|Written by||Joseph Dougherty|
|Directed by||Paul Schrader|
|Music by||Angelo Badalamenti|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Executive producer(s)||Joseph Dougherty (co-executive producer)|
|Running time||100 min.|
|Audio format||Dolby SR|
Witch Hunt (1994) is an HBO fantasy detective television film directed by Paul Schrader and starring Dennis Hopper and Eric Bogosian. The film, written by Joseph Dougherty, is a sequel to the 1991 film Cast a Deadly Spell, with Hopper playing private detective H. Phillip Lovecraft replacing Fred Ward. Additionally, many characters have different backstories than in Cast a Deadly Spell. For example, Lovecraft refuses to use magic in Cast a Deadly Spell on principle, but in Witch Hunt he refuses because of a bad experience he has had. The original music score was composed by Angelo Badalamenti.
- Dennis Hopper - Harry Phillip Lovecraft (same initials as Howard Phillips Lovecraft)
- Penelope Ann Miller - Kim Hudson
- Eric Bogosian - Senator Larson Crockett
- Sheryl Lee Ralph - Hypolita Laveau Kropotkin
- Julian Sands - Finn Macha
- Valerie Mahaffey - Trudy
- John Epperson - Vivian Dart (as Lypsinka)
- Debi Mazar - The Manicurist
- Alan Rosenberg - N.J. Gotlieb
The film takes place 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 hardboiled private investigator H. Philip Lovecraft (Hopper)—uses magic every day. Yet, cars, telephones and other modern technology also exist in this world. The year is 1953, at the beginning of the Second Red Scare, but in this universe magic is substituted for communism and the McCarthy-esque proceedings are being run by Senator Larson Crockett (Bogosian).
Lovecraft is hired by film star Kim Hudson (Cruz) to dig up dirt on her husband, producer N.J. Gotlieb (Rosenberg), who is about to replace her on his latest film with a young starlet he may be having an affair with. Gaining entry to the studio with the help of practicing witch Hypolita Kropotkin (Ralph), his friend and landlady who is working for the studio, he encounters Finn Macha (Sands), a warlock and former private investigator with whom he had once crossed paths. When Gotlieb is murdered by magic, Senator Crockett uses the crime to make Kropotkin a scapegoat for use in his Anti-Magic crusade and uses newly-passed Congressional legislation to have her sentenced to death by public burning. Lovecraft must now not only save Kropotkin and uncover the real murderer, the motive behind the murder and the secrets Kim Hudson is hiding, but also confront the demons in his own past...a past that includes Finn Macha and the reason why Lovecraft will not use magic.