Witch Hunt (1994 film)

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Witch Hunt
Directed by Paul Schrader
Produced by Gale Anne Hurd
Written by Joseph Dougherty
Starring Dennis Hopper
Penelope Ann Miller
Eric Bogosian
Debi Mazar
Music by Angelo Badalamenti
Cinematography Jean-Yves Escoffier
Edited by Kristina Boden
Distributed by HBO
Release dates
  • December 10, 1994 (1994-12-10)
Running time 100 min.
Country United States
Language English

Witch Hunt (1994) is a horror/detective HBO movie starring Dennis Hopper. It was directed by Paul Schrader and written by Joseph Dougherty. The original music score was composed by Angelo Badalamenti.


Hopper stars as 1950s hardboiled private detective 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.

Witch Hunt takes place in the 1950s during the red scare, in which magic is substituted for communism.

It is a sequel to the HBO-produced film Cast a Deadly Spell. Hopper plays Lovecraft in place of Fred Ward. Additionally, many characters have different back-stories than in Cast a Deadly Spell. For example, Lovecraft refuses to use magic in Cast a Deadly Spell on principle, but refuses because of a bad experience in Witch Hunt.

H. P. Lovecraft influence[edit]

The movie is very much an homage to the works of H. P. Lovecraft. Though not based on any one particular story by Lovecraft, the film features many Lovecraftian tropes, and can be considered to take place against the unified backdrop which has come to be known as the Cthulhu Mythos.

While the film clearly does not take place in Lovecraft's world, it does reference Lovecraft extensively (including the name of the main character), though there are many obvious differences. The most obvious difference is that in Witch Hunt, magic is omnipresent – everybody uses it. In Lovecraft's stories magic is almost unknown, except to a select few.


External links[edit]