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Lovecraft

An engagingly left-field brew of gumshoes and ghouls, originally made for cable. The premise is that in Los Angeles in 1948, everyone is using magic - except, that is, for Marlowesque private eye H Philip Lovecraft (Ward). The plot, in this slapdash homage to Cthulhu, Yog-Sothoth and all the other unspellable regulars of horror writer HP Lovecraft's demonology, is the thinnest of McGuffins: the sinister Amos Hackshaw (Warner in prime eye-rolling mode) wants Lovecraft to get back his copy of the notorious grimoire, The Necronomicon, and to watch over the virtues of his virginal daughter. Distractions are added by the mandatory femme fatale, a nefarious club-owner and his sorcerous stooge, and a malevolent beastie. The narrative founders precariously between film noir verisimilitude and total cloud nine daffiness, with lurid but ultimately tame special effects, and a disappointing apocalyptic showdown. But there's much jaw-dropping flipness to be savoured on the way.

Release details

Duration: 92 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Martin Campbell
Screenwriter: Joseph Dougherty, Alexander Gruszynski
Cast: Fred Ward
David Warner
Julianne Moore
Clancy Brown
Alexandra Powers
Charles Hallahan
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