|Cast a Deadly Spell|
|Written by||Joseph Dougherty|
|Directed by||Martin Campbell|
|Music by||Curt Sobel|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Producer(s)||Gale Anne Hurd|
Ginny Nugent (line producer)
|Running time||96 minutes|
|Production company(s)||HBO Pictures|
Cast a Deadly Spell (1991) is a fantasy detective television film with Fred Ward, Julianne Moore, David Warner and Clancy Brown. It was directed by Martin Campbell, produced by Gale Anne Hurd, and written by Joseph Dougherty. The original music score was composed by Curt Sobel.
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.
- Fred Ward – Harry Philip Lovecraft (same initials as Howard Phillips Lovecraft)
- Julianne Moore – Connie Stone
- David Warner – Amos Hackshaw
- Alexandra Powers – Olivia Hackshaw
- Clancy Brown – Harry Bordon
- Charles Hallahan - Detective Morris Bradbury
- Arnetia Walker - Hypolite Kropotkin
- Raymond O'Connor - Tugwell
- Peter Allas - Detective Otto Grimaldi
- Lee Tergesen - Larry Willis/Lilly Sirwar
- Michael Reid MacKay - Gargoyle
- Curt Sobel - Band Leader
- Saturn Award - Best Genre Television Series (Nomination)
- CableACE Award - Best Original Score (Nomination)
- Emmy Award - Outstanding Music & Lyrics (Won)
- Emmy Award - Outstanding Sound Editing (Nomination)
- J. O'Connor, John (September 10, 1991). "Review/Television; A Detective and Sci-Fi In Los Angeles Magic". The New York Times.