Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring Harvey Keitel, Adrienne Barbeau, Ramy Zada, Madeleine Potter, John Amos
Directed by George A. Romero and Dario Argento
Distributed by Blue Underground
As a self-professed sucker for anthology movies, I find Two Evil Eyes to be a rare treat. Though not a proper three- to four-story anthology, it still holds its own in the episodic horror region of my heart. We get two segments, both based upon tales by Edgar Allan Poe: the Romero directed “The Facts in the Case of Mr. Valdemar” and the Argento directed “The Black Cat”. With this kind of talent at the helm as well as a top-notch cast, Two Evil Eyes proves to be can’t miss, no-brainer genre gold.
For those unfamiliar with said stories, a brief recap:
In “The Facts in the Case of Mr. Valdemar”, the uber-hot Adrienne Barbeau plays Jessica, the trophy wife of the very rich and very dying Ernest Valdemar (Bingo O’Malley). Unfortunately for her, Valdemar kicks the bucket before his estate is settled in her name. With no other alternative to make sure she gets her due, she conspires with her lover, who happens to also be her hubby’s physician/hypnotherapist, to freeze his body in the cellar until all the paperwork can be squared away. But then it happens. Valdemar starts making some noise. Apparently, to help control his pain, the doctor had him under hypnosis up until the moment of his death, and now his soul remains trapped. Even worse, though disembodied, Valdemer also becomes aware of his wife’s transgressions and decides to wreak a little havoc.
In “The Black Cat” Harvey Keitel plays Rod Usher, a disgruntled crime scene photographer with dreams of becoming an artist. His first foray into the art world? Strangling his girlfriend’s black cat and taking pictures of every step of the feline’s demise. Said girlfriend ends up thinking that her pussy ran away (I’ve waited my whole life to type that) until Rod releases a best-selling book with his cruel pictures as its centerpiece. This leads to an argument and a struggle, and Rod ends up killing his once significant other and walling her up in their home where no one will find her. Everything goes completely according to plan except for when the cat-like noises emanating from her grisly tomb begin shedding unwanted light on his secret.
Simply put, both of these stories, and this film as a whole, kick a copious amount of ass. This is Romero and Argento at their finest. Totally on top of their games.
For this Blu-ray release Blue Underground did a great job of remastering the film’s audio and video. The picture is crisp and clear, and believe me when I tell you that every single frame of Savini’s ghastly effects work shines in stunning detail. Of all the transfer to Blu-rays the Underground has offered thus far, this one is easily the best.
As for the special features … you can find every one of them on the April, 2003 standard DVD edition. There is nothing new or exclusive here. Three featurettes and a trailer are all we get. There’s not much point in reviewing items that are nearly six years old, and I’m guessing you already own that DVD so you should know what to expect. However, if you never bought it and have the tech — you need this Blu-ray in your library.
Two Evil Eyes holds up flawlessly, and it’s every bit as bloody and scary as you remember it being. Given that it has never looked or sounded better, I say jump in and enjoy the chills!
4 1/2 out of 5
3 1/2 out of 5
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