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Cast a Deadly Spell
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Reviews & Ratings for
Cast a Deadly Spell (TV) More at IMDbPro »

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26 out of 29 people found the following review useful:

If Ever A Movie Could Be Called "Unique," This Is It!

8/10
Author: ccthemovieman-1 from United States
22 March 2006

I wonder why this isn't a movie that people know? After all, it is definitely unique and fun to watch, and how many films do you know that are a combination 1940s film noir and horror? Man, this is a real "curiosity piece."

It's Los Angeles and 1948 and everyone, except the hero (Fred Ward) is using magic, occult witchcraft-type stuff (which this reviewer hardly endorses). Ludicrous, yes, but fascinating and funny in parts.

Too bad this isn't out on DVD because the colors and atmosphere just ooze 1940s. It's also simply great entertainment. Juliane Moore looks gorgeous and Ward is likable in the lead role. He has the authentic look of a private eye, and I like the idea that he has more morals than all the other characters in the movie combined.

If any story can be called truly "unique," this is one of them.

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13 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

The best...?

9/10
Author: Gislef from Iowa City, IA
19 August 1998

Damn near close. The idea of a private eye going it alone in world where magic reigns supreme is probably the ultimate extension of film noir and the hero-as-outsider. This movie captures all the charm of the Bogart 40's detective flicks and 80's type supernatural/horror F/X. It also adroitly mixes humor, horror, hard-boiled detecting, and mystery, with great performances from Fred Ward, David Warner, Clancy Brown, Alexandra Powers, Raymond O'Connor, and Julianne Moore.

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12 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Cthulhu rises again!!

Author: Randolf Carter from United States
12 January 2007

This movie was excellent! The combination of old gangster, comedy, and horror was a great idea. The acting was excellent (Fred Ward rocks, as usual), and for an 80s film, it was really good (I'm not a big fan of the mall hair, brat pack, and Modonna crap that was hashed out in the big 80s).

This film, quite the opposite was very entertaining and an absolute MUST HAVE for HPL fans.

The entire movie was Lovecraft inspired and not a murder of his writings, like most of them are.

Most definitely, check it out. You won't regret it. it's a great tongue-in-cheeck, campy horror schlock that is actually well done.

If you like it, there's a sequel called "With Hunt" with Dennis Hopper as the lead. Not as good, but still entertaining.

This film rates 7 tentacles and a star shaped protrusion all the way up, on the elder god-o-meter

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12 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Great film!

9/10
Author: HumanoidOfFlesh from Chyby, Poland
15 January 2002

The other reviewers are right!"Cast a Deadly Spell" is great!I usually don't watch made for television horror movies,because I think they are all crap.This one beats every other TV-horror I have seen.The story is very intriguing,the acting is excellent(Fred Ward steals the show as a detective Howard Phillip Lovecraft,who tries to find Necronomicon!)and there are some cool monsters featured here.Check out this very humorous and vital mix of horror,noir and comedy.Great fun!

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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Greatest movie that's never seen

10/10
Author: Troy Wood (ase@garlic.com) from Sacramento, CA
5 October 1998

This is such a fun movie, everyone I've shown it to has tried to swipe my rather beat up copy... If you're a fan of hardboiled detectives, the works of H.P. Lovecraft, horror mixed with comedy, Fred Ward, or watching movies in slow motion to find all sorts of cool stuff going on in the background, then this film is for you...

Sadly, you CAN NOT PURCHASE this film, unless you find it used. HBO only released it to video rental stores, even though it's lesser sequel is available just about anywhere. To make matters worse, all tapes come with a Macrovision copy block. Bummer...

So, if you can find it, grab it quick, before someone else does!

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Fabulous!

10/10
Author: James Miller (arioch2112@yahoo.com) from Memphis, TN
15 April 2004

Wonderfully written and acted movie of an alternate 1948 Los Angeles where ALMOST everyone uses magic. Picture if you will, our founding fathers being sorcerers and alchemists rather than scientists and engineers! Fred Ward, Clancy Brown and the rest have (pardon the pun) made magic with this movie. David Warner shows his range as Mr. Hackshaw and Ms. Moore is just plain sultry.

Of particular interest for the Lovecraft fans, trying to catch all of the covert and overt references to the realm that H.P. created before passing away well before his time.

Definitely worth your time and effort to find this gem. Movies this fun is difficult to find.

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Blend of tension and humour

8/10
Author: Junkill from Dallas, Texas
27 January 2000

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.

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Magic!

8/10
Author: AlabamaWorley1971 from NJ, USA
27 May 2000

Totally fun idea: H.P. "Phil" Lovecraft is a gumshoe and seemingly the only guy in post-war L.A. who doesn't use witchcraft. One of HBO's best comedy films. I love the lady who plays Lovecraft's landlady. "The omens are bad. Me, I'm going to Florida!"

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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Film Noir meets Stephen King

9/10
Author: Brett Walter (StreepFan126@cs.com) from Santa Clarita, CA
22 April 2002

Excellent blend of classic noir picture and supernatural tale. Story is interesting. It starts out as a Maltease Falcon kind of film, but it is clearly not the same 1940's Los Angeles that has been seen in many noir films before. Thats because everyone, except the main character) use magic. LA is awash with wizards, unicorns, zombies, and still the private investigator. The makeup and effects are wonderful. Actors are good, especially Ward and Moore.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Fantastic mesh of hard-boiled noir, and Lovecraftian mythos.

9/10
Author: timeras from Tulsa, OK
2 July 2006

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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