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|Index||17 reviews in total|
This film was a pleasant surprise. The mixture of historical set
design, good plot and political satire was refreshing in an age where
everything political is
hammered home in a pedantic monotone. Sheryl Lee Ralph was excellent and
her dynamic presence begs the questions as to why aren't there more black
females playing prominent roles in movies that have nothing to do with gangs
and drugs. Dennis Hopper was actually playing a character instead of playing
himself as he usually does. Julian sands was his slick and sinister self. I don't know why he wasn't chosen for the role of Lestat instead of Tom Cruise. Eric
Bogosian was awesome as the corrupt politician. The special effects were great in that they were not like the CGI crap of recent films. They were old fashioned special effects in that they were not added to make the unreal look real but to make the unreal look...well, unreal. I recommend this film for all fans of
Hollywood nostalgia, costume-period pieces and political commentary.
This movie is one that I watch everytime it comes on cable, hopper is good
in it as is penolope ann miller, it has great sets and mood and is offbeat
enough to help start a trend that lead to all the good cable movies and
series we are now accustomed to... (soprano's carnivale, six feet under
This one didn't rate as high as the first one (Cast a Deadly Spell),
but it was still a great film. Dennis Hopper is always a great actor
and does the lead role, very well in this movie.
A comedy version of the Lovecraftian mythos, this film really delivers what fans of this genre and fans of HPL are looking for.
The guys who have made (cough cough)screen plays of HPL's works should take lessons from this film and the first one (HIRE REAL ACTORS DUMMIES!) If you like horror/comedy, are a HPL fan. or just want to rent something, but all the new releases you wanted to see are already out, get this film and the first one.
It gets 5 tentacles and two pincers up WITH a bit of insane piping on the elder god-o-meter
Dennis Hopper is good in this decent murder mystery with an interesting twist and yet another shot at McCarthey-ism (not enough films like that, I just don't like that McCarthy guy). Anyway the characters are good and though the FX aren't big budget they are used with originality. Fun movie with some good moments (like the zombie, lateral movement thing). And it's a nice time killer too.
I have seen this flic a few times and have enjoyed it thoroughly each time. Great supporting performances. I liked Dennis Hopper in this, although I missed Fred Ward from the first one. Penelope Ann Miller was perfectly cast as well. Valerie Mahaffey and Sheryl Lee Ralph were great also. The special effects do not take over the picture, but are imaginative (the mirror effect)and the magical theory is well thought out and consistent. This is just an enjoyable urban fantasy featuring an alternate history (my favorite genre) of the U.S. in which magic is routinely practices and the social reprecussions spur a McCarthy-like reaction. Diverting and enjoyable.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A sequel to the excellent "Cast a Deadly Spell", this movie has a
larger budget (so gets pricier actors and much better effects), but is
hobbled by its 'message', which is pounded into the audience through
the last half of the movie with all the subtlety of a hobnail boot.
Hollywood, see, believes that there were never any commies in Hollywood, ever. Anyone who says so is nuts. They've built this mythology about themselves so completely that scripts like this get written. Here, Eric Bogosian - apparently believing himself to be channeling Robin Williams - shouts and oozes across the screen as the big evil hypocrite (who literally has the cool dude he hates/wants to be inside himself) making de-dam sure you understand that he is supposed to represent Joe McCarthy and anyone who thought like him, and they were evil, evil, evil, and evil. And also evil. And that anyone caught in their gaze was innocent precisely because they were under that gaze. If you don't get that, don't worry. It will be repeated in various forms for most of the movie. But once Bogosian is on the screen, you can mute the TV and go get a drink, because it'll be more of that. I suppose the movie's makers kept giggling to themselves about the subtlety of their story, in which 'commies' are substituted by 'witches' and 'magic' is 'communism' so well hidden that the audience will most certainly be enticed into learning more about history since this will tease their interest in the period. You betcha.
