wife? Why would that make him evil?
Still, there are some gorgeous and mesmerizing sets.
Evil Laugh (1986)
Director: Dominick Brascia
A cheap slasher film. I basically liked it. It is very aware of the genre it is in, and makes constant references to the rules of the slasher. That is pretty neat, pre-Scream (though Evil Laugh is far from the first slasher flick to do the self-aware gag. It isn’t even the earliest one to do so in this A to Z).
The main cinema nerd, though, gets steadily more annoying throughout the film, with his stupid pranks, until I was begging the slasher to kill him.
If you like cheap slashers, there is no reason not to see this one. If you don’t, there is probably nothing here that you’ll like.
Evils of the Night (1985)
Director: Mardi Rustam
It isn’t often that I say this, but I am going to do it this time: don’t watch this one. I know it has John Carradine in it. There are also several other B-movie people in the cast. That’s why we decided to watch it. Just… don’t. Do yourself a favor.
The movie starts off light and jokey (and it manages to be pretty annoying then). Then there’s this turning-point where, I feel, the filmmakers shrugged, said, “oh well, we’d better get all these teens killed off somehow!” …and proceeded to give me the worst case of tonal whiplash I have ever experienced. Things get suddenly, horribly brutal.
There is one woman who finds the corpse of her fiancee and literally sobs for the rest of the movie (until she, too, is killed). I was really hoping that she would become some sort of weeping avenger, and maybe redeem the movie at the last minute (at least a little bit) by slaying some of the villains. But no. The movie didn’t even give me that. It was too lazy to be anything but brutal.
The Exorcist III (1990)
Director: William Peter Blatty
This is a fine movie. Not great, but not bad. But the only part I really remember (because it was a rare moment for me where a movie actually scared me) is also a part that I don’t want to ruin for other viewers (though I knew it was coming–I’d even seen a clip of it–and it was still effective for me). If you watch the movie, just keep paying attention when you get that long shot of the hospital corridor–and don’t blink, or you might miss it.
So, that’s it for today! Tune in tomorrow for “F”!