Harvey Keitel plays photographer/artist Roderick Usher (segment "The Black Cat")
Two Evil Eyes on IMDB
"The Black Cat"
Rod Usher 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. Rod is a professional crime scene photographer for as he puts it: "still life’s my art," a talent which ensures that he is frequently called upon the local authorities, led by Detective LeGrand 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. 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.
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 immediatly arrives home and makes plans to leave Rod, who at that very moment is in a local bar drinking heavily. Rod becomes unnerved when the barmaid Eleanora 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 it’s 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 it’s 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 his suspicious next door neighbor and landlord, Mr. Pym, 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 to explain Annabel’s disappearance to her music students, Betty and Christian, when they show up the next day for their violin lessons. But after a confrontation with Christian who expresses doubt and suspicion to Rod about his story of 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 increasing elaborate web of lies. The situation is exacerbated by yet another appearance of the black cat. But this time, Rod ensures it’s 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 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 LeGrand's partner and in seconds hacks apart both policemen. 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 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 he gets tangled up in the rope and he slips, the rope tightening around his neck killing him. The black cat makes a final appearance and stares at the premonition sight that Rod had coming for him.
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