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TWO EVIL EYES

title: TWO EVIL EYES
year: 1990
cast: Adrienne Barbeau, Harvey Keitel, Sally Kirkland
rating: ***

Two Edgar Allan Poe tales directed by two masters of macabre: George Romero and Dario Argento. Romero's outing, "The Facts in the Case of Mr. Valdemar," begins as a Film Noir tribute with a crooked wife of a dying rich man. Her young lover hypnotises her husband to sign over his inheritance. When he dies, he's not really gone since he never woke from the trance. Romero's in his realm with a zombie antagonist, but unlike NIGHT OF THE LIVING and DAWN OF THE DEAD, it isn't scary and the characters aren't interesting. But Dario Argento fares better with "The Black Cat," pitting forensic photographer Harvey Keitel against an eccentric wife and a black cat, whom he kills and... it, like the husband, won't die. Neither tales do the Poe sources complete justice, missing the master's mark of claustrophobic suspense, but the Argento story is at least enjoyable: aided by an important, and extremely sexy, cameo by Sally Kirkland.
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