It's too bad, really, because there's another tough-guy private eye murder story (which might have been as good as the one in "Cast") trying very hard to get out, but is hammered back into the background whenever the message is needed to be paraded to the helpless audience. Alas. Hunt up "Cast a Deadly Spell" instead. Its better all around.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Looking at the votes, one has to wonder not only whether those that saw this film actually understood it, and whether the distributor made an effort to encourage viewers in the first place. Not every "high concept" or fantasy film will turn into a classic, but, to this reviewer's tired eyes, this one did. Set in some sort of parallel universe where magic is possible (the viewer becomes comfortable with the premise, painlessly, seamlessly and within moments) this is a clever riff on the Bogie/Marlowe detective story, complete with voice-over, with a cherry-and-sprinkles sci-fi topper. The performances are nothing less than brilliant and you have to wonder, if this had been a mainstream production, whether they would still have been so badly ignored? Hopper does what might be the best job in his career, actually carrying the film, in a role similar to Jack Nicholson in Chinatown. Bogosian -- he of the distinctive voice -- left us a very small film legacy, but this one portrayal alone should live on in the film archive for some time to come. Julian Sands arrives late in the film but makes the most of his screen time, presenting one of the most pleasant villains since the Bond days. And, like Hopper, Penelope Ann Miller delivers what could be the best role of her career as a larger-than-life individual who made hard sacrifices to get that way. Recommended, and tell your friends. This film deserves more than it got.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Paul Schrader directed this made for cable film for writer Joseph
Dougherty, who also wrote the original film Cast A Deadly Spell to
which this film is a sequel. Dennis Hopper, an oddball actor if ever
there was one, stars as a private detective in this oddball film about
1950's Hollywood, McCarthyism, crooked politics, and the hypocrisy
surrounding it all. Hopper investigates the murder of a woman's husband
while everyone around him utilizes magic of some sort. He consults with
a seer who points him in the right direction, and the seer, in turn,
winds up on trial for being a witch. The gag being everyone else seems
to be using magic as a means to an end.
The film stars Penelope Ann Miller as Kim Hudson whose husband is...ah... murdered in a most unorthodox fashion. Hopper, as H. Phillip Lovecraft, is on the case investigating when a parallel plot with politician Eric Bogosian unfolds. Viewers end up with an uneven allegory of the times portrayed. The highlights of the film are the art and set direction, despite some of their anachronistic elements, the costumes, and the dialog. The Noir-like touches are nothing new for Schrader, but the comedic dialog (complete with Hollywood in-jokes) is definitely new and interesting territory for a Paul Schrader film. The film is above average for cable television, has several sight gags, clever scenes, and laugh out loud moments, but it ultimately loses some steam before the fadeout. **1/2 of 4 stars.
All ways thought that it was an entertaining movie, kind of odd to see
Denis hopper in it, but then again, that is what made me watch it in
the first place. Cool little noir and magic story set against the 50's
Hollywood back drop.
So if you want to enjoy a different little movie staring Denis Hopper, check this movie out. It really is decent, nothing to spectacular, and certainly nothing to write home about. Perhaps, just turn to the person next to ya, and tell them about it, maybe you'll all like it?
If not, sorry bout' ya, cause ya should, its kind of a decent movie. Denis Hoppers self proclaimed "Strangest role."
I enjoyed these 2 movies on cable a decade or so ago and still think
fondly of them, as they were good fun. I wish they would be released on
DVD but doubt that will happen as only 1 of them seems to be available
(on tape) as of now.
They were 2 in a pair made by HBO pictures if I remember rightly the first,"Cast a Deadly Spell" with Fred Ward in the lead role of "Private Detective Harry Philip Lovecraft" , and the second,"Witch Hunt" with Dennis Hopper playing the part Staged in the 1940's period ala "Sam Spade" and Joe McCarthy(The Commie crazy freak) in Hollywood where those who can use magic for their own benefit (read that as enriching their own careers and bank accounts) our hero is once bitten twice shy about using magic as it could backfire on the wielder as he learned earlier in time before these stories.
I enjoyed the assorted characters and situations and both actors played the part well though I must admit I've been fond of Fred Ward since the movie "Remo Williams" so I rather learn towards his portrayal of the role.
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