George Romero and Dario Argento Come Together

Two genre legends join forces for the terrifying shocker Two Evil Eyes. The horror anthology is split between two separate features directed by horror masterminds Dario Argento and George Romero. Offering no framing device, their well-made horror thrillers loosely adapt stories by literary icon Edgar Allen Poe.

Two Evil Eyes was filmed in Romero’s own backyard of Pittsburgh, starring Adrienne Barbeau and Harvey Keitel. There was great excitement for Argento’s first feature made in America and was reportedly his first movie made with live sound. However, the movie came and went upon release in 1990 with little fanfare due to distribution problems and other issues.

The anthology has only grown in stature on home video over the years with its capable direction and memorable F/X, courtesy of Tom Savini and others. Romero and Argento show steady hands crafting chillers loosely built around notable tales from Edgar Allen Poe, set in the present day.

Two Evil Eyes delivers taut suspense and compelling shockers from two icons of horror

“The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar” is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe about a hypnotist who puts a man in a suspended hypnotic state at the moment of death. George Romero adapts it for the opening feature of Two Evil Eyes. Adrienne Barbeau (The Fog) stars as a scheming wife that sees her lover use a hypnotic trance to embezzle her dying husband’s fortune, only to receive a frightening surprise from beyond the grave.

Dario Argento stylishly adapts Poe’s “The Black Cat” for his half of Two Evil Eyes. A manic Harvey Keitel (Reservoir Dogs) stars as a crime scene photographer with a nasty streak. Crossing paths with his girlfriend’s new cat, he’s driven to fits of murderous rage by the animal. Tormented by dreams and delusions, the photographer’s guilt quickly catches up with him.

Feeling like well-crafted segments that would have smoothly fit on Tales From The Crypt, Two Evil Eyes delivers taut suspense and compelling shockers from two icons of horror. Both segments work and surprisingly complement each other, even if they have no real connection.

Video

Blue Underground’s recent line of superb new 4K transfers continues with Two Evil Eyes. The new 4K restoration from the original uncensored camera negative is tack sharp with excellent grain reproduction. The 1990 horror movie has never looked better. The 1.78:1 presentation blows away BU’s 2009 Blu-ray. A touch of warmth and better color saturation has markedly improved upon that so-so transfer. The enhanced contrast and detail make for far more impressive 1080P video.

The main feature runs two hours on a BD-50 with the copious special features getting pushed to a second disc. The clean AVC encode transparently renders the nigh pristine film elements without introducing artifacts. Long gone is the scanner noise that plagued the earlier transfer. This is completely film-like imagery featuring top-notch horror cinematography by veteran hands.

Romero’s contribution has razor-sharp clarity and crisp picture quality, some of the better-looking horror cinema of its period. Argento’s “The Black Cat” operates in a moodier atmosphere with darker tones and grittier black levels. His half of the movie has occasional softness with more of a throwback film aesthetic from the 1970s. The only shame here is that Blue Underground didn’t release this immaculate 4K restoration on UHD.

Audio

Both remixed 7.1 surround audio and the original stereo mix are included in DTS-HD MA. Something is definitely off in the 7.1 DTS-HD MA’s mixing levels, leading to dialogue much lower in volume than everything else. The massive dynamic range makes the score and audio effects far too loud in comparison. While the surround mix offers a few more lively spooky moments with action in the rear channels, a much tighter listening experience can be had with the natural-sounding 2.0 DTS-HD MA.

Optional English SDH, Spanish and French subtitles play in a yellow font. A French mono dub is offered in 1.0 Dolby Digital. Those looking for Italian audio will have to import the UK Region B disc.

Extras

Carrying over the special features from Blue Underground’s 2009 disc and offering a wealth of new features, this three-disc limited edition set is loaded with interesting content like a new audio commentary. Most of the special features have been moved to a separate disc from the movie, always a smart move. All new content is marked below. The Blu-rays are locked to Region A.

Completists may look towards the Region B release from 88 Films for a couple of unique special features, but Blue Underground by far delivers the most definitive special edition of Two Evil Eyes. The included lenticular slipcover is spectacular, a real beauty for collectors.

  • NEW Audio Commentary with Troy Howarth, Author of Murder By Design: The Unsane Cinema of Dario Argento
  • Theatrical Trailer (01:28 in HD)
  • Poster & Still Gallery (01:52 in HD)

DISC TWO:

  • NEW Before I Wake (14:03 in HD) – Interview with Actor Ramy Zada
  • NEW Behind The Wall (16:09 in HD) – Interview with Star Madeleine Potter
  • NEW One Maestro And Two Masters (15:12 in HD) – Interview with Composer Pino Donaggio
  • NEW Rewriting Poe (13:37 in HD) – Interview with Co-Writer Franco Ferrini
  • NEW The Cat Who Wouldn’t Die (26:33 in HD) – Interview with Assistant Director Luigi Cozzi
  • NEW Two Evil Brothers (13:52 in HD) – Interview with Special Make-Up Assistant Everett Burrell
  • NEW Working With George (09:15 in HD) – Interview with Costume Designer Barbara Anderson
  • Two Masters’ Eyes (29:32) – Interviews with Directors Dario Argento & George Romero, Special Make-Up Effects Supervisor Tom Savini, Executive Producer Claudio Argento, and Asia Argento
  • Savini’s EFX (12:08) – A Behind-the-Scenes look at the film’s Special Make-Up Effects
  • At Home With Tom Savini (15:42) – A personal tour of Tom Savini’s home
  • Adrienne Barbeau on George Romero (04:35)

DISC THREE/SOUNDTRACK CD:

  • Original Motion Picture Soundtrack by Pino Donaggio (57:32)

ADDITIONAL CONTENT:

  • Collectible Booklet with new essay by Michael Gingold
  • Reversible sleeve
  • Lenticular slipcover (First Pressing Only)

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.

Two Evil Eyes
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras
4

Movie

A haunting horror anthology with legends George Romero and Dario Argento delivering well-crafted thrills.

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