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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

CAST A DEADLY SPELL


STATS:
Cast a Deadly Spell
1991
Directed by: Martin Campbell
Written by: Joseph Dougherty (currently producing Pretty Little Liars and, you know, swallowing his pride)
Starring: Fred Ward (Tremors), David Warner (every film except Tremors)

Seriously. Don’t you recognize him from everything?
He usually plays warlocks and professors and junk.

WHA’ HAPPENED?
As its VHS blurb says, “Imagine Who Framed Roger Rabbit? with witches and zombies instead of toons.” Now imagine that that’s a good thing, instead of a horrid cash-grab/copyright infringement. Basically, Fred Ward is a hard boiled private dick in an H. P. Lovecraft world. It is precisely as awesome as that sounds.

You can tell by the font that this is a TV movie.

WHAT YOU SAY?
“If you were sensitive at all, the air would crackle in your ears like wax paper. Things are in flux. The auras are bad. Me, I'm going to Florida.”

“Breathe out... slowly... do not gulp. If you do not breathe correctly, you do not move correctly. Pitiful. I can see the deadly hamburger has done its evil work.” (Wait. That’s actually from Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins.)

ISN’T THAT SPECIAL?
This is an HBO TV-movie (possibly failed pilot?) from the early 90s, back when HBO was less reputable and more Fraggle-Rocky. It’s since been forgotten except by awesome blogs and the sizable network of Fred Ward fans (Fred-heads.)

SHIRTS AND SKINS:
This is a film noir spoof, so there aren’t a lot of shirtless scenes (basically none). But hey, there are vampires.


BLOOD AND GUTS:
A guy gets horribly hacked to death by incessant paper cuts.

If only…

A cross-dresser gets punched to death by a gargoyle.

If only…

RANDOM THOUGHTS:
So in this world, gremlins and gargoyles look really similar. It’s as if they were both puppets.

It’s a Fifinella. Look it up.

The twist ending is kind of a rip-off of Jim Carrey’s Once Bitten.

Fred-heads aren’t real, from what I can tell.


OK. IS IT GAY?
Well, it’s no Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins…

I’m not sure exactly what that means, exactly.

What I can tell you is that this film includes a beautiful femme fatale…


…that ends up being revealed as a man.

This guy. He was on Oz and Desperate Housewives, sooo…

This character is depicted as a typical femme fatale, a dangerous woman who does bad things in the name of love. The only difference is “her” gender. This is an extremely progressive statement in an old-fashioned genre. Sure, the character gets horribly murdered, but I really appreciated this turn, especially since I didn’t see it coming.

Because the film is suddenly and surprisingly progressive and outspoken about gay issues, I’d give this half a Rickie Martin.


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