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Cast a Deadly Spell (1991)

TV Movie  |  R  |   |  Comedy, Fantasy, Horror  |  7 September 1991 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 1,417 users  
Reviews: 29 user | 33 critic

In a fantastical 40's where magic is used by everyone, a hard-boiled detective investigates the theft of a mystical tome.

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Title: Cast a Deadly Spell (TV Movie 1991)

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Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Amos Hackshaw
...
...
...
Olivia Hackshaw
Charles Hallahan ...
Det. Morris Bradbury
Arnetia Walker ...
Hypolite Kropotkin
...
Tugwell
...
Det. Otto Grimaldi
...
Larry Willis / Lilly Sirwar
Ritch Brinkley ...
Owl Wagon Manager
Jaime Cardriche ...
Zombie
John De Bello ...
Coroner
...
Thadius Pilgrim
Colin Drake ...
Butler Meadows
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Storyline

In 1948 Los Angeles, everyone uses magic- everyone except hard-boiled private detective H. Phillip Lovecraft, who refuses for "personal reasons." Lovecraft is hired by a mysterious rich man to recover a stolen book, the Necronomicon. Investigating, he finds that the book holds the key to taking over the world by magical means, releasing the "Old Ones". (Contains several in-jokes to H.P. Lovecraft's horror fiction and also the hard-boiled detective genre.) Written by Ken Yousten <kyousten@bev.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 September 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Détective Philippe Lovecraft  »

Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The whole plot and many of the monsters are taken from the works of H.P. Lovecraft. That's why Fred Ward's character has his name too. See more »

Goofs

The guide wire on the oatmeal demon is visible as it flies to attack the restaurant manager. See more »

Quotes

Lovecraft: Stop right there Lon Chaney. Step away from the fairy and keep those meathooks where I can see them.
See more »

Connections

Spoofs Gremlins (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

Get Happy
Music by Harold Arlen
Words by Ted Koehler
Performed by June Christy
Courtesy of Hindsight Records
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fantastic mesh of hard-boiled noir, and Lovecraftian mythos.
2 July 2006 | by (Tulsa, OK) – See all my reviews

I first saw this when it premiered on HBO in '91. With a Who's Who cast of character-actors, this first-rate production by Gale Anne Hurd (of James Cameron/Terminator fame) and directed by Martin Campbell (soon to direct Goldeneye and Mask of Zorro)is a brilliant mesh tribute to the works of HP Lovecraft. With a firm tongue-in-cheek, the viewer is taken along on the latest case of H. Phil Lovecraft, private detective in a 1948 Los Angeles where "everybody does magic". A relatively new happening, magic is real...everyone uses it, except Lovecraft. Fred Ward turns in one of his best performances to date as the hard-boiled detective, wise-cracking his way through every situation. Julianne Moore is spot-on as Phil's ex-girl, the sultry songbird in his former partner(Clancy Brown)'s club. David Warner is perfect as Lovecraft's effete client, Amos Hackshaw. It's a sharply-written noir tale with more than a few Cthulhu references, and adds some more generalized fantasy for spice. Pay attention to the details, this is where the picture really shines- from the everyday applications of magic, to the snappy banter between Lovecraft and pretty-much everyone, it's an enjoyable escape from reality-TV. The creatures are passable, not the best by today's CGI standards, but certainly not the worst seen in some straight-to-video bombs. The writing is stylish and inventive, with some really ingenious scenes/situations. Martin Cambell's direction takes you right along with Lovecraft, with some brilliant cinematography. The casting is terrific as well. I was never bored. One of my top-20 favorite films. I can't wait for a DVD version, if it ever appears. A terribly disappointing, not-so-great sequel called "Witch Hunt" was done in '94 with a completely different cast & director.


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