Cast a Deadly Spell (1991)

For our third selection in October’s 31 Days of Horror, we chose the HBO movie Cast a Deadly Spell. The setting is 1940’s Hollywood, but it’s not the 1940’s Hollywood you and I know. This is a fantastical Hollywood where everyone uses magic to get ahead. Everyone, that is, except private dick Harry Philip Lovecraft (his friends call him Phil, which I’m told is a reference to Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe).

Lovecraft has been hired by the eccentric Amos Hackshaw (David Warner) to recover an ancient book (the Necronomicon, no less) which has been stolen from him. The trail leads him to some nasty organized criminals, a sexy singer (Julianne Moore) with whom he used to be involved, and a unicorn. Of course, Hackshaw’s virginal daughter Olivia also comes along for the ride.

This flick has a decent mystery plot, funny characters and silly surprises. It is goofy, delightful and enjoyable. If you’re looking for something light with supernatural horror and mystery/noir elements, ’tis a winner!


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