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Two Evil Eyes (1990) - Plot Summary Poster

(1990)

Plot

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Summaries

  • "The Facts in the Case of Mr. Valdemar": The gold-digger Jessica Valdemar and her lover Dr. Robert Hoffman plot a scheme to take the money of her old and terminal husband Ernest Valdemar. Robert has hypnotized Valdemar to give his money to Jessica. Out of the blue, Valdemar dies while hypnotized and is stranded between the world of the living and the dead. Robert finds the experience fascinating and Valdemar asks him to take him out of the trance since other spirits are stalking him. However Jessica shots the corpse of Valdemar twice expecting to finish his contact with the world of the living. But soon she learns that Valdemar had been already possessed by evil forces. "The Black Cat": In Pennsylvania, the tabloid photographer Roderick Usher that explores gruesome crime scenes where Detective Legrand is investigating. Rod has been living for four years with his girlfriend Annabel, who is a violinist. When she brings a stray black cat home, Rod immediately hates the animal. Soon Rod takes photos torturing the cat for his book and the cat vanishes. When Annabel sees the photos of the cat in a bookstore, she concludes that Rod killed her cat and she decides to leave him. Meanwhile Rod finds a stray cat in a bar identical to the one he killed and the owner Eleonora gives the animal to him. Annabel is leaving the house but she overhears the cat and returns to her room. Rod kills her and builds a wall to hide her body behind a bookshelf and prepares a solid alibi. But his fate is doomed by the black cat.

  • "The Facts About Mr. Valdeman." A woman's husband is on his deathbed, and a psychiatrist with whom she's having an affair hypnotizes him so they can get him to sign all his money over to his wife before he dies. The husband dies when he is still in a trance and becomes stuck between the two worlds, and seeks revenge and release. "The Black Cat." A forensic photographer resents his girlfriend bringing a stray cat home. He dispatches the little furball, only to find out he can't rid himself of it that easily. Based on stories by E. A. Poe.

  • Two horror segments based on Edgar Allan Poe stories set in and around the city of Pittsburgh. "The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar" concerns a cheating wife who is trying to scam her dying husband out of millions by having her doctor/hypnotist lover hypnotize the geezer into signing his dough over to her. The old man dies while under hypnosis and is stuck in the limbo between the here and the hereafter. The door to the physical world is opened and the undead attempt to enter it. "Black Cat" is the story of Rodd Usher, an alcoholic photographer/artist, who descends into madness after he kills a stray cat that his live-in girlfriend Annabelle brings home. One murder leads to another, and the complex cover-ups begin.

  • Two horror tales based on short stories by Edgar Allan Poe directed by two famous horror directors, George A. Romero and Dario Argento. A greedy wife kills her husband, but not completely. A sleazy reporter adopts a strange black cat.


Spoilers

The synopsis below may give away important plot points.

Synopsis

  • A narrater introduces two tales based on the stories of the writer Edgar Allen Poe (1809-1849). Both of these stories take place in modern-day Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

    THE FACTS IN THE CASE OF MR. VALDEMAR

    Jessica Valdemar (Adrienne Barbeau), an attractive 40-year-old woman, rides in a taxi to the downtown Pittsburgh office of Steven Pike (E.G. Marshall), her husband's lawyer with some paperwork for Mr. Pike approval. Pike sees that Jessica's elderly 63-year-old husband, who is dying from an unnamed terminal illness, is liquidating a number of his assets for cash and suspects Jessica of having undue influence on him. Jessica denies the allegations that shes any negative influence over her husband, while Pike makes a phone call to the house to talk with Ernest Valdemar (Bingo O'Malley), who speaks over the phone in a weak but coherent voice explaining about his decision to let Jessica take control of his money and assets from his personal signature on the written documents. Pike reluctantly agrees to let Jessica have access to the money, but warns her that if anything were to happen to Mr. Valdemar within the next three weeks before the transfer of his estate over to Jessica is finalized, she will be investigated by the authorities.

