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on 20 February 2015
Two Evil Eyes (1990) aka Due occhi diabolici is a horror anthology, or portmanteau, based on two tales by Edgar Allan Poe. The adaptations are directed by horror maestros Dario Argento and George A Romero. Tom Savini (Creepshow) provides the special effects and also has a cameo in The Black Cat segment.

Tale One:
The Facts in the Case of M Valdemar
Jessica Valdemar (Adrienne Barbeau) is having an affair with psychiatrist Dr Robert Hoffman (Ramy Zada), whilst her husband is dying of a terminal illness. Ernest Valdemar (Bingo O'Malley) is in the process of handing his estate over to his wife, despite protestations by his legal representative Steven Pike (E G Marshall). The two lovers have been using hypnosis to get what they want and Pike is aware that something is wrong. He warns Ernest that should he die in the next three weeks his wife will be investigated. Ernest dies under hypnosis and is subsequently stuck between two worlds. Ernest then seeks revenge and to also be released from limbo, whilst the lovers try to permanently end his life. The police (Tom Atkins) also take an interest in the situation. This is a traditional revenge story from the master of gothic fiction.

Tale Two:
The Black Cat
One of Poe's most popular tales sees Roderick Usher (Harvey Keitel) , a crime scene photographer who appreciates real life art, in a building surrounded by the body parts of various corpses; his job is to take photographs in a crime-ridden section of Pittsburgh for Detective Legrand (John Amos). He works on documenting the dead for Legrand in his basement darkroom. One day his work is disturbed by the arrival of a mysterious black cat taken in by his girlfriend Annabel (Madeleine Potter). Usher and the cat develop a hatred for each other and Usher inevitably kills the cat - but the cat will not die easily, and it can reveal a secret about Usher that could destroy his life.

Both stories are handled well, with Argento's being the slightly better of the two. The production values are very good and there is a good cast of actors in both tales. The DVD release is a standard one with no extras worth mentioning unless you purchase the Region 2 PAL DVD by Arrow which, as with all their releases, is fully loaded.

*Casting Connections: Romero uses some of his regulars here: Tom Atkins (Creepshow, Bruiser), Adrienne Barbeau (Creepshow), Tom Savini (Creepshow, Creepshow 2, Dawn of the Dead, Diary of the Dead, Knightriders, Land of the Dead, Martin, Monkey Shines).
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Two Evil Eyes threatened to be another disappointment from Dario Argento, especially since the first half of this modernized Edgar Allen Poe double-header, The Facts in the Case of Mr Valdemar, directed by George A. Romero, felt like a competent but uninspired network TV compilation episode. So it's a real surprise just how much dark fun Argento has with The Black Cat, playfully riffing both on Poe's other short stories and classic movies (there's even a subtle Psycho moment where Martin Balsam's nosey neighbor finds himself at the foot of another staircase looking for another missing woman) as Harvey Keitel's crime photographer - first seen photographing the aftermath of a Pit and the Pendulum incident - finds his life going to Hell when he gets rid of the girlfriend's cat. It's not prime Argento, but compared to his stale going-through-the-motions later efforts like Phantom of the Opera, The Card Player and Phenomena, it'll remind you why you liked him in the first place.

Unlike Blue Underground's extras-packed 2-disc US NTSC DVD or Anchor Bay's deleted UK PAL disc with the 53-minute documentary Dario Argento - An Eye for Horror, Arrow's PAL version is extras-lite - just the trailer for this and other Argento films.
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on 26 October 2015
This was ordered on behalf of my sister, but she has enjoyed the dvd immensely.
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on 6 April 2011
Like the other reviewer here (who I totally agree with) Romero's half of the film is lumpen and overlong looking more like a TV episode of an anthology series. A shame because he has directed some great stuff over the years.

Argento does much better with his segment with nods to other Poe stories. Unfortunately the second story is also too long and padded out. The whole film could have done with a serious trim which would have made it a lot more tense and exciting.

Overall not a disaster but both Director's have produced much better work in the past.
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on 13 June 2013
Two Evil Eyes is far away from being a disaster that critics lambasted on the film when it was released, however the end result is: could do better.

In general, Argento's story has got the praise and Romero's has been almost forgotten about. However I feel that is a little harsh on the zombie godfather.

His story about a conning couple getting money from her dead husbands estate is a decent entry. However it doesn't have anything very memorable to it. It's just a solid segment that would have been great had it been a Tales from the Crypt TV episode. It does star Adrienne Barbeau.

Argento's story is more gripping. Called The Black Cat it uses elemnets of Poe's story. It also stars the gifted Harvey Keitel. This has been well done. However after viewing Stuart Gordon's take in Masters of Horror everything else will now pale in comparison.

You do feel also that both directors so famous for their gore have toned it down a bit to appease the MPAA. Another negative on the film for me.

I don't believe Two Evil Eyes is bad, however it certaintly didn't deserve a cinema release and it's no shock to find out that the film in many countries went direct to video.

It just comes down to be another anthology film. But only a two episode one. Creepshow 2 was three episodes and just got away with it. Now had this been either one movie with both Argento and Romero heavily involved or a four story film as was orignally intended it may have worked.

All in all Two Evil Eyes is availble for under 5 pounds and is worth getting on that basis.

Onto the Arrow release. Sadly a huge disappointment. There are no extras. Sorry I don't count trailers as extras. Now it may have been far fetched to have got Keitel doing a commentary track. But it would have been nice to have had either Romero or Argento doing a fresh interview on the movie. The cover art as usual is amazing. Although that art is only from Argento's segment, nothing to be seen of Romero's there.
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I saw this 2 parter on The Horror Channel. I totally agree with the other two reviewers here, part one is lame, looks like an episode from a naff '80s TV prog, is acted badly and George A Romero's talents have been wasted.

Black Cat, the second, however, with a fine actor performing well - Harvey Keitel - manages to carve itself some great scenes, a few of which are truly blood-curdling. Yes, it does need some of its fat cut off, but that's applicable to 90% of horror flicks.

If you are a cat lover with a sensitive nature, this is best avoided. Even though immediately after the last frame has faded we get an American Animal Humane Society certificate that states clearly 'no animal was...' etc, its very prominence means it was heavily on the mind of someone involved that many of moggy's scenes could be upsetting.

As for the actual story, well, it's all a bit over the place but involves photographer Keitel, who hates cats and his common-law wife has a black one. He disposes of it, shall we say and when she gets another, he takes photos of himself "disposing" of that one too, for a book that he gets published. Obviously, his partner isn't too happy about this state of affairs, she moans a lot and then she disappears....

There's a nod or two to 'Psycho' in the way she 'disappears' but I'm not going to say any more than that, apart from that it's worth seeing. It's probably worthy of 4 stars, whereas the first, one.
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on 5 May 2015
Weird but highly disappointing.
Not anything like the Gore soaked delights usually offered by Argento.
Not bad, but not particularly good either.
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on 7 August 2015
Not Very good when you look at the Calibre Involved in it.Romero/Argento There was so much Potenetial that just didn't come.
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