Episode 24: Jerry Smith Will ‘Cast a Deadly Spell’

September 16th, 2020 | By Matthew Monagle

Cast a Deadly Spell Fred Ward Julianne Moore

Turn back the clock, my child, to a time when new movies released on premium subscription services were a thing of wonder. When second-tier leading men and up-and-coming Hollywood stars would work together to tantalize and amaze adolescent movie fans everywhere. Welcome to the era of HBO Originals.

READ MORE: Cast a Deadly Spell Captures a Bygone Era of HBO Originals

In this week’s episode, we look at Cast a Deadly Spell, the 1991 direct-to-cable feature from future James Bond director Martin Campbell. The film stars Fred Ward – of Tremors fame – and a young Julianne Moore as a star-crossed couple trying to navigate the magic-infested stress of mid-century Los Angeles. Equal parts H.P. Lovecraft and John Huston, Cast a Deadly Spell takes an outrageous premise and plays it as straight as an arrow, making it one of the better horror-comedies of the decade.

READ MORE: Pre-Code Queerness in James Whale’s The Old Dark House

We are joined this week by journalist and composer Jerry Smith, who opens up about his own experiences as a horror fan in the early ’90s and explains why movies like Cast a Deadly Spell were so influential to him as kid. So grab your smokes and throw on your fedora, because we’re headed back to the Golden Era of Hollywood.

You can stream Cast a Deadly Spell on HBO Max. Check out the rest of our podcast episodes on our Podcasts page.


Matthew Monagle

Matthew is an Austin-based film critic. You can find his work as sites like Film School Rejects, The Playlist, SlashFilm, and the Austin Chronicle. He is also a member of the Austin Film Critics Association. Matt spends most of his free time doting on his dog and losing games of Slay the Spire.

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