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Two Evil Eyes (1990)
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.
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.
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).