    Jessica returns home to Ernest Valdemar's large suburban mansion where she meets with Dr. Robert Hoffman (Ramy Zada) where it's revealed that he and Jessica have been conspiring to cheat the terminally ill Mr. Valdemar out of his estate by hypnotizing him and having him do what they wish from his deathbed. Jessica doesnt like the procedure, but Robert wants it done because he used to have a romance with Jessica and wants to run off with her after they acquire his $3 million assets. The next day, Jessica goes to a bank where she withdraws $300,000 and stores it in a safe. Robert sees this. But then, Mr. Valdemar goes into cardiac arrest and dies while under another hypnosis spell. Not wanting to reveal his death just yet, Robert and Jessica carry his body to the basement where they hide it in a freezer. But during the night, Jessica becomes frightened when she hears moaning coming from the basement, but when she tries to wake up Robert, he has put himself under a hypnotic-induced slumber to help him sleep.

    The next morning, Jessica and Robert wake up and also hear the same noses coming from the basement. Upon checking the body, they hear Ernest Valdemar's voice coming from the still body claiming that his soul is alive and trapped in a dark void between the living and the dead while under hypnosis. Valdemar tells them that he sees "others" in the dark void looking at him. While Jessica goes out to make sense of this situation, she returns to find Robert talking to Mr. Valdemar's undead corpse who tells him that the "others" are vengeful spirits trapped in a realm and want to use him to enter our world. Valdemar tells Robert to wake him up and free him from his hypnotic state before the Others have a chance to use him to enter our world. In a panic, Jessica shoots Valdemar's corpse and wants to bury the body and skip town with the money they have.

    While Robert heads outside to dig a hole to bury the body, Jessica goes back into the cellar only to find Valdemar's body rising up out of the freezer and walking towards her saying that he is under control of the Others to use him. Jessica shoots him, but he keeps on coming. Robert enters the house when he hears the gunshots and sees Jessica and Valdemar struggling on the balcony where the undead walking cadaver shoots Jessica in the head and she falls off the balcony, dead. Robert finally tells Valdemar that he's going to wake him and free him from his hypnosis. But after doing so by counting to five, Valdemar tells Robert that its too late to wake him for without his body as a conduit, the Others cannot return to their realm. "They're with you now...." exclaims Valdemar who finally falls dead. Robert then steals all the cash that Jessica had stored in the safe and flees the house.

    Robert goes back to his apartment in downtown Pittsburgh where he puts himself under a hypnotic sleep. But then, the ghostly Others enter his apartment and kill him by shoving the hypnotic ticker right into his chest. The ghosts then form one large mass and enter Robert's dead body.

    Several days later, the police led by Detective Grogan (Tom Atkins) arrive at Robert's apartment to answer complaints about a "strange smell" and constant moaning coming from the apartment. Grogan finds the apartment ram shacked and the stolen cash scattered everywhere. Grogan with gun drawn attemps to go into the bathroom. he sees nothing there but when he closes the bathroom door, the horribly decomposed body of Robert appears, under the control of the Others. The corpse walks towards and attacks Grogan, telling him that there is nobody to wake him up. Grogan fires his gun at Robert's undead body and blood splatters on the money left on the floor.

    THE BLACK CAT

    Rod Usher (Harvey Keitel) makes his entrance in a building decorated with the abject remains of dismantled corpses. A naked woman lies bound to a table, sliced in two by a huge pendulum-like blade. Usher is a professional crime scene photographer for as he puts it: still lifes my art, a talent which ensures that he is frequently called upon the local authorities, led by Detective LeGrand (John Amos) to document the horrors of the baroque crime scenes which are apparently commonplace in Pittsburgh where Rod lives.

    After arriving home at a semi-fancy row house, Rod works in his darkroom in the basement developing the photos when his work is interrupted by the appearance of a mysterious black cat, which has apparently been adopted by his live-in girlfriend Annabel (Madeleine Potter). Rod and Annabel's relationship is uncomfortably distant. Annabel is delicate, sensitive, and somewhat ethereal, while Rod is a rough, burly, brutish man who seem more at home with the gritty hyper-reality of crime scenes that he is with Annabel's talk of witches and superstition. Annabel, in contrast to Rod, is a professional violinist who gives private lessons to local high school students who show up at the house after their school classes, and she even takes some of them on excursions to local opera houses to watch the arts of life.

