34 user 32 critic

Cast a Deadly Spell (1991)

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 »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Amos Hackshaw
Olivia Hackshaw
Det. Morris Bradbury
Arnetia Walker ...
Hypolite Kropotkin
Peter Allas ...
Det. Otto Grimaldi
Larry Willis / Lilly Sirwar
Ritch Brinkley ...
Owl Wagon Manager
Jaime Cardriche ...
Thadius Pilgrim
Colin Drake ...
Butler Meadows


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". Written by Ken Yousten <kyousten@bev.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

7 September 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Détective Philippe Lovecraft  »

Box Office


$6,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Names of the "Outsiders" are taken from the pantheon of dark "Outer" gods created and developed by horror writers H.P. Lovecraft and August Derleth, among the names: Yog Sothoth, Cthulu, and Azathoth. See more »


(Possibly intentional?) The handwritten spell (that leads to the creation of the oatmeal monster), written by Tugwell, varies every time it is shown. Even the kind of paper seems to be different in some shots. Most strikingly, it varies in handwriting style, boldness of the ink and the nature of the characters. In some shots, the third character looks like a Greek delta while in other shots it looks like a D. Another letter shifts from a [ to a C to an E and back again. The character named Lovecraft calls them runes, but generously speaking no more than half of the characters could possibly be runes. See more »


Hackshaw: [summoning Yog-Sothoth] From the wells of night to the gulfs of space. Ever the praises of great Cthulhu and Tsathoggua and of Him who is not named. Ever praises of abundance to the black goat of the woods, Shub-Niggurath, the goat with a thousand young, for thou has seen the dark universe yawning, the lost place where black planets roll without aim. Too long have thou dwelt in that cold captivity beyond the mercy of time. The way is clear. Return. And rule. Yog-Sothoth is the key and the ...
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Spoofs The Dunwich Horror (1970) See more »


Travel Near East #1
Written by Ib Glindemann (as Dan Kirsten)
Courtesy of Ole Georg/Capitol Production Music
See more »

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User Reviews

Blend of tension and humour
27 January 2000 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

It is rare to find a film that can actually be funny and still mount very real tension (Ghostbusters and Galaxy Quest are two examples that have succeeded). This film does so in very good noir-ish style. Rife with inside jokes that should appeal to any fan of the hard-boiled detectives, horror movies, Lovecraft and film noir. Fred Ward and David Warner are perfectly suited in this film.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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