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Cast a Deadly Spell (1991)

TV Movie  -   -  Comedy | Fantasy | Horror  -  7 September 1991 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 1,322 users  
Reviews: 28 user | 32 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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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

Lovecraft is hired to recover the Necronimicon, a mystical book that appears in many of Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos stories. See more »

Goofs

The bedroom in Connie Stone's 1948 house appears to have a round smoke detector immediately to the upper left of the door. See more »

Quotes

Lovecraft: What's wrong with my tie?
Connie: Nothing... if you like vertigo.
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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