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Due Occhi Diabolici

Two Evil Eyes
Edgar Allan Poe

Italy / USA 1990
produced by
Achille Manzotti, Claudio Argento (executive), Dario Argento (executive) for ADC Films, Gruppo Bema
directed by George A. Romero (segment The Facts in the Case of Mr. Valdemar), Dario Argento (segment The Black Cat)
starring segment The Facts in the Case of Mr. Valdemar: Adrienne Barbeau, Ramy Zada, Bingo O'Malley, Jeff Howell, E.G. Marshall, Chuck Aber, Jonathan Adams, Tom Atkins, Mitchell Baseman, Anthony Dileo jr, Christine Forrest; segment The Black Cat: Harvey Keitel, Madeleine Potter, John Amos, Sally Kirkland, Kim Hunter, Holter Graham, Martin Balsam, Julie Benz, Barbara Bryne, Lanene Charters, Bill Dalzell, J.R. Hall, Scott House, James MacDonald
screenplay by George A. Romero (segment The Facts in the Case of Mr. Valdemar), Dario Argento, Franco Ferrini (segment The Black Cat), based on the short stories by Edgar Allan Poe, music by Pino Donaggio, special makeup effects by Tom Savini

The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar, Edgar Allan Poe's Black Cat

review by
Mike Haberfelner


  • The Facts in the Case of Mr. Valdemar: Old Ernest Valdemar (Bingo O'Malley) is dying - and his younger wife Jessica (Adrienne Barbeau) just can't wait to get her hands on his fortune. So she has hired young and attractive Dr. Hoffman (Ramy Zada) to not only treat Valdemar but also put him under hypnosis to sign over more and more assets to her - and the good doctor is quite so willing to do just that because he's also Jessica's lover, and just as much into money as she is. Then though Valdemar dies a bit prematurely, and Jessica and doc Hoffman decide to hush his death up for a few days and siphon more and more money off his estate that would otherwise be bound in a legal battle over the inheritance. Thing is, Valdemar has died while under hypnosis, and now something inside of him is still alive - and he's miffed at Jessica and Dr. Hoffman and wants his revenge, as a walking dead ...
    Movie legend E.G. Marshall plays Valdemar's suspicious attorney.
  • The Black Cat: The relationship between photographer Rod (Harvey Keitel) and violinist Annabel (Madeleine Potter) seemed to be perfect, so much so that their neighbours were convinced they were actually married - until one day, Annabel brings home a black cat, to which Rod takes an instant disliking, so much so actually that he makes the cat the "star" for a few of his photos, in which he seemingly murders the animal. These photos make it into Rod's latest book, and when Annabel, sick with worry over the whereabouts of her cat, sees them, she labels him a cat killer and decides to leave him - but the two get into a fight, and Rod kills Annabel. Of course, he doesn't want to go to jail for this, so he walls her up, covers all the tracks, and for a while gets away with it just fine. Then he starts hearing sounds from behind the wall where Annabel's body's hidden - and it's the cat of course. In a fit of rage, Rod kills the cat quite brutally and patches up the wall again. A few days later a couple of cops stop by to inquire the whereabouts of Annabel, but Rod's story is rock solid - until again noises from behind the wall are heard ...
    Legendary Sally Kirkland plays a barmaid who at one point finds the black cat to hand it to Rod.

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Now I think I'll run into little resistance when I dub George A. Romero and Dario Argento two pioneers and masters of modern horror - so of course it's mighty interesting to see them adapt two of one of horror's greatest writers Edgar Allan Poe's short stories for the screen - no matter what the outcome really. And the outcome - well, Two Evil Eyes is neither Romero's nor Argento's greatest movie, maybe not even in the top five ... but it's still good entertainment: Romero actually tells his story with a classic horror vibe (what with its old school musical score and old dark house feel), with Tales from the Crypt-like twists to it, which might not be super-inspired but fun to watch. Argento on the other hand scales back his visual excesses a tad and lets his segment rest on lead Harvey Keitel's shoulders mostly - which is of course an excellent choice -, but features enough shocks and a gruesome finale to keep horror fans happy. So the film might not be a masterpiece - but it's very entertaining indeed!

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD