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      Cast a Deadly Spell

      R 1991 1 hr. 36 min. Mystery & Thriller List
      Reviews 58% 500+ Ratings Audience Score In a 1940s Los Angeles from another dimension, the entire population has supernatural abilities, save for sleuth Harry Philip Lovecraft (Fred Ward). The strange but affluent Amos Hacksaw (David Warner) trusts Lovecraft because of his distaste for magic, and he recruits the private eye to track down an ancient text. Harry's seemingly straightforward task becomes complicated when he realizes that the object of his mission contains curses that Hacksaw hopes to use for world domination. Read More Read Less

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      Cast a Deadly Spell

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      Audience Reviews

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      Audience Member It aired on tv over 30 years ago but was largely forgotten Starring Fred Ward, David Warner, Julianne Moore, Clancy Brown I'm amazed they mix 1940s mystery-noir with supernatural creatures You don't see genres like that together very often I like that it gives it some variety having gremlins, witches, vampires, werewolves blend with gangster style filmmaking It got glowing reviews in the press and even won an Emmy for its musical numbers Yet it does seem silly to modern viewers not to mention being a tad insensitive of being homophobic and transphobic when it came out But the world building is fascinating, lots of bloody violence, I like the 1940ss setting, and the cool creature effects I liked watching it still Rated 4 out of 5 stars 09/08/23 Full Review Audience Member Carried by Fred Ward but ably supported by Julianne Moore and Clancy Brown, this is a daft but atmospheric and enjoyable 40's noir fantasy where magic is an everyday thing. The ending is entirely predictable but overall it's more than deserving of cult status. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 01/23/23 Full Review Audience Member intresting - it's not a great film by any means, but it's kind of fun. I'm not sure if it was funny on purpose or on accident, but the creatures are quite funny. it's to a bad watch if you don't have anything better to do. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 01/20/23 Full Review Audience Member "After World War I, the only thing we brought back from France was the clap. This war, they go off to the Pacific and bring back these damn gremlins!" Fred Ward ("Tremors", "Naked Gun 33⅓", "Remo Williams"), David Warren ("Waxwork", "Time Bandits", "Necronomicon", "My Best Friend Is a Vampire", "The Omen"), Charles Hallahan ("The Thing", "Warlock 2"), Clancy Brown ("Starship Troopers", "Highlander"), Raymond O'Connor ("Drowning Mona", night doorman from "Seinfeld" ep.), and Julianne Moore ("Hannibal", "The Big Lebowski") star in this Lovecraftian film noir which is set in alternate-reality 1948 Los Angeles where magic is real and common-place. Joe Dirt's dad plays HP Lovecraft, re-imagined as a gritty P.I. who refuses to use any magic, which is unusual and many question or insult this choice of his. He is hired by a wealthy man who is attempting to track down a recently-stolen spellbook. Through his investigation, the private eye learns of the power of the missing grimoire, the infamous Necronomicon. The strange blending of genres including comedy, horror, mystery, and fantasy works for the most part and the visuals fit the story well as it was made in during that short window of time when both cgi and traditional matte paintings were used. There was a sort-of sequel with much of the same cast, though Dennis Hopper now plays the Lovecraft character. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/02/23 Full Review robert p I laughed my head off at this 1940's film noir where magic hold sway over science. The creatures were very good, I recognized the Bad Gremlin from the movie Gremlins, I laughed at him especially. The context of this movie is all tongue-in-cheek with the central Character who does not have any magic is H. P. Lovecraft and his horrors from the great beyond!!! p.s. Though the ending was week the rest of the movie made up for it. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review jon c One person can cast a deadly spell on us whether it's love, mystery, murder, or magic Fred Ward, David Warner, Clancy Brown, Julianne Moore, Charles Hallahan It's Los Angeles 1948; the era of old Hollywood, gangster films, jazz clubs, The Depression turning into prosperity, and when disillusionment becomes optimism The twist here is that it's an alternate dimension is where monsters, witchcraft, and all kinds of supernatural things exist! Detective Harry Phillip Lovecraft is hired by Amos Hacksaw who share a distaste for magic to track down a book filled with ancient power It's a bit unorthodox since one of the city's leading gangsters he used to be partners with uses magic for luxury But Amos wants the text for his own benefit to conquer the world much to Harry's dismay I find it fascinating that this period mystery-noir pic is mixed with fantasy elements from unicorns to gargoyles to vampires to zombies You rarely see that in this kind of genre This time period is filled with creatures like gremlins and werewolves and also raining blood yet still relies on human players to keep it grounded having a gumshoe detective story The Cthulhu Mythos being of horror-fiction is used as a template for this story since it was created in the 1920s in pulp novels and magazines Being that magic is ubiquitous and a part of daily life Harry's the only one left behind Thankfully the movie doesn't rely too heavily on the magic/monster aspect, they still manage to weave an intriguing mystery Sure modern viewers will find it silly and a tad insensitive of being homophobic and transphobic not to mention it ignores the racial prejudices of its era But there's good makeup/creature effects, terrific bloody violence, love the 1940s period setting, Fred Ward is awesome and so is Julianne Moore I got a lot to like with this one even if it faded from obscurity over time Rated 4 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

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      Critics Reviews

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      Dennis Schwartz Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews It drowns in its own shallowness. Rated: C+ Sep 13, 2013 Full Review Read all reviews

      Movie Info

      Synopsis In a 1940s Los Angeles from another dimension, the entire population has supernatural abilities, save for sleuth Harry Philip Lovecraft (Fred Ward). The strange but affluent Amos Hacksaw (David Warner) trusts Lovecraft because of his distaste for magic, and he recruits the private eye to track down an ancient text. Harry's seemingly straightforward task becomes complicated when he realizes that the object of his mission contains curses that Hacksaw hopes to use for world domination.
      Director
      Martin Campbell
      Production Co
      Home Box Office (HBO), Pacific Western
      Rating
      R
      Genre
      Mystery & Thriller
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Nov 21, 2016
      Sound Mix
      Stereo
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