Cast a Deadly Spell

Cast a Deadly Spell (1991) is a fantasy detective television film with Fred Ward, Julianne Moore, David Warner and Clancy Brown.[1] It was directed by Martin Campbell, produced by Gale Anne Hurd,[1] and written by Joseph Dougherty.[1] The original music score was composed by Curt Sobel.[1]

Cast a Deadly Spell
Written byJoseph Dougherty
Directed byMartin Campbell
StarringFred Ward
Julianne Moore
Clancy Brown
David Warner
Charles Hallahan
Alexandra Powers
Music byCurt Sobel
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
Producer(s)Gale Anne Hurd
Ginny Nugent (line producer)
CinematographyAlexander Gruszynski[1]
Editor(s)Dan Rae
Running time96 minutes
Production company(s)HBO Pictures
Pacific Western
Budget$6 million
Original networkHBO
Original release
  • September 7, 1991 (1991-09-07)


Ward stars as 1948 hardboiled private detective H. Philip Lovecraft, in a fictional Los Angeles where magic is real, monsters and mythical beasts stalk the back alleys, zombies are used as cheap labor, and everyone—except Lovecraft—uses magic every day. Yet, cars, telephones and other modern technology also exist in this world.

Lovecraft is hired by wealthy Amos Hackshaw to find Hackshaw's former chauffeur Larry Willis, who has stolen a mysterious grimoire called the Necronomicon, and recover the missing book within forty-eight hours. However, what seems like a simple "Forty bucks a day and expenses" case turns out to be not so simple, and things take a chilling turn as he finds himself embroiled in a plot involving magical hitmen, pure damsels, old flames and enemies and ancient evils, all connected by the Necronomicon, that may lead to the destruction of the world.


HBO produced a sequel, Witch Hunt with Dennis Hopper playing Lovecraft in place of Ward. Witch Hunt takes place in the 1950s during the Second Red Scare, with magic substituted for communism. Many characters reappear from Cast a Deadly Spell, although some have different backstories.




  1. ^ a b c d e J. O'Connor, John (September 10, 1991). "Review/Television; A Detective and Sci-Fi In Los Angeles Magic". The New York Times.

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