[[quoteright:258:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Cast_a_deadly_spell_5609.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:258:[-[[SoBadItsGood If your eyes look upon it]], [[GoMadFromTheRevelation you will surely go mad!]]-] ]]

'''''Cast a Deadly Spell''''' is a 1991 horror/noir movie made for HBO. It was directed by Martin Campbell and written by Joseph Dougherty.

It's 1948. The plot follows HardboiledDetective [[Creator/HPLovecraft Harry Phillip Lovecraft]], in a fictional universe 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. There's some implication that magic only recently gained widespread use for whatever reason. Lovecraft is hired to recover the Necronomicon, stolen by persons unknown -- although their motives probably aren't: the book contains the rituals needed to awaken and summon the Outer Gods. Complicating Lovecraft's investigation is his former partner, now a crime boss, who is also looking for the book.

A sequel, ''Witch Hunt'', was released by HBO in 1994; Dennis Hopper replaced Fred Ward as Lovecraft. It more directly parodies the 1950s Red Scare with a counter-revolution against magic use.
----
!!''Cast a Deadly Spell'' provides examples of the following tropes:

* AffablyEvil: [[spoiler: Connie]]
* AllMythsAreTrue: Everything from {{Unicorn}}s to [[CthulhuMythos Yog Sothoth]].
* ApocalypseCult: The BigBad plans to use the [[TomeOfEldritchLore Necronomicon]] and a [[VirginPower virgin]] [[HumanSacrifice sacrifice]] to summon Yog-Sothoth and the rest of the CthulhuMythos deities, which would devastate the world.
-->'''Lovecraft:''' What kind of world?
-->'''Hackshaw:''' A world of the unburied dead, and a sky dark with ashes. A blasted, maimed planet.
* AwardBaitSong: "Why Do I Lie?" by Darlene Koldenhoven.
* BadassInANiceSuit: The bad guys all wear such nice suits...
* BlankBook: The fake Necronomicon.
* BrownNote: Tugwell writes one up in an attempt to assassinate Lovecraft.
* BuryYourGays: [[spoiler:Mickey and Larry/Lilly.]]
* CampbellCountry
* TheChanteuse: When we first see Connie Stone, she's singing a song in Harry Bordon's nightclub. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCp2-fbsm2Y#t=6m55s Here's a video of the scene]].
* ChekhovsGunman: Detective Grimaldi's romantic interest for Olivia eventually becomes useful when she is [[spoiler:offered as a sacrifice for Yog-Sothoth]], but is then refused when [[spoiler:the monster realizes that she is no longer a virgin.]]
* ChewingTheScenery: Hackshaw
* DieselPunk
* TheDragon: Tugwell, to Bordon.
* DungeonPunk
* EldritchAbomination: Attempting to summon Yog-Sothoth, who in turn will summon the rest of the Outer Gods.
* EvilFormerFriend: Bordon used to be Lovecraft's partner when they were on the police force.
* EvilIsNotAToy
* FauxAffablyEvil: Bordon
* FemmeFatale: What would a FilmNoir pastiche be without one? [[spoiler: It's Connie.]]
* GroinAttack: To a gargoyle. And it works!
* HardboiledDetective
* HollywoodVoodoo
* HotWitch: Hypolita Kropotkin
* JustDesserts: [[spoiler:Hackshaw is eaten by the creature he summons.]]
* KitchenChase: After a restaurant owner tries to put a written curse on him, Philip Lovecraft goes after him into the kitchen to return it. The curse manifests when a demon comes out of a pot on a stove. Lovecraft joins forces with a cook to defeat it.
* LovecraftOnFilm
* MinorCrimeRevealsMajorPlot
* NiceHat: This being the '40s, most everyone wears nice hats.
* OccultDetective: Somewhat subverted in his refusing to use magic.
