Cast a Deadly Spell (1991)
February 18, 2019 7:28 PM - Subscribe

This stylish noir set in a world where everyone uses magic, Detective Lovecraft searches for the Necronomicon.

Detective Lovecraft (Fred Ward) is hired by Amos Hackshaw (David Warner) to find the Necronomicon in two days. Along the way, Lovecraft doesn't just contend with the typical obstacles (femme fatales and murderous henchmen) but also gargoyles, zombies, gremlins, and witches. The film was an HBO original.
posted by miss-lapin (5 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
It's been a long time since I saw this, but I thought it was surprisingly enjoyable at the time, even if it did have some rather problematic elements to it as well. Fred Ward was born to play the grumpy "I can't believe I have to put up with this shit" detective type and the mix of light-noir, gris?, and fantasy was handled better than I would have expected. Not on par with Kolchak for me, but fun enough in its own early 90s way.
posted by gusottertrout at 1:50 AM on February 19, 2019 [3 favorites]

I absolutely loved this when I first saw it, but it hasn't aged well for me - turns out that a lot of what I loved was that mix of supernatural and noir that at the time was rare but now you can't flip a channel without tripping over it.
posted by Mogur at 4:44 AM on February 19, 2019

I actually thought it held up exceptionally well. I liked it far better than Bright, for example. They managed to really create this world without having to build a bunch of exposition or explanation. And the patter, which is what I always love from noir, is awesome.
posted by miss-lapin at 5:52 PM on February 19, 2019

I was a big fan of this when I saw it, which was just a few years after I became obsessed with HP Lovecraft’s writing. I was a little disappointed that it wasn’t more Lovecraftian, but excited to see Lovecraft’s oeuvre semi-represented onscreen with such verve and pizazz. And yes, Fred Ward was perfect in the role.
posted by ejs at 9:47 PM on February 22, 2019 [1 favorite]

You can see the puppeteer's arm at one point! What did I just watch?!?

One good thing: it allowed me to shout to my son, who had wandered into the kitchen, "Come back! You're missing the eldritch horror!" He was disappointed in the lack of 4-D tentacles, though,
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:23 PM on March 17, 2021

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