The Movie Waffler Mike's Strange Cinema Cavalcade - TWO EVIL EYES | The Movie Waffler

Mike's Strange Cinema Cavalcade - TWO EVIL EYES

two evil eyes review
George A Romero and Dario Argento take on Edgar Allan Poe.

Review by Mike Vaughn

Directed by: Dario Argento, George A. Romero

Starring: EG Marshall, Harvey Keitel, Kim Hunter, Adrienne Barbeau, Tom Atkins, John Amos, Martin Balsam

two evil eyes bluray

The last time I watched Two Evil Eyes was on a dodgy old VHS copy I rented from my local mom and pop rental store. At the time I was watching anything and everything from George A Romero (my Dario Argento love started in my teens). Oddly enough I never had a physical copy of Two Evil Eyes, that is until now. Blue Underground has given me the perfect excuse to re-visit this often under loved film from two masters of the genre.

The film consists of adaptations of two Edgar Allan Poe tales, as told by Argento and Romero. The first story, directed by Romero, is titled 'The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar' and centres around Jessica - a gold digging woman played to the hilt by Adrienne Barbeau - and her scheming doctor/lover. Romero’s take on the lesser known Poe works, for its somewhat convoluted premise shines with the director's gleefully macabre sensibilities. It feels very much like an unproduced Creepshow (1982) segment.

two evil eyes review

The late great master's use of lighting and camera work is strongly felt. Visually, 'The Case' looks like an EC comics love letter (as was Creepshow of course), with Tom Atkins playing a cop straight out of the ’40s and the horror amped up to 11. The other thing that is wonderful about this segment is the amazing cast. You have Romero regulars like Atkins, EG Marshall and of course the lovely and talented Barbeau, who really has a wicked good time digging her heels into such a nasty cold character.

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The second segment, directed by Argento, entitled 'The Black Cat' is adapted from the Poe story of the same name. It centres around a sleazy reporter whose life is turned upside down when his wife takes in a black cat. Probably the better known of the two stories, this adaptation is visually more interesting than 'Case' but narratively more challenging as it takes a swift turn into bat-crap crazy town, which might alienate some viewers. But honestly, if you know and love Argento, it won't be that much of a shock.

two evil eyes review

I think I enjoyed this one the most and I liked that Dario’s trademark visions and garish murders are on full display. I also found this incredibly disturbing at times. The domestic abuse and simulated animal abuse are unnerving, probably more so than the murders themselves. The cast is great, with Harvey Keitel playing…well Harvey Keitel. It also features Kim Hunter and Martin Balsam, with a very funny cameo by Tom Savini. Huge gaps in logic aside, this is a solid segment.

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Overall I enjoyed Two Evil Eyes more I think upon re-watching. True, it has some issues writing wise, with some major suspensions of disbelief, but if you are a big fan of both directors it's easy to forgive those as they are both very true to their own respected visions.

two evil eyes review

Blue Underground has released another film in their 3 Disc re-releases and WOW. The new 4K scan is truly a sight to behold. Colours pop and really show off both directors’ visual flair, which is out in full force. You can really see that a lot of love and care went into this new restoration and for someone who hasn’t owned this movie before, it's quite a treat. Sound wise, the film is also great.

BU has ported over all their older extras but also, of course, included brand new features. Highlights include a new commentary by Troy Howarth, author of 'Murder By Design: The Unseen Cinema of Dario Argento'. Howarth's commentary is fun, insightful and is chock full of great trivia. The new release also features new interviews with Pino Donaggio, Luigi Cozzi, Barbara Anderson as well as older interviews with Argento, Romero, Savini etc. Over a dozen interviews are now featured in this release, which is incredibly impressive. You also get a great booklet with a new essay by Michael Gingold and a CD soundtrack featuring a great score by Pino Donaggio. Honestly, this should be on ANY horror fan's must own list. Lucio Fulci’s House by the Cemetery is coming out also in a 3-Disc 4K edition, and I'm so excited. A must own.

Two Evil Eyes is on blu-ray October 29th from Blue Underground.

Michael Vaughn is a rabid horror and cult fan who turned that love into a career. He is a writer, blogger and film historian and now author of 'The Ultimate Guide to Strange Cinema' which Shock Wave Podcast named their pick of the month, and Chris Alexander of Fangoria called “recommended reading.”

His other credits include Scream Magazine, Fangoria and websites like Films in Review and Bloody Flicks(UK). Please follow his Twitter @StrangeCinema65 and Instagram @gorehound_mike.