* OneSteveLimit: Averted. Both Lovecraft and Bordon have the same first name, Harry, but Lovecraft prefers to go by his middle name, Phil, relegating his first name to merely an initial on both his business cards and office door.
* OurDemonsAreDifferent: And man, are they ugly.
* OurGargoylesRock: Hackshaw employs an animate stone gargoyle as a spy and occasional assassin.
* OurVampiresAreDifferent: Mostly they hang out in West Hollywoood.
* OurWerewolvesAreDifferent: They're the reason DaChief hates full moons.
* OurZombiesAreDifferent: Strictly Type V's here.
* PaperMaster: Tugwell
* PerpSweating: Lieutenant Bradbury does this to Lovecraft when he won't cooperate with him.
* PrettyInMink: Connie has a mink coat.
* PublicDomainArtifact: The Necronomicon.
* RunningGag: Phil accidentally giving people Mrs. Kropotkin's business card for her dancing school rather than his own.
** Also people insulting Phil's tie.
** Mrs. Kropotkin takes every opportunity to bemoan the fact that if she had any sense, [[ScrewThisImOuttaHere she'd be packing up and heading to Miami]].
* SaveTheVillain: [[spoiler:Lovecraft tries to save Hackshaw when he gets grabbed by Yog-Sothoth at the end. His grip slips.]]
* ScaryBlackMan: Being a zombie makes it [[EverythingsDeaderWithZombies even worse]].
* ScrewTheMoneyIHaveRules: Insert the word "magic" in there somewhere as well, and you have Lovecraft in a nutshell.
-->'''Connie Stone:''' Dammit, Phil, everybody's gotta compromise!\\
'''Lovecraft:''' That's what I keep hearing.\\
'''Connie:''' And what makes you so special?\\
'''Lovecraft:''' What makes me special is I'm my own man. When I started out I said there were things I'd do and things I wouldn't do. A lot of guys start out like that, and a lot of them sell out along the way. But the more who fall, the easier it gets. "See, look, everybody compromises, everybody cheats, everybody uses magic." So they empty their ideals out of their pockets and get down to the job of sticking it to their neighbors before they stick it to them, because that's that way it's done. To all of which I say nuts. My collar may be a little frayed, and maybe I need a shoeshine. But nobody's got a mortgage on my soul. I own it. Free and clear.
* SearchingTheStalls: As Mickey is trying to escape Tugwell in the train station, he goes into the bathroom and tries to hide in the last stall. Tugwell uses a magic spell that lights a fiery trail to him and blows him out of the stall.
* ShoutOut
** Lovecraft calls a gargoyle "Creator/LonChaney."
** Also, Lovecraft's former police chief is named [[RayBradbury Bradbury]].
** And [[Creator/HPLovecraft Harry Phillip Lovecraft]] himself is named after a certain horror writer whose influences can be detected in this story.
* SmugSnake: Bordon and [[spoiler:Hackshaw]], since their plan horribly fails at the end.
* SpannerInTheWorks
* SuspiciouslySpecificDenial: Connie's defence of her life takes on this edge after Lovecraft's ScrewTheMoneyIHaveRules speech:
-->'''Connie:''' I'm not gonna apologise for my life.\\
'''Lovecraft:''' I didn't ask you to.\\
'''Connie:''' I'm happy the way things are.\\
'''Lovecraft:''' Glad to hear it.\\
'''Connie:''' You gotta look ahead. You can't drag around the past. There's nothing you can do about it!\\
'''Lovecraft:''' Sounds like you got a real good grip on things.\\
'''Connie:''' ''[Breaking]'' Dammit, Phil, why'd you have to walk back into my life?\\
'''Lovecraft:''' Why'd you walk out of mine?
* TooSpicyForYogSothoth
* UnSorcerer
* UrbanFantasy
* UtilityMagic
* VirginPower: Olivia uses her "power" to hunt Unicorns.
* VirginSacrifice
* WholesomeCrossdresser: [[spoiler:Lilly Sirwar/Larry Willis]]
* YouHaveFailedMe: [[spoiler:Bordon to Tugwell.]]
----