    Over the next several days, a strong antipathy grows between Rod and the mysterious cat, a situation worsened by Annabel's excessive protection of it. Driven to distraction by the cat's apparent hatred of him, Rod eventually strangles it during a photo shoot he has set up with the cat being the center of attention. Rod then uses the photos of him strangling the cat to post on the cover of his newest photography book titled 'Metropolitan Horrors', a lurid collection of his most revolting pictures. As Annabel begins to guess the truth about what has happened to her pet cat, the couple embarks on a series of violent arguments, one of which ends with Rod falling into an alcohol-induced sleep where he has a nightmare about participating in a Medieval Pagan festival where he is executed for the murder of the cat by being suspended by ropes and having a wooden stake put under which he is impaled by it.

    One day, when Annabel finally spots his book in a shop window, with the strangled body of her much-loved cat on the front cover, she immediate arrives home and makes plans to leave Rod, who at that very moment in in a local bar drinking heavily. Rod becomes unnerved when the barmaid Eleanor (Sally Kirkland) gives him a stray black cat which is identical to Annabel's own cat. Rod notices that the inky feline has an identical white marking on its chest (an obscure white patch which seems to resemble the shape of a gallows). Rod brings the cat home and sets about to kill the feline once and for all. But Annabel intervenes and comes to its rescue causing a confrontation which ends in her gruesome and gory death when Rod hacks her to death with a meat cleaver. After shaking off suspicious of his next door neighbor and landlord, Mr. Pym (Martin Balsam), who arrives after hearing the argument, Rod assures him that nothing is wrong.

    Confident that he can escape detection, Rod conceals the body behind a wall in the house and invents a story about to explain Annabel's disappearance to her music students, Betty (Julie Benz) and Christian (Holter Graham), when they show up the next day for their violin lessons. But after a confrontation when Christian expresses doubt and suspicion to Rod about his story about Annabel leaving him, he confides in Mr. and Mrs. Pym about his suspicions that Rod might have killed Annabel. When Annabel's friend in New York keeps phoning the house to ask of her whereabouts, Rod becomes increasingly trapped by his own increasingly elaborate web of lies. The situation is exacerbated by yet another appearance of the black cat. But this time, Rod ensures its death by slicing it in two with a saw, and disposes of it in a garbage dump.

    The next day, Detective LeGrand arrives with his partner to question Rod about Annabel's whereabouts. Despite their stern questioning, Rod is not phased by their questions. After looking around the house, the detectives leave, but they immediately come back when an eerie, distorted mewing sound is heard echoing though one of the walls. Rod is handcuffed and the fake wall of that he put up is torn down... and his crime scene is finally revealed. It reveals that the ever troublesome feline had given birth in Annabel's tomb and its offspring are now feasting on the remains of their mistress.

    Not to be outdone, Rod grabs the pickaxe from the detective and in seconds stabs both policemen, one in the back and the other in the chest. But handcuffed and in a panic, Rod tries to make his escape when his neighbors show up after nearing the commotion, pounding on the front door. Rod tries to uncaff himself by taking the dead LeGrand's keys to the cuffs, but the cop he stabbed in the chest tries to stop him before dropping dead. The keys fall over the stair rail and onto the floor of the hallway. Unable to get down the staircase to retrieve them, Rod tries to make his escape from the house by climbing out a second floor window using a rope to tie around a tree in his backyard. But his plan fails when the body of LeGrand falls out of the window. In desperation, Rod grabs hold of the cop's belt so to stop himself being dragged out of the window. The belts snaps and both Rod and LeGrand are pulled out of the window. With the body of LeGrand still handcuffed to him, the weight causes the rope to tighten around his neck killing him. The black cat makes a final appearance and stares at the premonition sight that Rod had coming for him as both Rod and LeGrand are left hanging by the rope as it sways with the momentum.

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