Cast A Deadly Spell Review

Cast A Deadly Spell
In a fantastical 40's where magic is used by everyone, a hard-boiled detective investigates the theft of a mystical tome.

by Kim Newman |
Published on
Release Date:

01 Jan 1991

Running Time:

96 minutes


Original Title:

Cast A Deadly Spell

In an alternate world 1948, Los Angeles is overrun by magicians, the jails are coping with werewolves and vampires, nightclub-owners hire zombie bouncers, and WWII-surplus gremlins are getting into automobiles.

Fred Ward is H. Philip Lovecraft, a hard-boiled private eye who refuses to do any of that necromantic stuff, and he is hired by effete sleaze David Warner to recover the Necronomicon, a book which will help black magicians rule the world.

An appealing cross-genre idea, refreshingly straightforward in its rewriting of history, this falls down slightly with its off-the-peg plot , but a lot of the details are spot-on, taking you into a fantasy world full of original refreshing ideas and some bizarre twists.

An original use of a collection of fantasy icons, with Ward’s downbeat dick in a dogpuke tie a fine hero, and a nice job of neon-noir direction from Brit Martin Campbell.
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