Cast A Deadly Spell

Yeah, the way this movie was advertised is a bit different from how I took it. That happens. This is a detective x magic crossover event that might get you your fill of both (or not!) and it’s called “Cast A Deadly Spell”. My DVD copy is “Hechizo Letal” as it’s in Spanish. I realize now that I didn’t do a great job at relating this to Halloween (as it’s actually release on the 31st of October as opposed to November 1st or, as I have so hackishly declared, Noirvember 1st).

At the time of this writing I’m actually really sick and coughing out a lung or sleeping most of the day. It’s not COVID, thankfully. I did need to record this in various sessions (re-record it at that–I could have nailed it the first time but I figured all I had to lose was time, ironically enough, and it is irony because I’m considering it from the point of an omniscient narrator with knowledge of the future but choosing to not intervene or change the events). But that means there is zero latitude to record pickups or just do it over for the third time. So there is some errata and missing pieces.

“Mulholland Drive”, the David Lynch picture, came out in 2001. I got “Mulholland Drive” vibes from “Witch Hunt”. I wonder if he caught “Witch Hunt” (1994) at some point and it rattled around in his brain–there were two Lynch alums in it so it’s quite possible. “Lost Highway” didn’t come out until 1997, so my timeline of these movies is wrong, by the way. I don’t know if I stated a timeline in the podcast but the way I was thinking about it was a little backwards. “Blue Velvet” and “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me” had already come out so the aesthetic was there but the main points of my Lynch influence had not taken shape just yet. That’s a wild fact check for my dumb ass.

I misquoted Lovecraft in this movie. He says “show it some water.. but be discreet”. Whoops.

I didn’t talk about the music in “Cast A Deadly Spell” at all. It actually won an Emmy. A Primetime Emmy. For this song: It was also nominated for sound editing. That’s pretty rad. Curt Sobel did the music on this movie and it was good. I liked it. He’s also done a ton of other work. His most recent credit was for “Rumble” and I was very much hoping that it was a movie about Link Wray & His Wray Men but it was not. Disappointing.

Here’s the link to a live stream from Sound Speeds Allen Williams about the IATSE stuff. He’s also got a ton of sound capture stuff on his channel which is super useful or super interesting–depending on how you approach it.

I know that I talked about “Yojimbo” being an adaptation of Red Harvest but Kurosawa went on record as saying it was actually The Glass Key. I haven’t read The Glass Key (just yet) but it lines up pretty good with Red Harvest so…. shrug. I probably also got the timetable wrong there, too.

The advertising material paints it as “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” but with witches and zombies and that’s honestly not a connection I would have made. I really overlooked that completely, but I also really like “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” quite a lot… it’s just the shoe scene. Wow the shoe scene really messed me up.

H. P. Lovecraft was a bit of a weirdo but I did learn, coincidentally, between the recording and the publishing of this episode that his father was committed and died in an asylum which what might have been late-stage syphilis. His mother was also committed at one point and died shortly thereafter. Lovecraft, himself, was plagued with mental health issues for most of his life and I can’t help but think that it’s linked to early tragedy combined with an intelligence that allowed for learning with out the life experience to contextualize information. That’s an incredibly unscientific theory but it feels like it could be true. He also apparently didn’t marry his cousin? I don’t know. It seems that she was a fiction author.

This is a sequence of the inserts on the spell cast at Lovecraft that resulted in the Oatmeal Demon It’s different in every insert as if it was alive or teeming with magic and challenging what we think of as “reality”.

I did finish watching “Witch Hunt”. I felt compelled. It wasn’t that bad but it also wasn’t that good, either. It lives in the middle. They definitely went for it with CGI that was of dubious effectiveness. There’s also a trans madame in a magic brothel and a really loose analogue of magic use for The Red Scare which is really just cover for homosexuality or non-cishet or nontraditional (and I know that traditions vary wildly from what we think they are so I mean puritanical American traditions–I took a class on sexuality in college. I’m hip. I’m cool. That was like 15 years ago. I’m so old) sexuality which was also how HUAC was used in blackballing Communists and homosexuals in Hollywood. We do see a very young Clifton Collins Jr. at the brothel which is located in the Millard House, a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house that has shown up in more than a couple of things–most lately that I can remember it’s in Westworld (which might have an entire season that I haven’t seen yet–yikes). I started to feel better about the plot and the mystery but then, after a little bit, I didn’t? Does that make sense. Maybe it was illness and medication. Maybe I wasn’t paying enough attention. Doesn’t change my opinion of the movie. I also found out the name of the other theater in the Hollywood hills (or in the hills at least, not sure what exactly defines the “Hollywood” hills)–it’s The Ford. I’ve been to the Hollywood Bowl and that was actually really cool. I think, in the animated movie “Sing”, when their theater collapses (spoiler) the stage they end up on is an homage to The Ford but I could be wrong.

Ward is wearing a really cool Hamilton watch, though. Hamilton Watch Company is an American company that got swallowed up by Swatch in 1969 and now, I guess, they are Swiss. But sir, ve are Sviss! ….them too! God bless Eurotrip. I went looking for and and, with the help of Bandrew Scott I found it to be a Piping Rock. That’s a 1928 model, however, those were seemingly all gold. Watchcastage sleuth Bandrew then found that there was a reissue of the 1928 Yankees World Series version which is pretty cool.

This is the Hamilton Piping Rock reissue. I’m actually pretty into it and they aren’t really all that expensive on the used market but they do need some TLC. I don’t think that’s something I want to invest in. The clock strikes midnight.

Check out the very fun podcast Boars, Gore, and Swords. Red Scott also has another podcast that I listen to called Failure to Adapt which is a good time if you read books and watch book movies. I talk good and stuff.

Neil Gaiman’s A Study In Emerald as a PDF exclusive on his website. I was unable to find the link that leads to the PDF at the moment (and it may have been lost in the website redesign shuffle) but the standard rights apply–don’t resell or reproduce this story it’s Neil’s property, etc. There is a graphic novel that is available if you want to support the author. Support local booksellers if you can. There’s also a board game which is, roughly, a deck builder.

Check out Austin Grossman‘s work. Soon I Will Be Invincible is where I jumped on that train and I haven’t jumped off. He’s also a game designer and the list of games he’s worked on include System Shock, Deus Ex, and Dishonored which are very much my shit.

I think a really good representation of Lovecraft’s work–but in a visual medium–is Polish painter, photographer, and sculptor Zdzisław Beksiński. Apparently his style is characterized as “dystopian surrealism” and holy shit is this Lovecraftian. Zdzislaw Beksinski – 707 artworks – painting (

gabe on Twitter: “don’t want to go through whatever Zdzisław Beksiński went through” / Twitter