Up until last night I’d never even heard of the HBO movie ‘Cast A Deadly Spell’ from 1991, but I was lucky enough to run across a VHS copy of this one recently. It immediately peaked my interest, the box had some quotes on it comparing it to ‘Ghostbusters’ & ‘Roger Rabbit’ with monsters instead of cartoons. Sign me up already! The movies a ton of fun and filled with some sweet totally 80’s style fx work as well as an equally impressive cast. It really perplexed me as to why I’d never even heard of this one as it’s something I would have totally dug back in ’91. Hey I think it’s better sometimes seeing a lost gem from way back in the modern era anyway…it takes me way back…
Anyway this cool movie stars Fred Ward as H.P. Lovecraft (seriously, how have I never heard of this movie?!) a private investigator, who hired to track down the legendary book, the Necronomicon. Lovecraft is one of the only people who’ve chosen not to use magic of any kind making his little quest all that much more difficult to accomplish. It’s a full on 40’s noir, placed in a time when witchcraft has been fully exposed to the general populace and things that go bump in the night are far more common than ever before. We’ve got a bunch of neat monsters, werewolves & zombies along the way as well as an awesome scene with some pesky gremlins by way of rad old school puppetry. Hell, we even get a random unicorn that enters the equation into this unique little horror noir comedy.
There’s some cool scenes as well that up the movie’s horror factor with some impressive unexpected gore. There’s weird super powered gangsters, voodoo priests and plenty of that classic style animatronic monster mayhem to behold here. It’s also got it’s fair share of comedy though too and it in ways really is a bit like a horror version of ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’. Director Martin Campell went on to direct more recent stuff like the god awful ‘Green Lantern’ movie and ‘Casino Royale’. Along side Ward is also Julianne Moore, Clancy Brown & David Warner which is a pretty star studded cast for just how relatively forgotten this movie is today.
The movie spawned a sequel as well in 1994 but I haven’t heard to many good things about that one. There’s never been an official DVD release of the movie, but it certainly deserves one. The movie is available to watch on Amazon and a few other online platforms, so if you’re looking for a little lost nostalgia this one’s a cool little forgotten gem of a movie…
I highly recommend the brand new Netflix Original movie ‘Little Evil’, especially if you’re already a fan of the modern cult classic ‘Tucker & Dale vs Evil’. It turns out ‘Little Devil’ is the newest & second movie from that very director, Eli Craig. That explains a lot about why the movie’s comedic horror charm is so damn spot on. It’s a great concept that puts a unique spin on The Omen and the “birthing of the antichrist” sub-genre of horror movies. We follow a newly married stepfather (played brilliantly by Adam Scott) as he struggles to bond with his new son Lucas while appearing to be the perfect dad to his new wife (Evangeline Lily).
It doesn’t take long before he notices his new son’s incredibly creepy & bizarre behavior and weird ass style of dressing. Most of the laughs revolve around just how crazy the kid acts while the plot ridiculously thickens as the stepdad slowly begins to accept that his new son is a god damned demon spawn. There are a shitload of memorable scenes here to relish and Craig proves once again he’s one of the best when it comes to horror comedy (damn that goat puppet is awesome!). So many attempt to pull it off usually with mixed results. The movie explores some familiar horror tropes too while adding just the right amount of eye winking to fans of old school horror.
The movie has a ton up and coming comedians & familiar faces (Watch for “Tucker” in an amazing scene) that add to it’s charm, my fave being Clancy Brown as a mysterious priest who you might remember from his role on the incredible cult classic series ‘Carnivale’. The movie’s a helluva good time (no pun intended) and has a ton of heart to it. It’s also got some genuinely creepy moments as well mixed in which is a nice touch, with all the absurdity the movies got going for it already. My only complaint is a minor one, near the final act the movie gets a little bit too cutesy, when I was really hoping they might build upon the terror of the creepy kid that was already brilliantly established. However things go in a bit in way of ‘major Hollywood style feel good comedy’ which I’m not against necessarily but was hoping for something a bit more off beat in the final act. All in all though this one’s a great Netflix original movie that’s filled with something for everyone and a second win (although not quite as good as Tucker & Dale) for director Eli Craig. Check it out!
Hey anything is possible these days in the way of TV and movies now that we have fans demanding what they want to see via social media, blogs ect. It’s been proven that us fans aren’t as dense as Hollywood would like to believe we are, we enjoy intelligent well crafted television show and movies dammit-we really do! The announcement of David Lynch’s new upcoming season of Twin Peaks is proof of fans interest in shows that may have, at one point, been too bizarre for television at the time. So recently I’ve decided to watch “Carnivale” again, which is one of my favorite HBO shows of all time! Unfortunately this show only got two seasons despite being nominated and winning five Emmy awards, the show was deemed too inaccessible for the average viewer.
This is one of the reasons the show was so great, it clearly didn’t fit the mold of the average television show. I believe if the show was broadcast today (it originally aired in 2003) it would have much stronger audience. The show’s complex story and rich history never was given enough of a chance to unfold onscreen, the cast had barely a traditional pretty Hollywood face anywhere in sight. The show was dark, epic, gritty, extremely creepy, exploring the darker sides of religion good and evil. It’s sets and styling were perfect period, every episode was eye candy. It at the time had quite a high cost of 2 million per episode and a large ensemble cast. The show ended far too soon and for years fans have attempted to get petitions going to get it back on air with no luck.
However as I watch these two seasons again in 2014 they actually feel like they were made now and not over ten years ago. I’m not sure how the show might pick up this many years later, but I’d certainly love to catch what might be the case with Ben Hawkins, Samson and the crew. It’d be a great reason for Nick Stahl to clean up his act. This a show that has many questions left, and it’s plot, symbolism and themes to this day still have people debating. So let’s continue the journey with this traveling Carnivale, I guarantee it’s a far more compelling trip than American Horror Story “Freak Show” could ever be!!!
Wow I just recently saw the teaser trailer for the upcoming Goon Movie adaptation and it’s looking incredible!! Those of you who aren’t familiar with the Goon should check out the trade paperbacks from Dark Horse comics, they are anything but ordinary! With the fantastic artwork and macabe stories of Eric Powell this comic has got to be one of the most off the wall books I have read in years. Trust me.
Check out this rad teaser from David Fincher, starring Paul Giamatti and Clancy Brown. It looks liek this is the perfect medium for this comic to be portrayed on film-I can’t wait!!